What happened to the Telly?
With the recent spate of high-profile deaths, Terry Wogan, Victoria Wood, Ronnie Corbett, I stop typing as the list for 2016 is depressing, to put it mildly! I have now found myself wondering #WhoNext.
One selfish positive from the passing of a much-loved individual is that TV broadcasts some golden nuggets from its vaults.
Like millions of people, when Sir Terry died in January, I felt grief for someone that I didn’t know, so good was he at the job, we seemed to truly believe we knew him and the outpouring of love for Terry was genuine.
I have been lucky to work with a few famous people in my career, I could list a few, I guess, but you might think I was bombastic or the like. This is about the lost talent not who I may have briefly shared a lift with.
I met Terry Wogan at a radio event and he was charming, utterly charming, friendly, witty, It felt like my own private version of his radio show. I should love to say that I made him laugh, I should like to say I said something that made any sense, I fear I may have just gulped and let out some dribble.
I was starstruck. I would have been quite happy to just stand there and smile and nod at everything he said. I was always a bit in love with Terry and I think at times tried to be like him on the radio. He was marvelous at making me feel that he was really interested in me. Maybe he was, maybe part of his talent was that he was interested in people or just maybe, he was used to people like me just grinning and nodding. He exuded a warmth of humanity that I bought into 100%
Anyhow, after he passed, there were some lovely tributes on TV – His friend, Father Brian D’Arcy spoke of the great man and I had tears rolling down my face as he spoke of his friend.
TV had clips of Terry and his chat show, I laughed and felt a warmth for TV past, when Victoria Wood died in April, again we fans were treated to some classic TV. Macaroons and Women’s Weekly references were everywhere.
Ronnie Corbett had made generations of new comics laugh and yet again, TV was full with some amazing moments of television. I could watch him tell a story for hours.
So, these reminders of TV past, don’t half show up how lacking TV is these days. A sure sign you have become your parents “TV was so much better in the old days” I hate saying it, but it was. Generation Game on a Saturday night, The Two Ronnies, This Week, Boquet of Barbed Wire – and yes I’m showing my age but TV was good.
Of course, the breakup of TV regions has done little for Great TV – Anglia TV in Norwich was one of many powerhouses across the UK. that managed to make TV that the ITV network loved and was sold around the world. It saved money, people lost their jobs and TV lost viewers.
Scores of regional accents and local talent busily making popular TV.
BBC TV centre will soon be some rather smart flats and a hotel.
Saturday morning TV is now a lazy susan of chefs with a drizzle of people that I have try and Wok out – who the hell they are.
Dad’s Army is on a constant loop on BBC2 – I watched House of Cards the first time round and it was brilliant.
We now have more channels than programmes to fill their schedules and I’m left wondering why TV has become so dull. It’s not me is it? Was I spoilt by TV past.
I do find some great TV moments in 2016 – but I’m not sure the variety is there. It all feels as if the butter is being spread a tad thin. How many more singers do we need? What about Lulu? she must be miffed.
But before you shout Poldark, The Night Manager and a few others, It seems many of us have given up on TV – viewing habits have changed of course, but I suggest those habits have evolved in part because many of us can’t find that much that excites us very much.
Imagine Victoria Wood on TV – Terry Wogan doing his thing, Ronnie Corbett discussing the BBC canteen and Weekend World nailing the politicians of the day.
Some drama on channel four that disgusts the Daily Mail and Danger Mouse for kids of all ages.
Don’t get me going on Kids TV. It’s now hidden on digital platforms that very few really watch. Where is the next John Noakes?
Yes. TV was better a few years ago and maybe just maybe I was one of the lucky ones – that could switch the TV on and with just four channels, find something that informed, entertained and educated.
Thanks for the memories, Terry, Ronnie and Victoria.