TV Cream

Cream over Britain

Dyke it or dump it

If it's good enough for Greg's mum, it's good enough for usYup, that’s the message TV Cream is issuing to the suits at ITV and Channel 4 as they search for a new boss to step in and save their wilting organisations.

Dyke, seen here at this year’s Lib Dem party conference, or possibly by the canal at Camden Lock in 1983 looking for the keys to steal the TV-am barge, has been out of the telly business for too long.

In fact he hasn’t done anything of note since he was sacked by a bunch of posh BBC nabobs in 2004, except help make the tea at Brentford Football Club.

Now, more than ever*, his services as a bona fide small screen Big Beast are needed.

Michael Grade, a man TV Cream foolishly once placed at the top of its barely-read Top 50 Media Movers and Shakers list, has been unable to sprinkle enough glitter over ITV to burnish a place bedecked with a decade and a half’s barnacle logic.

Sure, he spoke often enough about the problem being “the programmes, stupid”, but never seemed able to do anything about – ho ho – the stupid programmes. Or targeting the wrong audiences or the wrong formats or the wrong business decisions or the wrong schedule decisions. He commissioned Britain’s Got Talent because “it reminded me of a vaudeville show”. But that’s about it.

As for Channel 4, the fact nobody knows the name of anybody who runs it, and it’s never in the papers under headlines including the words ‘STORM OVER’, pretty much says it all. The station needs to be causing trouble every week, not resting its arse on a beanbag-sized marathon of Come Dine With Me episodes.

Have things really reached the point where Professor Phil Redmond can deliver another of his stupid speeches and say C4 should take over BBC3 and BBC4, thereby revealing he can’t have watched C4 since about 2001, and has never watched BBC3 and BBC4 at all? Yes. Yes it has.

Here’s what needs to happen. Greg gets appointed as the boss of ITV and Channel 4. There are so few decent telly executives nowadays (by which we mean ones of whose names the public have heard) that there’s just no point giving one of the positions to some box-ticking bulldog clip-counter.

Besides, the channels used to work together and schedule things so as to maximise audiences, and even trail each other’s stuff. That should start happening again.

Greg, in consultation with his mum, should then revamp all the schedules.

He should also come up with a new motto for his yellow cards. Perhaps he could have Smells Like A Hit, with a space just before the H where, if you scratch the surface with a coin, the letter S appears.

None of this should be a problem with the Culture Secretary, because he’s too busy destroying the BBC to notice (SATIRE!).

And if all else fails, Greg should get a primetime show on one or other of the networks, where he sits in shirt sleeves and talks to people in an affable manner. Heavens, it’d be 100 times more interesting than… well, anything that had one hundredth of that amount of interest.

The campaign starts here and it starts TODAY!

*Since the last time.



  1. Andy Elms

    September 20, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Hmm, I suppose you could say Jan de Mol (Fol de Rol) runs Channel 4 and Simon Cowell ITV. All you really need to do is change the headed notepaper to make it official. Not that you’d want to, mind.

    What I’d like to see is Chris Morris as head of C4. Would give it back the edge it needs. And, as you say, Dyke at ITV.

  2. Glenn A

    September 20, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    I wish someone would take an axe to all these rubbish reality shows and useless ITV digital channels which are just dominated by repeats, soap omnibuses and reality shows that are too awful to go on ITV1. Also cut Corrie and Emmerdale down to two episodes a week, bring back the regions and reintroduced childrens programmes, current affairs like World In Action and documentary series like The World At War. I’m sure Greg must weep at the downmarket morass his former employer has become.

  3. brickbat246

    September 20, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    I agree with everything Glenn A has just said above, plus I think the daytime schedule needs to be overhauled as well. Scrap GMTV, This Morning, Loose Women, Dickinson’s Real Deal and re-runs of Midsomer Murders and bring back the 9.25am startup, followed by the Programmes for Schools and Colleges, the noon-to-12.30pm children’s strand, the News at One, quality daytime quizzes such as Lucky Ladders and Gambit, and of course Children’s ITV at 4pm. Oh, and bring back those idents that use to begin and end every single ITV programme.

  4. gerard wiley

    September 21, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    Much of TV right now is slurry….but the answer isn’t to replicate the schedules of 1988 like the suggestions above.

    Brickbat246- when could “Lucky Ladders” ever be considered “quality”?

  5. brickbat246

    September 22, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Lucky Ladders and its ilk were, for me, the highlight of those now long-gone school holidays.

    ITV’s offerings (Runway, Jeopardy, Your Number Please etc) occupied the hallowed 9.25am post TV-am slot, whereas the ones on the BBC (Four Square, Turnabout etc) were shown at about 1.50pm after the first screening of Neighbours.

    And unlike today’s quizzes that rely on dark studio sets, dramatic soundtracks and oh-so-stuffy presenters, they were FUN to watch.

  6. Adrian

    September 22, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    Actually, I think the answer is to replicate the schedules of 1988..

  7. gerard_wiley

    September 22, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    What is clear- as someone who works in TV- is how numerous execs (predictably) have nothing like the kind of enthusiasm for the medium (and its past) that is shown on here. That’s probably why much of TV today has an air of joylessness about it….compared to say 1988, when everything was still guaranteed a big audience and somehow mattered.

  8. goodpudding

    September 22, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    As much as it might be good to go back to ’88, but at least Greg Dyke could remotivate two titans of broadcasting who need it…

  9. Five-Centres

    September 23, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    As gerard Wiley says above, no one who works in TV seems remotely interested in it, and therein lies the problem. It’s all about whether the Guardian likes it, and fuck the viewer.

  10. goodpudding

    September 23, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Here, here for gerald_wiley! May we wish that one day that you get a top job in television, that’s not to know that you haven’t already!

    But whoever you are, long may you be part of the TV Cream community, until the unmasking a la Kendo Nagasaki and we all say “Oh, it was you all time!”

  11. 1988

    September 23, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    Yeah yeah, ‘good old days’… don’t drag me into this!

  12. Glenn A

    September 25, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    I had the misfortune to catch 2 minutes of some mindless reality show with Paris Hilton in on ITV2 last night and realised how useless this once great broadcaster has become. Why don’t they scrap their useless digital channels and concentrate all their resources into the main channel and also stop making crap like I’m A Celebrity and Hells Kitchen. To me, rather than The Guardian dictating its schedule as one poster has suggested, it looks like HEAT magazine and the Daily Star seem to dictate ITV’s programming now.

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