Time for pegs to be removed from noses. Please do adjust your sets. For the moment has come to take a dive into the world of daytime television and salute all the men, women and clapped-out presenters who forever paddle in its shallows.
For after decades of being ignored and overlooked, daytime is finally getting a place at the Bafta table.
Next year, the Bafta TV awards will honour the unsung heroes of the daytime shift for the first time. A brand new category will reflect the increasing popularity and important role that daytime programming plays in the lives of millions of viewers.
Particularly now that so many of us are marooned at home during lockdown, looking for a distraction from cleaning out cupboards and not writing that novel.
Bafta must now bend to popular demand and drag its lofty, unsullied gaze towards the world of Homes Under The Hammer (BBC1), repeats of repeats of Neighbours (Channel 5) and David Dickinson (above) hunting for bobby dazzlers on Name Your Price (ITV1)
Traditionally, Bafta has always favoured high-end dramas, usually featuring Dame Helen Mirren, and its only previous nods to daytime were rather patronising ‘special awards’.
Now it must bend to popular demand and drag its lofty, unsullied gaze towards the world of Homes Under The Hammer (BBC1), repeats of repeats of Neighbours (Channel 5) and David Dickinson hunting for bobby dazzlers on Name Your Price (ITV1).
Some naysayers claim daytime is a cultural desert, a place where brain cells go to die. According to the comedian Michael McIntyre, daytime television is a wasteland of Activia yoghurts, Michael Bublé and anti-chafing cream — and let’s just hope that these three things are in no way related.
The reality, however, is that much-mocked daytime television is booming — attracting bigger and bigger audiences far beyond the stereotypical bored housewives drinking gin from their teacups and jobless graduates.
However, is just one measly Bafta enough to reflect the many splendours of daytime TV? It rather smacks of tokenism. That’s why I have introduced my very own JANNIES (Jan’s Academy of Nobodies Nattering In Entertainment Siberia) to honour this world.
Come with me now to where Bafta judges fear to swim; below the Plimsoll line of broadcasting refinement and into the weed-strewn murk of daytime.
Here, where people seek antiques at car-boot sales and try and then fail to escape to the country. It all makes no sense. But perhaps that is the point…
THE JANNIE FOR… OUTSTANDING DEBUT IN A PANDEMIC
Morning Live (BBC1)
What madness is this? A brand new daytime show launched this week, presented by Kym Marsh and Gethin Jones with a promise to deliver just what we don’t need — more ‘topical content’ and ‘expert advice’.
Bizarrely, the hosts broadcast from what appears to be a 1970s dentist’s waiting room, furnished with mustardy leftovers from the George and Mildred set.
G Plan furniture, exhausted pot plants, glass fruit bowl on a coffee table? All it needs is Yootha Joyce in a nylon nightie and the retro-nightmare would be complete.
What madness is this? A brand new daytime show launched this week, presented by Kym Marsh and Gethin Jones with a promise to deliver just what we don’t need – more ‘topical content’ and ‘expert advice’
‘I think this is going to have a big impact on mental health, in particularly, like, old people,’ said Kym. Too right, I thought, before realising that she was talking about lockdown, not her vomit-coloured cushions.
The 45-minute show kicked off with this question: what is behind your mask? Except it wasn’t a psychological exploration of how humans can conceal their natural personalities to conform to social pressures. Dear me, no. It was about wearing ‘mucky masks’ during lockdown. A doctor came on and stopped flirting with Kym for five minutes to advise us to bin or wash our masks if they got dirty.
Another faux medi-item discussed the ‘shocking damage’ a lack of sleep can have on our brains and that we should all keep a ‘worry journal’ to alleviate night time fears. You are reading mine.
Former Coronation Street actress Kym volunteered rather a lot of info about herself; she has a grandchild, she has trouble sleeping and she dream texts. The doc said if he didn’t get a dream text tomorrow he would be ‘offended’, Hur Hur.
This is a show exactly like a million other shows, including Lorraine and The One Show. Maybe they could pull a big name special guest out of the bag? Enter a sockless Craig Revel Horwood . . .
… OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE ON A GAB FEST
Nominees: Lorraine, Loose Women, Jeremy Vine and This Morning
Lorraine (ITV1, 9am). Things you have to know. Daytime does not begin at daybreak. Daytime begins when Piers Morgan on ITV’s Good Morning Britain hands over to Lorraine (ITV) at 9am most weekday mornings.
