Who remembers the BBC tv comments show, Points of View? Those plummy voiced actors reading carefully selected viewer’s letters, often from some outraged retired colonel from Tunbridge Wells. Why did Yorkshire housewives all sound like a Debutante from Kensington? Why, oh why, oh why…did they take it off air (Apparently not! it is still running, hosted by slitherey Jeremy Vine) For those too young to remember Robert Robinson or Barry Took, here is a video of Barry Took presenting a programme in 1985:
But now, there is a new way to feedback our views of Television, and not just the BBC’s output. I tuned in last night for the first time to GoggleBox on Channel 4. This show is filmed using static cameras, positioned as the TV looking out, recording various familes and groups of friends watching TV. It’s like the Royle family but live ( the narration of Caroline Aherne provides another subtly suggestive nod to Wivvenshaw’s finest ) The real families are a cross section of 2014 Britain with young and old, black, brown and white, north and south. You are basically watching a TV show where other people are watching TV shows that you have or have not seen It is strangely addictive on many different levels.
Each week they watch a series of different programmes, a remarkable mix of content from When Corden met Barlow to Andrew Marr’s politics show with Nigel Farage and David Milliband. This last one provided my favourite moment as posh pisshead, Dominic, shouts at Milliband “Answer the effin question you Tw*T” Part of the fun is watching the interaction between the people watching. You see a lot of eating , swearing and a surprising amount of emotional involvment in the material broadcast. It is Britain today on both sides of the screen. Here is a brief extract of an episode from the last series:
What you cannot avoid is the urge to identify with some of the goggleboxers more than others. After just one show , I am already feeling like a synthesis of Leon, the eighty year old retired teacher, Dominic the posh one and a bit of the taciturn Siddiqui guys. You could also add in a splash of Sandra, Brixton’s answer to Carmen Miranda ( check out the nails ) for sheer madness!
I love the way everyone has their own seat in the lounge, just as we do. We are all different yet all the same.It’s out now, its OK to interact with the TV. I am off to check out catch up Channel 4 for more. Which Goggleboxer are you?