Chavtastic ITV 

27 August 2006

Cracker creator blasts ‘chav’ TV – The Observer

I’ve been saying it – here and in other places – for years. Now Jimmy McGovern, one of Britain’s most talented writers, is also saying it.

At the Edinburgh Television Festival, he is reported to have said: “I am delighted to see the state ITV are in. It is simply because they have utter contempt for their audience. These executives don’t sit around and say, what kind of intelligent, informative, thought-provoking programmes would we like to watch? They think, what will the ignorant plebs that watch our channel want to see? They have total contempt for their audience, which is largely working class.”

He couldn’t be more right. By holding its audience in contempt, ITV holds us all in contempt. They have, for years, acted like viewers are stupid. Probably from the reasonable basis that anyone who watches ITV must be a bit thick.

But this attitude – and the rot it brings with it – must stop. Because ITV’s contempt for its viewers bleeds into the other broadcasters. So the BBC starts to get contemptuous. Channel 4 is futher down that road (Sky has always hated its viewers, so probably doesn’t count – unless you’re prepared to suggest that Sky – and News International, at the end of the day – are the ultimate cause of the rot).

And, to cap it all, Charles Allen, now safely sidelined and off to pollute the boardrooms of other FTSE-100 companies, now says ITV’s problems are “self-inflicted”. Well, duh.

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