This heralds the end of the news-led breakfast shows and the beginning of the gab fests until the news and evening schedules get a grip again at 6pm.
It is, as Lorraine would say herself, an emotional roller-coaster. If Queen Lorraine is not sobbing on the sofa by 9.25am, you can bet that at least one of her guests — Rylan, Elizabeth Hurley, someone from Coronation Street — will be.
Things that make Lorraine ‘well up’ include the latest troubling news story, The Repair Shop, being made Honorary Colonel of the Army Cadets and anything to do with her daughter, Rosie. That’s why she is first on our shortlist.
Loose Women (ITV1, 12.30pm) actually won a Bafta for Most Popular Factual Programme in 2010, beating Top Gear, The Apprentice and Come Dine With Me.
If Queen Lorraine is not sobbing on the sofa by 9.25am, you can bet that at least one of her guests – Rylan, Elizabeth Hurley, someone from Coronation Street – will be
‘We thought we had absolutely no chance,’ said one of the presenters, Carol McGiffin, speaking for us all.
Back then, the programme tackled topics such as kitchen tiles, the Chippendales, sex and tights.
These days, lockdown has boosted its audience figures to more than 1.3 million at its peak, and topics — or ‘fiery debates’ as they insist on calling them — include smacking children (pro or no?) and whether or not you should put the loo brush in the dishwasher.
Jeremy Vine (Channel 5, 9.15am) is unforgivably white and male, but somehow this has not stopped him fronting this daily current affairs show in addition to his hosting of daytime quiz show Eggheads (BBC2) and his regular lunchtime show on BBC Radio 2.
Bafta judges must understand that The Jerm is a contagion. There is no escape.
This Morning (ITV1, 10am) is the big success story, the 150-minute late-morning magazine show with a devoted audience of nearly two million viewers. Presented by Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, who have yet to meet an innuendo they won’t corpse at, it skims the surface of British life like a golden frisbee glinting across a lake of despair
On Channel 5 he presides over a programme that merges headlines, politics, chat and various commentators doing their nut about the issues of the day.
‘News is about sharing, not telling,’ says Jeremy, who says he now wants to ‘get out from behind the desk more.’ Worrying.
This Morning (ITV1, 10am) is the big success story, the 150-minute late-morning magazine show with a devoted audience of nearly two million viewers.
Presented by Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, who have yet to meet an innuendo they won’t corpse at, it skims the surface of British life like a golden frisbee glinting across a lake of despair.
Pathos, real life and authenticity — these are the things that are missing, between tips on Halloween entertaining and how to make a ‘baby-boosting burger’ to help you get pregnant. Pause to note that there is one thing that helps get you pregnant. And it isn’t a Big Mac with fries.
And the JANNIE this year goes to . . . Lorraine (sob!).
… FOR FACTUAL REALITY SHOWS ESCAPING REALITY
Presenters you have never heard of lead observational reality shows featuring ordinary people striking out for happiness and fulfilment. The Nominees are multiple: A New Life In The Sun; Escape To The Chateau; Escape To The Country; Wanted Down Under, Find It, Fix It, Flog It; Come Dine With Me and Extreme Cake Makers are just a few examples of this exhausting genre.
However, this year’s JANNIE goes to A Place In The Sun (Channel 4).
Billed as the programme that helps ‘house-hunters find their dream home in the sun’, the format usually involves some sweet, retired couple from the suburbs who can’t speak a word of Spanish between them, but are determined to relocate to the Costas.
This year’s JANNIE goes to A Place In The Sun (Channel 4) – presented by Jasmine Harman (above). Commonly heard phrases on the show include ‘room for the family to visit’; ‘a 45-minute drive to the beach’; and ‘unfortunately, it doesn’t have a sea view’
They are then shown around terrible properties outside Malaga with bars on the windows, a gas canister on the balcony and dodgy neighbours. None of this seems to matter. ‘Paradise,’ they gasp, as the wild dogs howl in the hillsides.
Commonly heard phrases on A Place In The Sun include ‘room for the family to visit’; ‘a 45-minute drive to the beach’; and ‘unfortunately, it doesn’t have a sea view’.
On a recent episode, Marie and John regarded a Spanish chest of drawers in a Spanish bedroom with something approaching awe.
‘You can put all your socks and pants in there,’ Marie told her husband. It’s the little things that make life worth living, isn’t it?
