However, I view their presence on Plashing Vole as a sign of contrition, perhaps even conscience. So now's my chance to encourage them to return to the straight and narrow path towards redemption.
So, BBC employees. This is easy. More Spiral and Dr. Who please. More like The Wire. Fewer programmes badly aping bad ITV shows. No more celebrities, just competent professionals. No more shows promoting kindergarten capitalism, e.g. your entire daytime schedule, packed with Homes Under the Hammer, Escape to the Country, Bargain Hunt, Flog It (basic premise: your family's heritage should be turned into a few quid), To Buy Or Not To Buy etc. etc. They're shallow, boring, greedy and the formats are exhausted. Yes please to more satirical humour, but I think Armstrong and Miller's brand of comedy is mined out now - as their greed for advert money suggests they know. And it's time to put Bruce Forsyth and Jeremy Paxman out to pasture - they're wounded lions. Ben Fogle, it's time to admit, isn't qualified for anything. He's blond and has a polite accent. That's not the same as having something to say. He's the slightly creepy and over-familiar care assistant in a rural old folks' home. Under the well-scrubbed face is pure evil and one day you'll all realise this.
Oh, and what happened to the idea that soaps were a mildly heightened version of real lives? Yours seem to be packed with murderous crackheads and other assorted monsters. Get a grip.
BBC3 is pretty repulsive, but it's not for people like me so I can't really preach about it though I will say that shows based on putting 'celebrities' in 'real world' situations are patronising and lazy. The ads for whatshisname Nelson's Well Good Show made me really angry, so they must be working quite well for his demographic.
BBC4 - stunning.
Before I leave TV behind, could I make one plea? Cancel Top Gear. I know it makes you an awful lot of money, but Clarkson's personal friends are in government now, so you don't need him to put the reactionary view any more. He's a boor and a bore. You can do better. Say thank you and goodbye to him and his friends. It was fun, but now it isn't.
Radio 1 - boring mainstream playlisted junk.
Radio 2 - no idea. Friends say it's good but I'm just not ready for that.
Radio 3 - just plain brilliant. Make the daytime shows more like the evening ones, e.g. more new music. It could be a tad more like FIP, but it's already one of the world's greatest shows.
Radio 4 - again, ace at night, dull during the day. Pedestrian is the word I'm looking for, perhaps. Especially the comedy. Once, all the comedy on TV was remakes of Radio 4 shows, but recently there's nothing worth repeating. Old Harry's Game, for example, was funny for at least two episodes, but once you've got used to the idea of a sitcom based in hell, you're left with some very laboured puns. Obviously The News Quiz and The Now Show are still good, but they're a little too conscious of themselves as 'heritage radio'. Now if you put Marcus Brigstocke, Frankie Boyle and some unknown kids together, you might get something interesting. The dramas are very hit and miss, the book readings are getting a little predictable, but the news shows are varied and brilliant. I wish John Humphries was a) better informed b) brighter and c) prepared to leave gaps between his questions for the interviewee to answer though. Evan Davis doesn't seem to know about much outside economics either. Leave The Archers and Woman's Hour alone. They're ace.
Basically: more new shows. Adaptations of recent books and plays. Comedy by people who didn't meet at Oxbridge. Something people would complain about.
6Music - good, sometimes brilliant. I don't know anything about the other channels, but saving 6Music while sacrificing the Asian Network did feel a little bit racist.
Institutionally, you really need to grow a pair. I mean really, the Tories and Murdochs and Daily Mails of this world spend apparently all of their waking hours screaming about how evil, socialist (don't see it myself) and dangerous you are, and you never fight back. Your overpaid governing-class executives roll over on their backs and accept every intellectually vapid attack while seemingly happy to be reduced to a stump of a once proud body.
Repeat this to yourselves: 'Just because they're rich and loud doesn't mean they're right'.
Now, moving on to the Daily Mail:
Die. Just give up. Kill yourselves. You have nothing to contribute except lies and misery.
The world would be a better place without your shrill distortion. You can't divide the world into things which cause cancer and things which cure it.
- Women aren't evil if they want to have jobs/sex/opinions/a range of body shapes.
- Being black doesn't make you an illegal immigrant/rapist/terrorist/ threat to property prices.
- The working classes do hate you, but you started it (as far back as the Zinoviev letter).
- Celebrities aren't classifiable either as deities or devils, depending on what your star columnist thinks of their weight that week.
- Real scientists don't tend to use the word 'miracle' and they know that climate change is a bad thing. Bad scientists seem to have a hotline to your front page.
Seriously, the world's actually quite a nice place with potential to be even better. You could contribute to this process by quietly turning off the presses and dedicating yourselves to a better life.
Just a few thoughts. There'll be more later.