Saturday TV ratings (5th January 2013)

Before I reveal Saturday’s TV ratings, let me focus on two of Saturday’s programmes:

Splash! – Not the best television. Awful in fact. Filmed at a random public swimming pool in Luton.

Attenborough’s Galapagos – Months of amazing footage from the best natural history broadcaster ever. Filmed in one of the most extreme and hard-to-reach locations on the entire planet.

So, what about Saturday’s TV ratings then?

Splash! 5.6m (23.6% of the audience)

Attenborough’s Galapagos 0.48m (2% of the audience).

Everyone, please make better television choices. Think of David Attenborough’s poor little face when he heard about that…

30 years of CITV

To mark 30 years of children’s programming on ITV, the digital channel ‘CITV’ is programming a whole weekend of Old Skool kids TV.

I am not ashamed to admit that I am recording most of it on my Sky Planner and I am little bit excited to see programmes like T-Bag, Spatz, Fun House and Wizadora again.

The full schedule is listed here:

Saturday 5th January

09.25 Mike & Angelo
09.50 Super Gran
10.15 Wizadora
10.30 T-Bag Strikes Again
10.50 Engie Benjy
11.05 The Raggy Dolls
11.15 Puddle Lane
11.35 Count Duckula
12.00 The Sooty Show
12.25 Art Attack
12.40 The Big Bang
13.00 Finders Keepers
13.30 Fun House
14.00 Knightmare
14.30 Fraggle Rock
15.00 The Worst Witch
15.30 Woof!
16.00 Dramarama
16.30 Press Gang
17.00 The Tomorrow People (90’s Version)
17.30 Children’s Ward

Sunday 6th January

09.25 Mike & Angelo
09.50 Spatz
10.10 Huxley Pig
10.30 Rainbow
10.50 Button Moon
11.05 The Riddlers
11.15 Rosie & Jim
11.35 Dangermouse
12.00 Sooty & Co
12.25 How 2
12.40 Finger Tips
13.00 Jungle Run
13.30 Fun House
14.00 Knightmare
14.30 Fraggle Rock
15.00 My Parents are Aliens
15.30 Woof!
16.00 Dramarama
16.30 Press Gang
17.00 The Tomorrow People (90s Version)
17.30 Children’s Ward

The X Factor controversy

The production company behind the X Factor has denied accusations that last night’s elimination was set-up by producers.

Carolynne Poole was controversially told to leave when Louis Walsh opted for ‘Deadlock’. This was after he stated that he wanted Rylan Clark to leave.

So why did Walsh seem confused at what decision to make?

Twitter users last night suggested that Walsh was told what to do by show bosses, after this picture emerged.

It is speculated by journalists who were in the audience that the man talking here to Walsh during Carolynne Poole’s performance is Richard Holloway. Mr. Holloway is the Managing Director of Thames and the Executive Producer of the X Factor UK and X Factor USA. In other words, he is the boss of the programme and the buck stops with him.

Responding to the allegations on Social Media last night, a spokesman said: “Carolynne had the least amount of public votes. Producers always chat to judges during the show.”

I am not sure why people are up in arms about this. The X Factor is an entertainment reality show and whether bosses influence judges decisions or not is irrelevant. In fact, it is obvious to me that this probably happens on many programmes like this one.

The judges, mentors or presenters are only employed to be the faces of the programme. I very much doubt that producers leave the direction of the show solely to them.

Producers are there to create drama, suspense and conflict. Without these elements there would not be a TV show worth airing.

I am certainly not suggesting that any production company or television show fixes the public vote and there is no such evidence to suggest that this is even the case.

But is it editorially justified for producers to influence decisions and sway the programme in a particular direction or storyline? Absolutely. It is what they are paid to do.

Urgent: Missing 5-year-old April Jones


This is 5-year-old April Jones. Around about this time on a Tuesday morning she should be getting ready for a day at school, but she’s been missing since last night.

April was playing with friends near her home in Machynlleth, Mid-Wales but was seen getting into a light coloured van at around 19:30 GMT.

Remember her face and share the photo.

The first few hours in a missing persons investigation are crucial. If you have information or a lead, call 0300 2000 333

Let’s find April.


Diet Tips or Lazy Journalism?


Dieters of the world – British newspapers have come with good news…

After years of being told to cut white bread out of our diets to lose weight, a recent study has been published in some of Britain’s newspapers, which has apparently found that white bread is actually good for you.

According to the London-based foundation that published the report: “bread is an important source of nutrition…” and they go on to rubbish the health warnings that it can lead to bloating, development of wheat allergies and even weight gain.

So who is this saviour to ravenous dieters of the world? Well, they are called the ‘British Nutrition Foundation’.

But is the ‘BNF’ an independent organisation? Are they impartial? To my knowledge, not one of the journalists that ran this story took the time answer these questions and write about the source of the study.

I am not a qualified journalist, but all it took was one click on the internet to find out that the ‘BNF’ has been criticised in recent times for its close relationship to the food industry. The Foundation receives funding from a large amount of food manufacturers and distributors in the UK, including: McDonalds, Tate and Lyle, Nestle and Sainsbury’s.

Furthermore, many members of the board of trustees are or have been employees of the food industry, including Paul Hebblethwaite who used to be its Chairman. More interestingly, Mr. Hebblethwaite is an ex-employee of Chivers-Hartley – a major manufacturer of jam products. (Jam goes well with toast, apparently…)

Should we take this study with a pinch of salt? (Or rather a handful of dough?) Surely it is in the best interest of the British Nutritional Foundation to encourage us to eat more white bread and boost falling sales?

It seems the newspapers helped them broadcast their message quite well…

MTV ‘The Valleys’


I, like most people in Wales, watched ‘The Valley’s’ last night in shame. I actually found myself ‘tutting’ and ‘huffing’. (Suddenly I turned into the grumpy, old git I never wanted to turn into).

Obviously, the programme was a complete misrepresentation of Welsh life. If you look at the Twitter trends you’ll see that most people in Wales have been saying the same thing.

However, let’s not forget that the programme was never commissioned to be a serious piece of Factual Television like the stuff we see on a channel like BBC Four. It’s a ‘Reality’ format developed for MTV – an entertainment channel aimed at adolescent teens.

Reality programmes are quick and cheap to produce and attract a young audience in millions. They are cast with larger than life people (or annoying attention seekers as I like to call them) and these shows aren’t supposed to be taken seriously. This programme in particular was never supposed to accurately reflect Wales.

The reason reality formats are so popular is because we watch them to make us feel better about our own un-filmed lives. We certainly don’t watch them to educate or inform.

If the Executive Producer, Commissioner and other top dogs at MTV were monitoring social media last night, they would’ve been very satisfied with what they were seeing. ‘The Valleys’ was THE most talked about television show on Twitter with 82,403 Tweets. It was probably also the biggest ‘water cooler moment’ in offices across the country today too. Free advertising for the Network at no extra cost.

In that sense the producers did their job – excellently.

Don’t get me wrong. I thought it was terrible television. But I wonder how many of those other viewers with similar negative opinions will tune in again next week?



This is going to be the home of my thoughts and opinions on all things topical. I’d better introduce myself first…

Vital stats:

Name: Matt

Age: 28

Location: Cardiff

Work: Broadcast Media

Twitter: @ThisIsMattL

I hope you enjoy what I have to write about.