Belfast Telegraph

TV View: Wanted - BBC NI Executive who put this man on late at night

By Joe Nawaz

Have you seen this TV programme? Distinguishing features: short, warm, funny and hugely approachable, and oh yes, the highest rating BBC2 sitcom ever.

It was last spotted in the TV schedules on BBC2 at Monday Night, 10pm, but eyewitness accounts testify that when they switched on their televisions on Monday night at the appointed time, they were faced with a barrage of dodgy, soapy acting in Irish, followed by the announcement: "Gay men and their right to give blood. Tough questions for Edwin Poots today in Stormont."

The announcer unfortunately forgot to forewarn viewers that scenes of an entirely distressing nature were about to unfold before their eyes, and what came next horrified even the most resilient viewers.

An inmate of a local institution in the Stormont area tried to convince a half empty chamber that MSM (men having sex with men) was an actual acronym.

Many are receiving treatment for shock. "I wanted to see the best sitcom on telly," said one shaken student viewer.

"What I got was this sick and unfunny local joke. Is this what I'd hypothetically pay my licence fee for?"

Fresh evidence has revealed that Rev was in fact seen later that evening by accident, by a couple of insomniacs still distressed by Stormont Today.

One woman came forward to give this chilling account: "I was on my second valium, but it wasn't doing any good, I could still see Minister Poots in my mind's TV, his ears enflamed with embarrassed rage, flapping on about gays and other things he appeared to have little or no grasp on. Then suddenly, without warning Rev appeared on my screen. Of course I thought I was hallucinating, but sure enough it was. I could have cried."

The woman, who wishes to remain nameless, added: "It must have been around midnight.

I was about to go wake my husband, who's a big fan – but then I remembered he had work in the morning and sure he'd suffered enough tonight. I myself was too tired to watch the whole show after midnight, and passed out on the settee.

I remember thinking before I drifted off that I had a good mind to write to my MLA about this, then I realised that my MLA was Edwin Poots."

Since this incident, fresh leads have been followed up. These revolve around the sinister markings "except Northern Ireland", which were subsequently discovered at the site of the Rev TV Listing.

Investigators are ruling out at this stage any notions of ritual sacrifice by BBC NI executives, but are following up similar disappearances or sinister "relocations" in the schedules, such as Jools Holland and Question Time, which have been mysteriously replaced by what some experts have verified as "cheap local content".

Authorities have now taken The View in for questioning in connection not only with this case, but an earlier unsolved incident involving Hearts and Minds. And in spite of all the outrage, puzzlement and general mystery, still the words "except Northern Ireland" run through this case like a stick of cheap Portrush rock, leaving us local folk afeared for where it will strike next in the TV schedules. Good night, sleep tight, and thank your god for iPlayer.



HOW come it took an army of BBC NI reporters to convey the simple fact that yer man from Hogwarts visited that other mythical creature one can scarcely believe exists in this day and age?

I’m talking, of course, about the visit of the lovely President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, to the Queen and the “historic blah blah blah” that ensued. Every possible permutation and tenuous link was devoured, regurgitated and pored over on our behalf.

We just had to sit there with our TV dinners and gawp in wonder at the “historic blah blah blah” that was happening. Two things raised an eyebrow in the midst of all this excitable gushing. Firstly, the usually unflappable Donna Traynor getting a tad over-excited on the all-important dining dimensions at the official banquet.

“I’ve been reliably informed it’s 55 metres long and nine metres wide,” she giggled, and added: “I wouldn't like to be doing the washing up on that!”

Luckily, Donna, the Queen has minimum wage staff for just such eventualities.

The other thing was Martin McGuinness justifying his new-found fondness for Her Madge in a manner that might be described as disassociative.

“It’s the right thing for my community. It’s also the right thing for the republican community,” he averred, with the phrase “paging Dr Freud” ringing in many a cynic’s ear.



JUST when you thought TV had run out of ways to tell you you’re too fat, thin, ugly, hairy, unsightly, stupid, poor (or if you’re posh, have too small a property portfolio), then Secret Eaters (C4) lumbers into view.

The genius of this format is it takes fat people in denial, and then throws them to the crocodiles.

Geddit? No, me neither.

Witness unhappy, overweight people maintaining that they don’t overeat, before being shown reels and reels of footage of them eating giant Toblerones and devouring whole pizzas.

Then squirm as they’re made to cry about it, all in the name of infotainment.



The Trip To Italy (BBC2): I was livid about the scheduling of the second series of The Trip..., but only because it forces me to stay in of a Friday evening. And The Trip To Italy is probably the only show that’ll do that (well that, and Gardener’s World). It’s funny as hell, and the scenery’s not bad either. Elsewhere, Louis Theroux’s LA stories continued to enthral.



Peaches Geldof’s death (Various): Peaches Geldof died this week. What do you mean you didn’t hear? There wasn’t a TV channel, serious news programme that didn’t have a take on it. More alarming was the outpouring of grief the media felt the need to conduct us in. A very sad day for friends and family certainly. The rest is really none of our business. If only…

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