Hello. Is it really worth buying a TV licence any more? Is there anything on the box worth watching? I got rid of mine years ago, and what a relief that was, no more planning my life around what I wanted to watch. Buying a programme magazine, spending an hour marking off what I might be interested in, keeping an eye on the time so I wouldn't miss anything. It was almost compulsory for the television to dictate my daily routine.
Later on I got a video recorder so I was able to set it before I went out, and watch my favourite programmes when I came back. I remember coming home from a week away in the truck, and watching a weeks worth of Brookside, my favourite soap, at one sitting. Remember when they had the omnibus edition. Then I found I was glued to the television over the whole weekend to watch everything I had recorded. Jeez, the amount of time I wasted. Mind you, I needed a rest after driving up and down the country for five days, so I suppose sitting in front of the TV was the easiest thing to do.
It eventually dawned on me that I didn't need a television set, and when the licence came up for renewal I didn't pay it. I stopped, just like that. Enough's enough, I went cold turkey. Of course I got the letters telling me I needed to pay, I told them I didn't have a tele, so no, I wasn't going to pay. They hounded me for a few months, some of the letters were a tad threatening, but I sent them back and said I don't have a TV set. They did send someone round to my house, I invited him in so he could see for himself I didn't have one. He said he didn't need to and scribbled a few notes on his board. Eventually the letters got less and less. Now I get one every two years asking if the situation has changed, I send it back and declare no, still the same, still no TV.
I have almost lost touch with what is on the TV these days, I haven't a clue who the so called celebrities are, can't put names to faces, I have no idea what their job is, actor, singer, presenter, or what. I pick up snippets of information from the newspapers I read online, but I skim through a lot of it because I haven't any idea who they are talking about. I see their faces and think 'who is that'.
I think I must be getting old, because from what I see of the current offerings so loosely called 'entertainment', my first reaction is, how can anyone sit through that drivel. What a waste of precious time. From what I can tell, daytime television is dire, littered by people airing their dirty washing in front of a jeering audience. Most of the programmes rely on ordinary people wanting their five minutes of fame. Quiz programmes, holiday programmes, lets move to Australia, let's move to the country, let's make some money buying antiques, etc etc. And don't get me started on the storylines in soaps, what the heck has happened to Coronation Street!
There is such a lot of cheap tele, make a programme for very little outlay. And blimey, don't they stretch it out, in a one hour slot there will be recap after recap, it could be whittled down to 30 minutes or less. I sometimes have a wind down hour where I pick one out on the catchup channels, but have to give up after ten minutes. They do drag on in the most boring fashion.
I've just been reading about the latest idea. Following on from the programme where people get married when they haven't even met each other, now they are working on the idea to throw two couples together who haven't got a particularly stable marriage, fly them to some exotic location, and encourage them to swap partners. If that isn't the height of tackiness I don't know what is. Big Brother has got a lot to answer for, it all started going downhill from there.
As you know I have dabbled in a bit of tele myself, it was something fun to do at the time. Shed of the Year was great fun, but some filming is hard work. Do it just one more time, again and again. I remember some years ago I had a film crew out on the lorry with me, my friend Carol came with me because it was a large load which needed two people. After filming all day on the road, we were filming in a pub on an overnight stay. I was talking to the landlady over the bar, and noticed that the camera had moved away from us and was pointing at the scantily clad barmaid. I blew my top, caused a big stink, and stormed out. We were five days on that job, and after all that they only got 20 minutes worth of film. It didn't get on the tele.
I had a half hour phone conversation last week with a researcher, working on a new frugal/simple living programme. It was fun talking to her about a subject I am passionate about. She wanted to take it further with a skype hook up, and some filming at my house, to see if I was the person they want to work with. I could see that this was going to take up more of my time, with no guarantee that anything would come of it, so I asked her how much they would be able to pay me. Yep, you've guessed it, no payment for my time. She did however say they would pay for my expenses if I had to travel to a different location, but that was dependent on whether I got that far down the line in the selection process. I decided not to proceed. I don't actually need to earn money, I have enough with my pension, but if any payment does come my way, I give it to charity.
Television is becoming more of the same. There are no new ideas coming through, same old same old with a different format. Send rich people to swap houses with poor people, pick through each others lifestyle, I wonder how many of them are being paid for their time?
My time is precious, so I'm going now to do something else. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.