Miscellany and detritus, from the writer of Is This Mutton?com

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Friday, May 18, 2012

Here today and gone tomorrow: TV Presenters

I often wonder what happened to TV presenters who, one minute, were ubiquitous on our screens, and the next, pensioned off for being too old.

Sometimes you read an intriguing little nugget. John Leslie, for example, who presented Blue Peter and then This Morning, but was quickly dumped after a scandal, is now apparently a successful property developer.

Mike Smith, a former radio personality and married to Sarah Greene (formerly of Blue Peter) is, we hear, an entrepreneur.

I'm not sure what has happened to Ms Greene and many other ladies we used to see a lot of:  Carol Smillie, Anneka Rice (though she has turned up on Radio 2 on Saturdays), Anna Walker, Philippa Forester, Kate Thornton, Anthea Turner. Gaby Roslin seems to be doing mostly radio, as is Moira Stuart.Fiona Phillips is rarely seen now; she sometimes does the paper review on radio.

What bugs me is that a lot of good, mostly women, presenters disappear and yet current in-vogue presenters are given plum jobs far above their capabilities.

Saba Douglas-Hamilton
Julia Bradbury is good at doing her walks and Richard Hammond is OK on Top Gear. But I wouldn't rate either of them as presenters of natural history. Their juvenile shrieks and attempts to humanise every animal on Planet Earth Live makes the programme a no-no for me. Why didn't the BBC use people who know about natural history? People like Saba Douglas-Hamilton (right).

The latest crop of ubiquitous TV lovelies includes Holly Willoughby, Tess Daley and Fearne Cotton. All entirely interchangeable. They look great in a frock but they make me, the viewer, nervous because I get the impression that if everything went pear shaped on their live show, they wouldn't have a clue what to do. 

I'm always at a loss to know how people like Nicki Chapman, with her nasal voice, manage to get a good string of presenting jobs including the Chelsea flower show. She was one of the judges on the original Popstars programme years ago when she was in the record industry. Why did she give up a good job like that?

Sue Black
Reality TV stars who become TV presenters haven't earned their spurs in my view, nor people like Dominic Littlewood, a former career criminal, who has made a nice living for himself despite Wikipedia referring to him as an untrained journalist.

I like my presenters knowledgeable and I don't particularly care what they look like. I love seeing social historian Ruth Goodman, Professor Mary Beard, Professor Sue Black from History Cold Case and Angela Rippon - still so glamorous in her 60s. We need more women like this on our screens, real role models. Who are your forgotten (or current) favourites?


1 comment

Buggles Balham High Road said...

Nikki Chapman and Dom Littlewood both make my teeth curl. They could only have got so many TV presenting jobs because of who they know and certainly not based on their skills. If either of them get presenting roles on radio I shall have to switch off. A great list!

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