With so many things to do, watching TV in London is usually pushed back to the end of my
personal list. It actually is a more pleasant experience than what it might seem, because the quality mix of the programmes on British TV seems to be more weighted towards the positive side.
It is quite refreshing seeing so many alternatives to rubbish programmes here. Probably, it is partly due to the TV licence doing its work. For those of you reading somewhere else in the world, public television in UK is supported by an annual fee that is used to provide a range of television channels, radio stations and online content. Basically, it is not allowed to watch TV unless the fee is paid. The alternative is TV on demand, ie, online TV, for which one does not need to pay such a fee.
Going back to watching TV in London, I find it interesting to see how audiences in so many countries are this happy with certain type of programmes. I mean those programmes detailing the life and works – for lack of a better word-, of the likes of glamour models. There are some other entertainment programmes designed to amuse while celebrities and anonymous individuals make a fool of themselves skating on ice, in the jungle or in a TV set where they showcase their (probably lack of) skills in different areas.
TV series get most of my votes. The quality control of each production seems to be really strict, especially the BBC ones – and it works. Some of them are just timeless, and they are currently being shown on other national televisions around the world.
I will blog about some of the most popular series and TV programmes on my next post. Watch this space!
There are some types of programmes that I find tend to repeat themselves time after time, with varying degrees of quality:
- Cookery programmes have done really well here to feed my addiction to cook and learn new things. There was a time when every single TV channel had at least one cookery programme of their own at different times and days. As a foreigner, they are a really good source of information in terms of people´s habits and in terms of retail marketing in UK.
I have learnt that Brits do not tend to appreciate their cusine, but they also like discovering other cultures through their food. Big point for that!
- House improvement programmes. This includes programmes on moving houses. Some of them are programmes showing makeovers for families on low income or who need to re-do their house for health or other reasons. The adventurous spirit of the Brits shows in programmes such as Relocation, Relocation, Relocation, where presenters help some lucky ones to find their dream house either in UK or abroad.
- Quiz shows. Now, this is an interesting pastime that Brits do a lot. Several teams competing to get the highest number of points by answering a list of questions. The last question tends to be some sort of guess work-type of question, where teams need to do a lot more brainstorming than in the rest of the excercise. There are regular quiz competitions in pubs every week. Most of them aim at educating their audience, but there are some humorous ones too, where comedians and singers crack a few jokes.
- Comedy programmes have increased a lot over the past 10 years to reflect the current climate. There are so many comedy events everywhere in the country on a regular basis, and quite cheap! In London, this is one of my favourite pastimes.
The celebrity culture also shows here. Some presenters have predictably become some sort of celebrities too. People such as Alexa Chung, Phil Spencer or Jamie Oliver have become staple faces on TV and everywhere else. Well, at least they actually do a real job.