Three's a crowd: too much political telly

Why must all the Welsh political television programmes be broadcast on the same evening?

I've often wondered why certain types of shops clutch together, so you end up with whole streets specialising in offal, clothes pegs or industrial lubricants. The justification for this is that competition is healthy for niche markets. But that surely doesn't apply to television. Where's the sense in splitting what must already be a small and dedicated audience?

The head of news at ITV Wales joked recently that their flagship current affairs programme, Waterfront, is watched by just sixty viewers. No prizes for guessing who they are.

And so it is that my Thursday evening inevitably becomes the television viewing equivalent of eating an entire pack of Jacob's crackers without taking a glass of water.

First there's Dragon's Bite on the BBC, then over to Pawb a'i Farn on S4C and finally, if I haven't yet gouged out my eyeballs and put them on a cocktail stick with a piece of pineapple, there's Waterfront on ITV. And by that time even the most ardent political junkie has had enough.

Next Thursday, I'm going out for a pint.

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posted by Blamerbell @ 4:26 am,


At 10:54 am, Blogger Chanticleer said...

I agree, it's a pain in the backside if you have a social life on a Thursday. I went out last night, and now my Friday feels incomplete without being able to rant about last night's political programming.

Luckily a friend and I summed up in the pub what was probably happening on the box:

Dragons Eye: an exposé of a council planning department

Pawb A'i Farn: Token Welsh-speaking AMs/MPs and one minor celebrity discussing farming subsidies

Waterfront: Mai and the Old Guy With The Moustache having a ten minute conversation about the week's political activities because they coulnd't get a guest in the studio. And a wonderfully camp report from Nick Speed.

Maybe I should go out more often on a Thursday.

At 11:09 am, Anonymous trev said...

I think you should definitely get out more Chanticleer. And get Sky +, then you can go out, get drunk, come home and watch all the programmes you enjoy whingeing about.
I agree some of these programmes aren't much kop, but i agree with - Welsh politics is shite and you can't polish a t*rd

At 11:23 am, Blogger ianjamesjohnson said...

So, what would make Welsh politics (and Welsh political journalism) good ?

At 11:43 am, Blogger Chanticleer said...

So, what would make Welsh politics (and Welsh political journalism) good ?

More juicy stories, but the Welsh political world isn't big enough for amazing reports every week, which is a shame.

On the whole Wales produces great political programming; often the only people that let the side down are the politicians.

At 12:56 pm, Blogger ianjamesjohnson said...

...and what do you mean by 'juicy' stories?

Does anyone know how Wales compares with other similarly sized countries/states vis-a-vis quality of 'juicy stories'?

And how do we go about improving the 'quality' (value judgement if ever I saw one) of our politicians?

At 1:08 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

Northern Ireland is about half our size but still has more than its fair share of juicy stories.

As for the quality of politicians, that will improve I'm sure as the assembly matures and grows from a glorified council chamber into a fully-fledged parliament.

Then again, we are blessed with a First Minister who'll tell us stuff like 'climate change is great', so we can't really complain about lack of material...

At 2:19 pm, Blogger ianjamesjohnson said...

With its political background, I don't think that NI is a fair comparison - I was thinking more about, say, Denmark, or Flanders, German Lander, Canadian Provinces, that sort of thing. Surely someone at JOMEC has done a comparative study at some point? ;)

Much as I agree that the Assembly will improve, I do think the institution remains handicapped by the loss of 40 senior-tier politicians to Westminster, with the inherent loss of ability, know-how and tactics - and that is what comes through on the politics programmes.


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