The news that greeted me when I boarded the 06:15 from Haslemere this morning that the tea trolley was out of service immediately signalled that even for a Friday, things were off to a bad start. They took a remarkable turn for the worse when I opened my Daily Telegraph.
Ever since the Telegraph recruited a bunch of Daily Mail reporters the paper has been steadily going downhill. One of the benefits of this is the growing number of pictures of pretty girls in the paper. Pretty girls who are easy on the eye are just the thing that gladdens the heart of the weary Haslemere commuter, especially when the tea trolley is out of service. When I opened it this morning though, I felt light headed and my pulse began racing at a thundering rate for a different reason; I don't want, need or like to have a picture of Andrew Lloyd-bloody-Webber staring back at me from a full page article about Andrew Lloyd-bloody-Webber, written by, and get this, Andrew Lloyd-bloody-Webber.
He looks like ET after an escaped lunatic has set about his face with a flat sided shovel then melted lego bricks over it.
LBW informs us that, "I am penning this on the terrace of the Sandy Lane Hotel in Barbados, The sea beckons like a Bajan Blue cocktail. I have been dragged here, not entirely unwillingly, by my wife who felt a touch of Caribbean sun would see me over the opening of a new show." Oh you poor love.
He goes on to tell us how tough it is to choose someone for his new musical and just in case we didn't appreciate the fact the BBC are helping educate us by screening it in a new series starting at 9pm tonight. The well meaning souls at the BBC have already helped LBW increase his wealth to over £750m following the avalanche of free advertising they gave him for his last show, The Sound of Music.
My simple question is, why in the flying fvck is my licence fee being exploited by a near billionaire for marketing and publicity for free? It makes no commercial sense whatsoever. I don't dispute that he's written a few catchy tunes that are loved by coach loads of grannies from Huddersfield, Japanese teeenagers and tourists from Pittsburgh called Buzz and Kathleen but thats where it stops. The world has gone completely fvcking mad and any sense of value or perspective went down the swanee a long time ago.
As far as I'm concerned, the BBC appears intent on invalidating it's right to the licence fee through public service and appears happy to co-locate itself with ITV in a Strictly Tabloid format. Who would have thought US television would have more well written and produced comedy and drama than the BBC. Shows like Modern Family and House are simply light years in front of anything coming out of Shephards Bush. The BBC should be the Land Rover Discover 4 of television; practical but refined. Sadly it's run by people with Honda 50cc brains.
Worth a mention though, was the fantastic Channel 4 documentary last night, "The Air Hospital."About the injured being evacuated back to the UK from Afghanistan by the RAF and Critical Care Air Support Teams, it was humbling and inspiring. The pilots were quiet and professional. One described the increased frequency of the evacuation flights as the nine year war has rumbled on. He went on to say that soldiers going into theatre needed an altogether different form of bravery that he simply couldn't comprehend. He described how soldiers went out on patrol with tourniquets already tied to their limbs in anticipation." Keep a tissue close when you watch it; it's emotional stuff.
Oh and Daily Telegraph........... I want my pound back