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The Andrew Goff Column

TV CRIMES

18-08-2006

OK. On telly the other night was The Real Story with Fiona Bruce; Restoration Village with Gryff Rhys Jones; Betjeman and Me (in which celebrities pay tribute to John Betjeman); and along with a few other items, Eddie Jordan's Bad Boy racers.

Celebrity specials if ever there was.

I don't know how many budding actors, actresses, presenters and others are turned out by RADA, Central School and the like each year but surely from that output there must be stars in the making.

Instead of paying Fiona Bruce (who's already on a reported £150,000 a year for presenting the news) why can't they pay some budding youngster to present the link between recycling computers and fraud?

She may be a great newsreader but why does she have to handle this mundane job as well?

Do licence fee payers only watch this sort of thing because F Bruce is the presenter or because it's a relatively interesting subject?

By the same token, why do we need celebrities to tell us what a great poet John Betjeman was? The subject is surely enough without editorial flowering by well-known faces.

And why, on earth, do we tolerate Gryff Rhys Jones being paid from our licence fee to present anything?

We seem to have lost the link between watch-ability and subject matter.

It all hangs on the celebrity in charge. Or at least that's what the comissioners seem to think.

Come on TV companies. There's a host of talent in this country that's crying out for work.

We must stop this reliance on famous presenters who are paid a fortune then, to justify their huge salaries, are given other jobs on the side.

The sooner we break this cycle of celebrity promotion the quicker the licence fee can be reduced and the quicker commercial TV can start putting money back in to production.

Maybe then viewers will start returning to the goggle box in the corner.

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