I am not a great fan of TV. That may be because I don't watch it very much. That may be linked to the fact that I don't have a TV, which in turn explains why I don't have a TV license, which in turn is explained every time I peruse the TV listings that show nothing of interest to watch.
But that could change if the BBC actually decided to put on something of interest that didn't involve either (a) putting the same dozen comedians in front of a camera "ad-libbing" pre-scripted jokes and calling it entertainment or a quiz show or (b) using the same tired old formats derived from Antiques Roadshow featuring either chattels or immovable property.
The latter form of mental torture features heavily on BBC 1 on Saturday afternoons. This week we have:
12:10 – 13:10 Homes Under the Hammer
Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander visit properties in Cheshire, Kent and Derby. (R)
13:10 – 14:10 Bargain Hunt
31/32 Four experts make up the red and blue teams shopping for bargains. (R)
14:10 – 14:40 Cash in the Attic
A mother and son invite Jennie Bond and expert Jonty Hearnden into their home. (R)
14:40 – 15:40 Escape to the Country
Alistair Appleton seeks a Hampshire home for a couple who spend half the year in America. (R)
Nearly 4 hours of tawdry asset gawping, and not only that, but the programmes are all repeats, so that the UK TV viewer can decide whether they are still as enthralled as the last time they watched this tat.
And hats off to the BBC, recipients of £10 million a day in licence fees, who will have managed to have satisfied about £1-2 million of their prime-time weekend obligations on the major TV channel by simply switching on the video playback machine and going on a 4-hour tea break.
But it doesn't have to be that way. There could be a sports programme lasting for 4 hours, perhaps extending into the football scores, covering all the minor sports that feature in the Olympics and more besides. Not just athletics and swimming, but boxing, judo and taekwondo, cycling and rowing, sailing and canoeing, the odd bit of horsey stuff (even dressage), archery, shooting and modern pentathlon, and in the winter skiing, bobsleigh and the rest. None of it difficult to cover, just a few cameras and a knowledgeable presenter/commentator.
I even have a name: Grandstand.