… FOR COURTROOM DRAMA IN A NON DRAMA CATEGORY
The award goes to Judge Rinder (ITV1). The UK’s answer to New York-based Judge Judy (ITV2), barrister Robert Rinder presides over a parade of idiots with knuckle tattoos who have fallen out.
It’s like an upmarket (ahem) version of Jeremy Kyle, with fewer DNA tests and body piercings but — crucially — more resolutions.
The award goes to Judge Rinder (ITV1). The UK’s answer to New York-based Judge Judy (ITV2), barrister Robert Rinder presides over a parade of idiots with knuckle tattoos who have fallen out
In this television court, Judge Rinder has no legal powers, but he often dispenses sound legal advice over unpaid loans on caravans, assorted family arguments and your rights when it comes to footage of you doing some-thing stupid in your garden being posted online without your permission.
He can be quite bitchy, too. ‘Here’s the thing,’ he will say.
‘You’re the type of woman that, frankly, if you’d been at the Last Supper, you’d have asked for ketchup.’
… FOR DRAMA THAT ISN’T A REPEAT OF NEIGHBOURS
There can only be one winner: Shakespeare & Hathaway — Private Investigators (BBC1). What is this rubbish, I thought, sitting down to watch it and promptly becoming absorbed in the small-town chicanery.
For Shakey and Hathy is the new Midsomer Murders, featuring unlikely deeds taking place in that well-known slice of ye olde England that is forever tea, cake and dead bodies.
Set in Stratford-upon-Avon, the camera lingers lovingly over lots of half-timbered Tudor buildings and higgledy piggledy lanes, where Frank Hathaway (Mark Benton) is the washed-up ex-cop and Luella Shakespeare (Jo Joyner) his trusty sidekick.
There can only be one winner: Shakespeare & Hathaway – Private Investigators (BBC1). What is this rubbish, I thought, sitting down to watch it and promptly becoming absorbed in the small-town chicanery
Together, this Fatman and Bobbin must solve an unseemly number of murders in the Bard country. Even Shakespeare wasn’t this bloodthirsty.
Recent crimes include a murder at the Shady Nooks care home, a murder at a funeral director’s parlour, the murder of an audience member by a magician, the murder of some unfortunate in a gift shop, the murder of a kidnapped dog, the murder of a bingo hall owner, the tragic tale of a hairdresser who falls into a fatal coma following a salon fire, the murder of a university tutor and the murder of the owner of the new Shakespeare museum.
The show has been exported around the world, which is rather embarrassing, as they must think we all live under thatch and live to strangle and poison each other.
… FOR OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE IN A GAME SHOW
Bafta judges, it is time to face The Chaser! What the heck am I talking about? I am talking about The Chase (ITV1), the hugely successful teatime game show beloved of both Theresa May and Susan Boyle. Hosted by sniggering Bradley Walsh, it reaches an audiences of up to five million viewers.
As befits our reputation as a nation of puzzlers, other popular shows include Tipping Point (ITV), Warwick Davis with Tenable (ITV), Pointless (BBC1), Eggheads (BBC2) and, of course, the mighty Countdown (C4).
Bafta judges, it is time to face The Chaser! What the heck am I talking about? I am talking about The Chase (ITV1), the hugely successful teatime game show beloved of both Theresa May and Susan Boyle. Hosted by sniggering Bradley Walsh (above), it reaches an audiences of up to five million viewers
Yet The Chase has the edge, featuring Chasers The Vixen and The Governess, which makes it sound like something that takes place in a rubber-walled dungeon.
Instead, we have the usual parade of bright sparks and dunderheads showing off their general knowledge skills.
And, of course, it is always the silly answers we remember best. Question: In the NATO phonetic alphabet, what word represents B? Answer: Bob.
Question: A Peking bird of which breed is used in a famous Chinese dish? Answer: Parrot.
AND FINALLY… GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
The JANNIES pause to pay tribute to all daytime delights who have gone to the great television studio in the sky, including Noel Edmonds’s Deal Or No Deal, The Jeremy Kyle Show, Richard and Judy — the original and best hosts of This Morning, Anne Robinson and The Weakest Link, Today With Des And Mel, The Sharon Osbourne Show, Trisha, Vanessa, the Nigella chat show, Pebble Mill At One, Robert Kilroy Silk and Richard Hammond’s Five O’Clock Show.
The JANNIES pause to pay tribute to all daytime delights who have gone to the great television studio in the sky – including Noel Edmonds’s Deal Or No Deal