I’ve just delivered the sequel to ‘Paperboy’ and hope my lovely publisher will like it enough to take it on. At the start of the book I set up the seventies period and mention a few differences between old British TV shows and new ones.
This was a bit of a cheat as I haven’t seen much modern television. So I thought I should give Saturday night TV a bash. Tonight I saw ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, in which a fat astrologer from the eighties jumped about in a gold suit and everyone looked as if they’d come as a different Quality Street sweet.
Then I flicked to ‘The X Factor’, which seemed to be using more electricity than an Essex housing estate, and was edited by someone taking lots and lots of cocaine. There was a beautiful girl who looked like a black Anita Harris in a suit, and Gary Barlow proved why he’ll never have an acting career.
At first I thought there was something wrong with the colour on the TV. Then I realised that these shows followed a long happy tradition of allowing nine year-old girls to watch gay men at teatime on British television while their sexually frustrated dads ogled hefty women in split spangles. I could love Saturday night TV.
What Old shows Turned Into
Opportunity Knocks â€“ The X Factor
Come Dancing – Strictly Come Dancing
The Brains Trust – Newsnight
Watch With Mother â€“ C-Beebies
Sunday Night At The London Palladium â€“ Britainâ€™s Got Talent
No Hiding Place â€“ Inspector Morse
Simon Dee â€“ Jonathan Ross
Fannie Craddock â€“ Nigella Lawson
Dixon Of Dock Green â€“ The Bill
Larry Grayson â€“ Alan Carr
Emergency Ward Ten â€“ Casualty
The Archaeology Show â€“ Timewatch
Upstairs, Downstairs â€“ Downton Abbey