Here is an admission. At the end of an evening I sometimes sit in front of the television and surf the channels in a desultory manner. I have a forlorn hope of finding something of interest.

Then last night a strange thing happened. I came across a channel that had a man appearing to surf television channels in a desultory sort of way and making pithy comments about the crap he found on them. This got my interest and I allowed myself to watch more than my usual 1.5 seconds that is usually sufficient to gauge if a programme has any merit whatsoever.

Fifteen minutes later I was still watching and even disappointed that the programme was ending and then dismayed when I was informed it was the last in the series.

The programme was Newswipe, (10pm, on BBC4) hosted by Charlie Brooker who is a columnist for the Guardian I now discover through Google. The format is loosely based on the Daily Show which is hosted by a sarcastic comedian. However that show is American which makes it er.., American in substance. Newswipe is decidedly British and Charlie Brooker is irreverently British in his acerbic cynicism. There is lots of swearing and amusing analogies and sketches and, get this, damning disclosures from insiders. Last night, for example, had an insider talking about the ‘dark arts’ that newspapers use to get some of their information. These ‘arts’ are all illegal and corrupt.

Then there was an ex MP (I think) who explained the collusion between the newspapers and the government. The newspapers make something out to be spontaneous and ‘people’ inspired (the actual item discussed was immigration control) which forces the government to act. In reality, the entire scenario is pre planned and scheduled with the newspapers. Frightening stuff.

I was surprised that such scurrilous and damning revelations had managed to get onto mainstream television, you would have thought someone in a position of power and privilege would have wanted to stop it.

However it got there, I would like to congratulate the people who put it there. What a refreshing change it was for television to have some precocious child in the audience hooting their amusement at the naked emperor trying to assert his pathetic superiority.

I look forward to the next series.

One Response to “Newswipe”

  1. N says:

    I also wipe with newswipe. It’s soft and strong but as you say not very long.
    Reninds me a bit of a magazine version of what the papers say…is that still on tv? As you know I have not had one for years, iplayer is now straining my processor as a virtual tv. How insidious the addiction. It abhors the vacuum and has inveigled its way into my apparently tv needy life. btw I just enailed you re- g.i.d museum pic for a boot and forgot to say I’m gonna reorder the album with seekers of oblivion as track 3 and no man of god studio version (don’t need it)…just for this burn….thought I’d mention it as it may solve an album disappointment issue I have long held.

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