Friday, July 18, 2008


With some time for reflection, I am moderating my opinion of UK tv. Earlier perhaps I would have said that there seemed to be endless talk shows hosted by some old hags who wouldn't get a look in on Australian tv. But then there were some seriously nice looking and personable men co-presenting or participating in these shows. But then I thought of Richard from Richard and Judy and he was boring and dull.

The English seem obsessed with shows about houses and property and prices. There must have been a dozen of these shows, ok, maybe four. Most were repeats and the prices did not reflect current values. But the shows were well made and very watchable.

News presentation was quite alien to what we get. One night I recall watching the BBC news for half an hour and there were only four stories.

Up north where we were, and I think I noted it was the same in the west, you get half an hour of national news then half an hour of local news. It depends if you watch the Beeb or commercial as to what order they come in. The news seem more repetitive than ours, minor stories seemed to run for days. Our world view is much wider and certainly more Asian and American focused. While I wasn't here in Aus, I doubt Zimbabwe would have had the coverage here that it did on English tele, ad nauseam. Hey, what about Australia? We were a colony too!

The only story I saw about Australia was in a newspaper where an English tourist in Australia had been bitten by a snake/spider.

One night at the caravan when R peaked early and went early to bed, I stayed up to have a play with the cable tv. Ohhh, a soft str8 porn channel, boring, but more than we get at home. Actually, not sure about that. Another channel that incidentally showed a guy with a full on exposed erection viewed from a distance and then a sheila giving him head. I was quite drunk by this time of the night and was surprised by what I saw. But better still, a show about the youth of England binge drinking and then throwing up, in graphic detail. Can't get much better than that.

It was a bitter sweet time when I was able to see EastEnders after not having seen it for twenty odd years. It would have been better left in the memory. The show is crap. But it was nice to see a slightly older Dot Cotton still going. Lou Beale was still alive the last time I saw the show.

The locals call it Corres, Coronation Street. It is on cable tv here I think. But I was under ten years old when I last saw it and would you believe, there is still one person still left in it who was in it when I was under ten. It is in colour now, I only remember it in black and white.

Here, it was Coronation Street, followed by the US show, Peyton Place. I used to find endless reasons to get up for a glass of water or to go to the toilet.

In summary, I like our tv better, as much as I whine about it. But one outstanding point about English tv, and perhaps even the English in general, the presenters never take themselves too seriously. This is quite un American and I would say, shows some maturity and sense about the medium they work in. But truly, we do get the best of UK tv. There is a lot of dross we fortunately miss.

Pics are of some silly northern tv weather presenter, who grew on me as the days went on, and someone who is a very respected newsreader and I knew of him well before going to the UK. I have no idea how.

Wow, I did not know this until I found his pic online. Sir!!! Trevor McDonald who reads the ITV news. Of course, I must overlook the long tribal war between my family and the McDonalds.
Bob Johnston, goofy, but appealing.
A tribute to the lady in the in the north who died of a heart attack when a thief was stealing diesel from the family storage tank. Tv news managed to string it out for a week.


  1. Inearly died from a heart attack when a HALF-tank of diesel cost me $65 today.

  2. that, of course, is supposed to read
    "I nearly died" .... and while I'm back, re:

    "The English seem obsessed with shows about houses and property" ... yeah - An Englishman's Home Is His Castle.

  3. You mean to say Escape to the country, on UKTV dated 1999 or Relocation,Relocation, dated 2003, isn't up to date with current property values ? :P

  4. "A tribute to the lady in the in the north who died of a heart attack when a thief was stealing diesel from the family storage tank. Tv news managed to string it out for a week."

    More exciting than the story about the sheep with flatulence that headlined for a month and a half last year. Now you know why I spend so much time on the Internet, Andrew.

  5. hey Andrew :)


  6. Houses are not so different to how general Aussies view them Ann.

    So you have cable Jayne?

    And why I spend so much time on the net Brian.

  7. The english guy at work likes to go on about how narrow in focus Australian News is and how bad Australian TV is in general. Actually the Kiwi guy does too.

    So you would say that "the Broken News" is a good parody of English news presentation in general?

    That show about binge drinking, I think that was on SBS a few weeks ago.

  8. The binge Drinking doco I saw was called "The Seven Sins of England", it was shown on the 1st of July on SBS. It had a historical take on English binge drinking.

  9. You can keep up to date with events in Coronation Street at my blog, if you'd like to. I update weekly and monthly - very funny, tongue in cheek updates.

    All the best, chuck.

  10. Heya Keshi, looking gorgeous on you blog as always.

    Can't agree with your workmate Ben. Sorry, I don't know Broken News. Different binge drinking show too.

    Thanks Chuck.

  11. Of course we all know the BBC news opener music and visuals are first class. And channels 7. 9 and 10 are absolute rubbish.

  12. BBC news music them is pretty good, but nothing is quite as compelling as ABC radio's Majestic Fanfare, especially the longer version used on the 7.45 news. It used to be used on tv until the present one was written. The present ABC one is not bad either.