Remote Control - Saturday 15 June 2013

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I think I’ve reached my Tipping Point

‘Just gimme the living room beat of the TV sound,’ sang the Jam on Just Who is the Five o’Clock Hero half a lifetime ago.

I know what Weller’s fictional knackered worker feels like. But, to quote him again, you find out life isn’t like that. No you arrive home to chaos.

Tired yet wired kids 
refusing to go to bed. A frazzled wife. And the diabetic dog hasn’t been fed.

Even after that, remote control, as in control of the remote, is a rarity.

So even given my disinterest in soaps, celebrities, dramas or even televised sports, I’m up against it, trying to watch something long enough to rattle off 500 words.

It started on Saturday morning (Saturday 
Kitchen, BBC1). A wallpaper cooking show with Ann Widdecombe as a guest.

That’s right, the Tory harridan looking more and more like the weird spinster who the kids on the estate mock for stinking of cat urine.

She bumbled about like a forgetful gran, bumping into the presenters and chefs. I watched for five minutes before Peppa Pig was demanded by my daughter.

In that briefest of lamentable capers, Widdecome described some cream-layered cream, caramel and cream dish ‘delish’. As in ‘delicious’.

What next? Norman Tebbit describing UKIP’s (no) immigration policy as ‘totes-amazeballs’. Conservative patois eh?

I doubt either would approve of being associated with patois, though.

Then the world changed. Sunday night, after a day on the beach, the TV was mine.

7pm and the choice was somewhat limited.

A Formula 1 (BBC1) Grand Prix that sounded like a World Cup 2010 vuvuzela fest, without anything interesting like a game of football.

I’m not a petrolhead, and I don’t watch Top Gear reruns on Channel Dave, but ‘it’s not just for petrolheads’ I’m told.

The same people who think fines for middle-lane road hoggers is the solution to the economic crisis.

Clarkson fans, essentially, who admire a man in jeans, brogues and a sport jacket.

People who have nothing to say to me.

Like the unlikeable ‘entrepreneur’ Peter Jones Meets (BBC2) meeting some other unlikeable ‘entrepreneurs’. One ‘entrepreneur’s’ wife said her man didn’t play with his grandchildren cos they “couldn’t answer the phone”.

Switch again. I didn’t get further than ITV.

What the hell is Tipping Point (ITV) about? Two very thick women providing ammunition for Private Eye’s Dumb Britain section with a souped-up penny falls.

I watched in disbelief.

Would the next round have a hoopla, pluck a duck or swinging rope climb and a bell over an inflatable?

No, it just carried on. The kids can have the telly.

By Alan Burrows