Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Anniversaries all round

Update: 28/09/07: Set your TiVo, DVD-R or (hurr-hurr) VCR for 10pm Sunday - More4.

I must declare an interest, but Channel 4 is going to be 25 years old on November 2nd. The uniquely British flavour of the channel warms the heart, I feel. There can be few, if any, countries in the world which can boast such an institution (I hesitate only when thinking of the National Film Board of Canada, though I don't think it really compares) and it is an institution of which I think we should be justly proud.

The remit of the Channel says it all, although the rapidly changing media world is presenting some serious challenges to that way of thinking. My interest means that I am able to distill the remit in a way which is (by and large) taken seriously by the much maligned staff. This is how it is told to those who start work there:

Do it first. Make trouble. Always innovate.

Like a lot of people these days I watch less and less TV, preferring to generate my own content, but I still feel that C4 has the most interesting (looking) programmes, and when I catch them I feel I was right. Over 25 years, there have been some crackers. I know that this has been done before, but I have been thinking about some highlights. I would like to share them with you and ask for any opinions you may have.

So, here's my ten of the best:

Murun Buchstansangur.

The Tube.

After Dark.

Brass Eye.


Phoenix Nights.

A Very British Coup. (I confess - I have never seen it all the way through, though I have read the book. There is a reason, but I will save it for a later post)

The Comic Strip Presents...

Father Ted.

Countdown. (No. Really!)

And ten hmmms:

Deal Or No Deal. (If you share my estimation of Noel Edmonds, this is 25 seconds well spent, I can assure you)

Richard & Judy.

100 Greatest Whatevers.

Cook Yourself Thin.

Scheduling (Especially of The Sopranos.) (All over the shop, to make way for BB)

The Great Global Warming Swindle. (An example [imho] of shock for the sake of it, which caused far too much blowback on such an important issue)

The Charlotte Church Show.

Let's Talk Sex. (Because Davina is insufferable)

A Place in The Sun (or Greece, or France...)

You Are What You Eat.

This is a little early I know, but I'm experimenting for a post on MeFi.


EP said...

I see you didn't include Big Brother (well, except tangentially) in either list. Do you have no strong feelings on it? Whilst I admit I am no more immune than anyone else to the voyeuristic compulsion to keep watching once you start watching I think it stinks as TV and C4 have a lot to answer to for really kick-starting the rash of "reality" shows since. I can only think the world would be a better place without them. All of them.

Still like C4 a lot though. The news is excellent and as far as comedy is concerned there is only BBC 2 and C4 worth watching.

Myeral said...

BB is bigger than an elephant, so I deliberately left it out. I think it has been interesting (George Galloway, anyone?) but, like a lot of TV, once someone's onto a good thing, they just can't let it lie. The last series both sucked and blowed.

Agreed on C4 news & comedy. Think BBC2 is catching up on docs a bit now.

Myeral said...

Set your TiVo for 10.00 Sunday night, More 4