Thursday, January 21, 2010

I don't like that thing you like

British people seem to have gone a bit mad lately about television, especially the BBC, and what should or shouldn't be on it. People don't want to have to pay the salaries of Jonathan Ross or Frankie Boyle. They don't want subscription channels to get their precious sporting events. Even the comedian and New Statesman columnist Mark Watson, himself on the receiving end of "we shouldn't have to pay for this" complaints about his BBC 4 show We Need Answers, and a great fan of programming related to football (which I personally would rather nobody wanted to watch), would prefer it if there were fewer dance-related shows on the television and has (in jest, of course) asked for the number to be reduced.

I can't help thinking that everyone needs to calm down and stop wanting the stuff they don't like to be taken off the telly. Your telly is fine, believe me. You have no idea what it's like out there in other countries where they don't have the BBC. You really don't. Complaining about having to pay the license fee to pay the salaries of entertainers you don't like is a little like complaining about having to pay tax for a health service when you never get sick, or a school system when you don't have any children.

But it's easy for me to say, I don't pay for the BBC. Except I do, because I buy DVDs and I pay a Sky+ subscription which funds all those second-run channels that the BBC sells its shows into after they've run on the main channels. So I'm a customer as well. And I like dancing. And Jonathan Ross. Sometimes.

And, to add insult to injury, I, through my license fee, am required to pay the salary of this monstrosity. So you have nothing to moan about.

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