Why Is Local TV …Crap?

As Father Jack Hackett said….”what’s that gobshite doing on the television?” …Stephen Nolan…again.

Going back to circa 1960…..it’s a rule of thumb that ALL local television is crap. The Troubles rescued local TV….made stars out of Eamonn Holmes, Gloria Hunniford and Gordon Burns. There were some really good contributors locally such as Noel Thompson. But the ending of the Troubles has actually weakened local television.

The occasional chat show like Gerry Kelly…ie bringing over TV stars from 1980s sitcoms…C list celebs who are past their sell by date on national television….seem a parody of Alan Partridge in Norwich. Maybe Kelly himself saw that and got out.

Comedy Panel Shows….poorly executed and cloned versions of Mock The Week …inevitably with Tim McGarry, Jake O’Kane and Colin Murphy….rely on imported B Listers like Stephen K Amos and John Bishop (both now A listers and out of the local league) for star quality. But local comedy is a bit like local football. If you are any good…like say Paddy Kielty…you wouldn’t be on local TV.

Dumbing down…..Stephen Nolan is supposed to be agenda setting. but he is no John Humphreys. More Richard Littlejohn, James Whale, John Gaunt.

Just another Alan Partrtidge. He got lucky. His (to me) fake exasperation with local politics and interviews with C list rent a quotes like Ann Widdicombe are the kinda things taxi drivers love.

Yet Nolan-Partridge is everywhere. That gobshite is never off TV. Just when you look at the TV listings say a silent prayer that The Nolan Show has ended its run..up pops Nolan again….this time as a Jeremy Kyle clone having a heart to heart with fellow BBC Presenter, Hugo Duncan. This apparently the first of a “heartwarming” series where Stephen brings us the heartache behind the smile.

God forgive me…I watched Nolan and Duncan. I didn’t know that Duncan was brought up by a single mother. But the Showband scene of the 1970s was surely one of casual drinking and alcoholism and while wee Hugo is to be congratulated for not taking a drink since the late 1980s….the programme merely skirted the issue. I didn’t know enough about Hugo Duncan to know that he had made an album of rebel songs in the late 1970s.

In itself I have no problem with that. I like rebel songs myself. And I won’t condemn Hugo for singing a few. Can Hugo really clàim that it was the 1979 and he didn’t know what he was doing? That is actually a more interesting theme than overcoming an alcohol addiction.

There is something far too cosy about local television. Nolan, Hugo, Julian, Pamela, Gerry, Interviewing each other ad finitum.

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9 Responses to Why Is Local TV …Crap?

  1. factual says:

    Sinn Féin have rightfully argued – Barry McElduff as Media and Culture Spokesperson in particular – that media should be devolved to the Assembly so that local MLAs have more input into local television policy.

    • That would be state control. Bad as the BBC is I don’t think I want Barry McElduff deciding these things. Nor his DUP counterpart.

      • factual says:

        Sinn Féin was not arguing for editorial control, rather legislative and ministerial executive control over policy. For example Barry McEldiff argued that there should be more local programming and a greater focus on news from rural areas.

      • Yeah Sinn Fein are brilliant.

      • factual says:

        FJH by the way Yvette Shapiro has tweeted “Respect to the big man @StephenNolan and Wee Man Hugo Duncan. Powerful, touching television tonight on BBCNI” suggesting that there are people who DO appreciate local telly north of the border.

      • Yes BBC employee Yvette Shapiro ….she says a BBC programme is brilliant and that BBC men Stephen Nolan and Hugo Duncan are brilliant….
        Cosy isn’t it?

  2. James says:

    FJH by the way Yvette Shapiro has tweeted “Respect to the big man @StephenNolan and Wee Man Hugo Duncan. Powerful, touching television tonight on BBCNI” suggesting that there are people who DO appreciate local telly north of the border.

    ——————–

    Eh? Local tv is the worst it has ever been. Watched “monumental” once cos I went to school with one of the regulars on it…awful awful show with lots of awkward silences where there should be laughing

  3. The thing from the Empire, hosted by David Dunseith, was the only decent thing ever done here. Tellingly, the BBC deleted every second of the controversial show

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