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  • Philip Bryer

Life on TV

It’s noticeable that on Sunday evenings, the BBC Weather is communicated to us by a chap in country casuals. Sunday night being dress-down time for TV people. That is, the end of the weekend, rather than the beginning – which is where it starts for many people, with dress-down Friday.

Are TV people so detached from real life as that? Or is this a one-off, perhaps? No it isn’t.

I don’t think there are as many shampoo ads on TV these days as there once were. I remember the Vosene one with affection. It depicted an entire family washing their hair. All in the bathroom at the same time. Dad at the sink, kids in the bath, mum toting the shower head. Just like normal families didn’t.


Watching breakfast TV – I can’t think why I was, but I was struck by the tea and coffee mugs being so ostentatiously waved about by the presenters. Why? Well, OK, it’s breakfast time and they are the breakfast news, so they are doing what we all do in the mornings. Sitting about on the sofa, having inane conversations about what’s in the papers, waving mugs about, and leaning over the back of our seats like we’re trying to attract the attention of the waiter. However, nobody I know has ever taken up their sofa at 5AM and decided to install it in the middle of a shopping centre for 3 painful hours.

Let’s assume the mugs of coffee motif is a workable one. Just for me, please? Why isn’t Sophie Raworth reading the News at 6 with a G&T on the go and a well-earned fag at her lips? Or Fiona Bruce at 10, with a mug of cocoa and, for the Standing Up and Reading the News bit, padding about in her pom-pom slippers?

“Good evening and welcome to Newsnight. I’m Jeremy Paxman, and tonight’s takeaway is a Chicken Dhansak with a free tin of Carling Black Label.”

We wouldn’t have thought any less of him. Apart from the Carling.

“More pilau rice, Home Secretary? Now then, did you threaten to overrule him?

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