I’m not a great fan of telethons but Friday’s annual Children In Need event was probably the most shambolic example of the genre. Luckily we’re not deluged with telethons in the UK so it’s been years since ITV did anything remotely similar (it was acceptable in the 80’s?) which leaves the BBC’s annual event as the de facto offering apart from Comic Relief every two years.
Amateurish presenting (the art of doing it live is lost on some), the opening number sees the breakdown of two radio mics, poor sound throughout, sniping between guests and the usual forced attempts at comedy. It’s so bad you’ve almost got to watch just to believe that 7 hours of telly can be this bad. Every time they cut to the outside of television centre I kept wanting to see a ‘For Sale’ sign on the building. They should have taken the opportunity to flog it off for charity.
Flogging A Dead Horse?
Content wise the highlights are probably now on YouTube. Kylie singing live unlike the mature Spice Girls who mimed from LA, an all too brief Dr Who vignette where an old Dr returns (they said they wouldn’t do that but I guess it’s all for charity, mate).
Taking A Pay Cut? Presenter Terry Wogan had reportedly waved his fee for this years event after it was revealed last year that he was usually paid handsomely to front the money raising event.£19 million was raised this year and laudible though that is I still find it hard to imagine that if many of those who took part donated a weeks wages each that the total would easily have been dwarfed.Whilst I’m not against the idea of charity I’ve always found the prospect of highly paid entertainers piously encouraging the less well off to dig deep into their poorly paid pockets a teeny bit insulting.
Maybe that sounds like the politics of envy but I find the self aggrandizing and pushing of their own commercial product by many participants as slightly cynical and opportunistic together with the slightly patronising way that the less fortunate are remembered and their plight highlighted on this one day of the year.