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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Abolish vile premium rate phone-ins

I was hoping that the recent scandals around TV show phone-ins would result in some big changes. I wasn't naive enough to assume they would go away - clearly the broadcasters, production companies and telephony companies are making too much money for that to happen - but I was hoping the watchdog would set some rules.

Fat chance. Another toothless watchdog with some pathetic guidelines. "Callers should be told when they've spent £10 or more. Callers should be told how many other people have rung in." Duh. How about: callers should be told that contrary to what the programme is telling you, the winner has been chosen, so hang up now? Or that your chances of winning are virtually zero so why waste a pound, loser?

I just happened to catch the last few minutes of a BBC children's TV programme just now, "Extreme Animals." I was horrified to see a phone-in at the end, with kids being urged to call a premium rate number to vote for their favourite animal. This is such appallingly bad TV, and so greedy for the BBC to try to fleece parents' phone bills.

I would like to see the regulator ban phone-ins from all children's programmes plus phone-ins which are not linked to a public vote, for example Big Brother, the shows to select pop stars / musical stars and Eurovision. Let's scrap the rest. We should treat viewers with more respect rather than urging them to waste money on voting for their favourite animal or which meal the chef should cook. After all, as we now know, the chef has already cooked the meal, Richard and Judy's winner has already been chosen and the GMTV ten grand challenge doesn't bother with you if you live in a block of flats or somewhere inaccessible for cameras.

1 comment:

Retro Attic said...

You've been tagged. Check my blog to find out what I mean!


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