Friday, 2 May 2008

Sack Dimblebore, sack Vine, sack the whole bloody graphics department

I can't say I wasn't warned.

BBC Scotland did its usual trick of completely ignoring anything as trivial as elections from south of the border: it had an episode of Old Tricks on for the first hour while the rest of the country was getting coverage of the results. Therefore, for the first hour of the results coverage I was surfing around various political websites, rather than watching the telly.

And on them, there was universal condemnation of the way in which the Beeb was presenting the results. Particular scorn was being placed on Jeremy Vine and his use of overblown computer graphics to, erm, illustrate the results.

Surely, I thought, it really can't be as bad as all that. Although Jeremy can get a bit excitable, and isn't fit to tie Peter Snow's bootlaces, it can't have been as embarrassing as everybody was saying. Can it?

It was. In fact, they were all being rather kind. It was a train wreck. Jeremy and the Beeb had utterly lost the plot. What the hell was all that gunslinger stuff? And the Stalin to Mr Bean stuff? Utterly unbelievable.

The Beeb has to realise that if people are staying up all night to watch an election results programme, what they really want is, er, the results. A bit of anlysis of what those results mean is fine as well. What they don't want are to be treated as complete imbeciles and visually assaulted by computer graphics which any third-rate computer programmer would be utterly ashamed of.

This was dumbing down of the worst sort. The Beeb can't be allowed to get away with this. In future it has to treat elections as serious occasions, not as a showcase for daft ideas dreamt up by the graphics department while on a dodgy batch of LSD.

It also needs a new host of its election programmes, as Dimblebore is way past his prime and should be put out to pasture. The Beeb does have a number of people who would be far better than him at presenting their coverage. Off the top of my head, there's Paxo, Eddie Mair, Chris Eykyn, Kirsty Wark, Martha Kearney or even Evan Davis.

The Beeb needs to have a serious rethink about the way it covers elections. It can start by getting rid of everyone responsible for last night's embarrassment.

And if you wish to complain about the BBC's coverage, here's how.


Anonymous said...

Agreed. I couldn't believe the 'New Tricks' stunt either. And I've used your handy link to tell them what I think about Mr Bean too..

Mark Pack said...

Lynne Featherstone's got an online poll on the quality of the BBC coverage.

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