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Saturday, December 18, 2004

“All the misery of the modern world is here in Skegness.”

So said the hotelier from Provence who fetched up in the Lincolnshire resort on Home from Home (Channel 4, Thursday). After spending a fair size portion of my childhood there, I'll simply say that the place loses its charm when you get older or sober up. The seaside town marketed as 'so bracing' (translation: bloody freezing cold) was always unlikely to impress the sophisticated Frenchman.

His opposite numbers, Skegness hoteliers sent to Provence, were enjoying themselves and would like to move back there one day. Let's face it, a TV show called 'A Year in Skegness' was never going to take off. (Oddly, it's still the sort of place subject to scares linking sunshine and skin cancer.*)

When the BBC is promising to reduce the volume of house/garden/lifestyle makeover shows, it would be good to see Channel 4 doing the same. After all, it is formally (formerly?) a public service broadcaster. While I wouldn't make the same claims as appeared in the Daily Mail** this week, it is obvious to anyone who cares that this genre is spreading through the schedules like dry rot. Clearly, all the misery of the modern world is here on lifestyle TV.

* See Claire Fox, 'Public Health, Scare-Mongering and the Overbearing State', in Jessica Asato (ed.) Whose Responsibility is It Anyway? Perspectives on Public Health, the State and the Individual (Social Market Foundation, 2004).
** Helen Weathers, 'Reality TV Ruined My Life', Daily Mail 13 December 2004, pp.20-21.


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11:19 am  

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