The American elections are upon us and recent years may have indicated that the judgment of our American cousins should be questioned. Occasionally though they get things right – like when Fantasia won American Idol (with a wonderful version of Summertime). However, for someone on this side of the Atlantic it takes something special to admit that Fox – the channel that brought you Man Vs Beast gets anything right (aside from The Simpsons obviously). Today’s leading entertainment story, though, gives us hope.
Many years ago chubby Ulster funster Eamonn Holmes arrived on national screens in the late lamented Open Air – a programme about television, currently being recycled for DVD extras by 2Entertain. He went to the only breakfast channel that could have been worse than TV-am and hosted there for many years, a Nicky Campbell type figure who (allegedly) made his co-hosts cry. He has presented atrocious gameshows (that Lottery one, and the gameshow based on sudoku – the imaginatively named Sudo-Q). He has ruined Saturday mornings on Five Live having replaced the rather good Adrian Chiles show (which had Charles Wheeler and other repsected journos as regular guests) with some celebrity based toss – from which he appears to take bi-weekly holidays during which his replacement (Five Live utility player and supersub Phil Williams (long overdue for his own show)) shows how bad Holmes is the rest of the time. He’s even taken the Murdoch shilling – presenting breakfast telly for Sky News (and losing viewers). The inexorable rise of the chubby funster is symptomatic of something very bad in British telly. And such has been his success that he believed his hype and set off to conquer America (as Asterix has done before).
So how did Holmes do in the US? Elementary. he bombed. His game show (from 12 yard – the people behind every rubbish gameshow in Britain in recent years including that Dale Winton lottery one, Eggheads, Coach Trip, Without prejudice &c) The Rich List has been axed after one episode.
This rare indication of taste on the part of Fox coupled with opinion poll figures suggests that other decisions may reassure those of us over here, that there’s some hope over there.