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We’re not all high - tech whizz kids so Beeb take account of the needs of the majority


Bang crash wallop - fireworks a plenty, partying until the early hours, carnivals in the streets, barbecues in the back yards and joyous celebrations of national pride. But don’t panic folks, the Scots haven’t taken over from we Sassenachs – yet. It is of course American Independence Day and we don’t hold any ancient grudges do we? Unlike the House of Commons invasion force of north of the border kilts, apparently determined to take over Mr Milliband’s old job as chief point-scorer. So good luck to our Yankee friends across the pond – oh and have a nice day!

But perhaps I shouldn’t use the word Yankee – or Sassenachs come to that, for fear someone might find them offensive, which they certainly aren’t meant to be. One has to be ultra-careful these days treading gingerly through the maize of politically correct eggshell minefields, with an ever-increasing mountain of expressions which were perfectly acceptable in my youth but are now infra-dig or even illegal - whether they deserve to be or not. It seems my use of the word ‘girlie’ to describe the Victoria Derbyshire show has caused sufficient concern for someone to suggest I am sexist. Or was it because I was critical of Auntie Beeb and the show itself? The letter – Mercury June 26th is not clear on this point. If it was the former, I apologise profusely to anyone I may have upset, I certainly did not intend it to be demeaning in any way and I’ll add the word to my ‘unacceptable’ list immediately.

But if it’s the latter I make no apology whatsoever. I have nothing against Victoria Derbyshire, she - or perhaps I shouldn’t use that word either, is a very competent and professional presenter. My beef is with the Beeb producers who (of course) insist the programme is a ‘ground-breaking’ success. Dismal audience figures do not support this claim and as for ground-breaking, when are these arrogant suits at the BBC going to wake up to the fact the vast majority of viewers are not high-tech whizz-kids obsessed with all the latest gismos and gadgets, but ordinary button-pushing, knob-twiddling folk who simply want to watch television?

The BBC’s 24-hour news programme has seen much tweaking and tinkering during its bumpy digital journey, but now lays claim to being ‘Britain’s most watched news channel’. As such, my complaint is that magazine-style content - such as Victoria’s meaningful thought-provoking debates for which she is rightly acclaimed, has no place in a 24/7 rolling news service. And in my view, inclusion of special interest programmes such as Click and film reviews is questionable, except as brief fillers. I agree the repetitive loop can be tedious when news is thin on the ground but there is usually something of note going on somewhere and breaking news should surely take precedence over the frequently self-opinionated flag-wavers for often obscure causes, best catered for by BBC2 and other channels.

And of course there’s always the on-off switch!


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