Friday, February 01, 2008

I Closed My Eyes

There is something unsettling about the fact Andrew Lloyd Webber has admitted he ‘planted’ his next Maria in Hollyoaks three months before she started her role in the West End. It’s just another example of how TV land views its public. First the numerous phone-in scandals, showed utter contempt for the viewer, and the recent show(s) Echo Beach and Moving Wallpaper, demonstrated that those in TV think people not only want watch trashy, clichéd ridden soaps, but also how these soaps get made. Lloyd Webber's revelation is another example of TV slapping itself on the back and thinking it's jolly clever.

British television can produce some wonderful stuff – comedy, documentaries, nature shows – and I accept that more ‘lightweight’ programming has its place and its audience. But when you have a show on Channel 4 providing screen time for an actress who will star in a west-end show for a man who has mystifyingly taken over BBC1 with nothing more than jumped-up karaoke shows, and with more to come, it just becomes too much to bear.

The next show Lloyd Webber will be inflicting on to a strangely accepting public will be “I’d Do Anything” for a role in Oliver. An apt title I feel.

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