Moan, moan, moan! HM and Auntie

Hate to have a go at the BBC. One has a sort of built-in respect for old Auntie, doesn’t one. On the other hand . . . Anyway, in Bill’s Underground Edition last week I couldn’t get off my mind the fact that the dear old girl had been hauled over the coals quite a bit. Nothing like a bit of a gloat, what? So I decided to do a bit of film editing – all in my imagination, of course! Here’s what I said. Oh, I feel a moan about clichés coming on because I can’t get the phrase ‘the Brown bounce’ out of my mind; so tune into The Underground Edition on and after 29 July. The highlight of the show is of course me, but Bill plays some bloody good music before and after me. Come to think of it, you could always skip my bit. Anyway, I digress. This is was I said last week, folks.


Good old BBC, eh? Good old Auntie. She’s really got her knickers in a twist lately, hasn’t she, what with that faked footage of the Queen and a few faked phone-ins?As for phone-ins, let me say straightaway that anyone who’s been diddled deserves all they get. Yes, I’m being a cantankerous git, because I think they have part of their brain missing – if they ever grew a brain in the first place.No, I don’t think TV companies should get away with tricking people, and they should be brought to book, yes. But, really, who in their right mind is going to spend up to one pound fifty a minute and more to enter some stupid quiz. Oh, I’m not talking about a Blue Peter quiz here – the BBC, to give it credit, doesn’t hype up any charges, or, as far as I know, even make any charges for that kind of thing. I just used that as an excuse for rant.

No, I’m talking about Channel 4 and other independent companies and these things you often accidentally come across if you’re channel hopping on Freeview, with some ditzy young thing chosen because of her curves and her toothpaste smile, as she grins inanely at you and urges you to phone in to answer a question that’s so blindingly easy to answer that it’s no wonder they get thousands of people phoning in. Of course, they don’t have to part with as much in prizes as they make from premium-rate numbers, with thousands of blithering idiots phoning them.

Can’t these viewers see what’s going on? Can’t they see that they’re being shafted right, left and centre?

As for her dear majesty, our gracious lady the Queen. Well, with a bit of mischievous tweaking of the chronology of events in some video footage, she was seen to be storming out of a photoshoot with the famous snapper Annie Leibovitz. What a corker of an opportunity to rearrange footage.I did a bit myself the other day. You know, got the odd thing off YouTube, filmed a few of my friends who’re nightclub bouncers, used a bit of CGI, as they do in Doctor Who. Great fun.Scene one. Her Majesty sits majestically, being photographed. A crown is on her head. Cut to picture of Annie Leibovitz with camera in hand. Liebovitz says something. Indistinct. Voiceover says, ‘And Ms Leibovitz is asking Her Majesty to take something off. It seems to be her crown.’Cut to Her Gracious Majesty, who is seen shaking her head. Use CGI here to disguise the fact that the background is that of last year’s Trooping of the Colour.Cut to back shot of Leibovitz seeming to rage (use stand-in double here). Cut to Her Gracious Majesty, rising from chair. Use CGI to hide the fact that this is from the end of last year’s State Opening of Parliament.

Her Gracious Majesty nods to her left. Cut to two large, gorilla-like, shaven-headed gentlemen wearing evening dress and knuckledusters. Cut to back shot of Leibovitz as shaven-headed gentlemen approach. Again, stunt double will be required, since this shot has not been agreed in Ms Leibovitz’s contract. Gentlemen with shaven heads, evening dress and knuckledusters give her a good nutting.Cut to Her Gracious Majesty nodding with approval and smiling. Use CGI to hide the fact that this was taken during a recent tour of Australia.Yes, I think I might just make it as a cinematographer. I wonder if there are any jobs going at the BBC. Perhaps they’ll organise a phone-in competition for budding filmmakers.

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About Andrew John

Andrew John is a writer, editor and broadcaster with Celtica, providing, among other things, a weekly moan on a topic in the news. He spends much of his life moaning and criticising, and is crap company at parties. But just humour him. He's not a bad bloke, really.

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