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WARD'S WORLD: Poor TV and celeb culture

Having survived the Christmas period basically unscathed, it was the going out afterwards with caution that has made it different from past years.

Then just as we were possibly looking optimistic and forward to the New Year, we find ourselves in lockdown again.

However one ‘festive’ thing that seems to have united people in general I gather from comments so far is the lacklustre programmes shown on the aptly named terrestrial television. One joke is having a television programme guide from the 1980s to use currently would be about the same content-wise due to so many repeats listed from that era onwards.

Columnist John Ward (43825532)
Columnist John Ward (43825532)

One sort of improvised ‘quiz’ I heard about was one family trying to put a ring round the ‘R’ (for repeat) in a television programme guide but each member using a different coloured pen.

The now celebrity editions (yawn) of anything from dubious quizzes to perhaps a virtual egg and spoon race leaves you guessing as to who the ‘celebrity’ is or was (by the time the programme is repeated a week or two later) as they have gone to ground but are still smiling, bless.

On the bright side, they will perhaps resurface on another (yes, you guessed it) ‘celebrity’ edition of ‘Do You Have Any Idea of Who I Am?’ competing for ‘big star prizes’.

Bearing in mind how many established, real ‘presenters’ we have filling the screen, it’s been pointed out that one such person was or is still being seen in over 15 programmes over this festive time – unless you know of even more.

It’s only reading the evening news and guessing the weather forecast this person has not touched but there is still time of course.

It’s moments like this that make up for the deficit in any real humour on the telly over the ‘festive period’ although I gather repeats from years gone by still get laughs.

Assorted quiz shows, how to cook whatever it is that you will never even think about trying, then buy the ‘accompanying’ recipe book in the sales before taking it to a charity shop within weeks.

Charity shops and car boot sales seem to be turning into the final resting places of assorted cookery, baking books and DVDs but the starting point being they were bought based on a telly programme.

The ‘new kid on the bock’ it seems is furniture restoration.

However if your chosen item to restore does not look ‘as good as the one the bloke on the telly did’ then that book may go via the escape route of the charity shop or car boot sale emporium.

Still wearing the face mask, I ventured not far from home in order to buy basic bits and bobs but nearly got caught up in a low-key ‘sale extravaganza’.

At one time these sorts of events/skirmishes were, or can be if you hung on long enough, quite entertaining as a spectator sport.

This year’s effort so far has been slightly a half hearted event but can you blame anybody for not feeling that enthusiastic as the past year has been an experience in more ways than one.

One ‘bargain sale’ I came across then: I think they may have been a mum and daughter pair who were looking for any possible bargains as one nugget I saw and heard was the mum figure saying: ‘That’s a good price, that is!’

Daughter replied that she brought the same item, same time, last year but the only difference being this one was in a ‘chrome metal look’ but the one she brought then was in ‘a sort of black paint’ finish but same price.

Mum replied that if she bought this chrome one she could just use it ‘in case anybody was visiting’ and keep the other one up ‘for best’.

My only regret is I still don’t really know for sure what the item was as I was not close enough to see as they huddled over the counter.

This is possibly due to the skill nowadays of people shouting at a mobile phone as there seems to be a theory that people, on the other end of a phone, are hard at hearing.

So in the current element of gormless slogans it’s a case of: Dial – Connect – Shout.

It’s hard to take it in now but I can remember not so long ago that people had lives to lead as opposed to nowadays being controlled by their mobile device.

Speaking or writing of mobile devices or phones, another encounter was two ladies of a certain age going over assorted situations that had presented themselves in recent weeks.

One was explaining that she wanted a ‘dinky size mobile phone’ to just keep in touch with relations, friends etc. It seems a salesman had not understood this as he had attempted to sell her something quite the opposite as she was telling her friend.

‘I mean – he said it was over£780 but as I told him, I don’t know that many people even at a pound a person and I don’t want that ‘sodium medium’ (social media) stuff either as I have real friends, like you’.

Her friend then spoilt it slightly by saying she did not have a mobile phone anyway.

On Christmas Eve I was going into a supermarket in the area as two couples bumped into one another, who obviously knew each other, but who had not met for a while judging by the verbal exchange.

One couple was older than the other, who had a daughter about ten years old or so.

The lady of the two eldest smiled as she asked the little girl what ‘Santa Claus would be bringing her this Christmas’ to which the girl replied: ‘I don’t really know what it will look like but I all I want is to be a celebrity’. (!)

I think it tells us that there is something sadly wrong with society these days. Her mum replied: ‘She does watch a lot of television but it’s better than being glued to the internet like most of her friends.’

Perhaps if she did not get her ‘I Wanna Be a Celeb’ outfit in whatever shape or form it was, she may well join her friends on the internet.

Meanwhile enjoy the coming year and think positive if nothing else.

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