Focus on Auntie Beeb, and she won’t like it

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HAVE I GOT NEWS FOR YOU: Tired and dated?

HAVE I GOT NEWS FOR YOU (BBC1, Friday) has returned to our screens for an unbelievable 54th series.

If you can stand it, watch, turn the sound down and wait … you will quickly realise you could be watching any of the shows from the previous 53 screenings. 

I realise it is not strictly true (or Strictly Come Dancing for that matter) for you can roughly date the series being shown by gauging the amount of make-up Ian Hislop has been plastered with, combined with how bored he looks. 

The more make-up and bored looking, the more recent the series. 

Even with a random mix of rotating hosts, I wonder if they have considered Max Headroom. Do you remember him? This tried, tested and now past-it format is surely due for the refresh treatment; to illustrate, years ago I was in the audience (there was free wine, warm and nasty, but free) and I’m sure they still use the same audience shot in the opening sequence.

Just look for a blonde haired male, second row from back, fourth left. 

For the second of three swipes at the Beeb, there are reports of a new look for Question Time (BBC1, Thursday). 

This is another offering following the same format; correctly balanced panel and specially invited angry – though slightly ignorant – audience member primed to ask the one question which will make them a hero or an idiot, depending on choice.

In a digital age, surely there is a more gripping way to probe the panel and involve a wider pool than ‘the lady in the sweater, yes you madam.’ 

While we all love a Dimbleby and I subscribe to the notion every casa (home) should have one, part of any refresh must include a new host, just not anyone who has sat in the middle chair for Have I Got News For You. 

Mind you that’s cutting it down. 

My final nudge, not a swipe, is that someone at Broadcasting House should axe Crimewatch (BBC1, was monthly, then bi-monthly, now not at all). 

In an age of BBC refresh this is one show which should stay, get a makeover and grab viewers once more with reconstructions, serious looking members of HM Constabulary and an anchor from a US news network. 

The daytime spin-off, Crimewatch Roadshow will continue, just don’t confuse it with the one about antiques.

Away from the Beeb if you haven’t caught up with Bad Habits, Holy Orders (Channel 5, Thursday) give it a look. The Daughters of Divine Charity (they are the Nuns in this piece) fling open their convent doors and invite five ladies in.

Young, glamourous, and addicted to social media, body image and themselves, it seems their lives and views of themselves are going change without phones, selfies and make-up. 

So keep watching, just to see what’s in it for the Nuns.

Finally Modern Family (Sky1, Fridays) series nine is launching us into weekends with fresh stories about the everyday family who are anything but everyday, doing ordinary things, in an anything but ordinary way.

Enjoy. 

 

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