Anyone in the UK who has had insomnia recently cannot have failed to see what occupies ITV1's late slot nowadays, the braincell depleting The Mint. On some programmes they have phone in quizes to act as the filler in between the good bits. The Mint is basically that filler spread over 4 long painful hours. As they make their money from people phoning in the questions are designed to be both lacking in any kind of intellectual stimulation whilst simultaneously being difficult to get, hence the questions are designed to have several dozen right answers, but you don't know which they have as the answer. So you get something like name a city beginning with B and the calls will flood in:
Presenter: Hello who's on the line.
Caller: It's David from Watford.
Presenter: OK what's your answer.
Presenter: Good answer! Let's see if it's there...... No bad luck. Who's next?
Caller: It's Danielle from Spalding. Is it Norwich?
Presenter: Let's see... Oh no it has to begin with B. Who's next?
Caller: It's Kevin from London.
Presenter: You sound like you've had a good night eh.
Presenter: What's your answer:
Caller: Is it Barnsley?
And this continues for hours on end. The presenters are evidently under instructions not to allow any dead air time so they constantly babble about inconsequential drivel that a Radio 1 DJ might consider inane, when they aren't taking calls. The right to run terrestrial television companies came with a responsibility to produce programming of a certain quality and that obligation should be enforced until the switch to digital is complete, at which point ITV will be able to show any pap they wish as they no longer have a captive market.
Samizdata quote of the day
4 hours ago