Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Figuring out Five

The anticipation, hype and subsequent disenchantment the accompanied the launch of launch of Channel 5 in 1997 is comparable to that surrounding the England team at the 2010 World Cup. In fact, it is an analogy with considerable elasticity - just as England appeared a relic of a bygone age as younger, more nimble opponents buzzed around them, so Channel Five was the last hurrah of the analogue era. England had 4-4-2, a formation that apparently stifles innovation and freedom of expression. Channel Five, of course, had the three Fs - Football, Films and Fucking. Oh, and Family Affairs, of course.

It would be nice to think that the channel has moved on since then, but really and truly it remains impossible to love. In the multi-channel world, where there are four ITVs, more 4s than you can shake a remote control at, and the three Fs are on every other station on the EPG, Five just feels like an anomaly. These days, of course, they've got Neighbours and Home And Away, and occasionally they even show some weighty documentaries in between the US imports that dominate Primetime. But just as Woolworths could never pull off being highbrow too, it's hard to see Channel Five becoming the thinking person's TV channel.

So does Richard Desmond have planned for it? Well, "highbrow" is not a word that immediately springs to mind when considering the proprietor of the Daily Express. And as Private Eye never tires of pointing out, he's got plent of TV channles that doe the third of the three Fs already. Films? Not a chance. What about football? Well, you can't build a broadcasting empire on showing the Europa League.

Unlike the channel itself, whatever happens should be very interesting to watch.

1 Comments:

At 11:00 PM GMT+1 , Blogger Rish said...

Haha. I guess the problem they have is that vast parts of the country still can't get Five, and the rest don't care. When I am not at work I do occasionally watch Neighbours (bizarrely my Freeview signal breaks up on Five but is usually ok for the repeat on Fiver), but would rather stick knitting needles in my eyes and ears than watch the abomination that is their (ahem) flagship show "Live from Studio Five". If Desmond's empire removes Ian Wright from our screens then it will be an improvement...

 

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