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Thing of the week:
Under The Moon
By Pete Goddard
For some unfathomable reason, I watched C4's "Under the Moon" again last night. And to judge from the response to my note about it last week, I expect I was again the only one. Not surprising really, as it is the most stupifyingly irritating programme. The format is like a cross between a radio phone-in and Fantasy Football League, but whereas FFL was friendly, light-hearted and witty, UTM is patronising (to the point of being offensive), lightweight and trite. Worst of all, those who phone-in (many of whom, admittedly, should know better) almost never get a satisfactory reply but are merely fodder for panellists who either miss the point of the question or reply by changing the subject. If any sort of debate does ensue, it is immediately stopped in its tracks to make way for a location report in which some poor minority sport is belittled to the benefit of the reporter's ego (you know the sort of thing I mean).

To the point:- Alan Green, Radio 5 commentator, was one of last night's guests. The show got a phone-call from "Mike of Berkhamsted" asking him why Palmer was sent off at Man City (where Green was commentating) while Festa was only booked against them for a worse transgression against Lomas the following week. Good on yer, Mike from Berkhamsted (and are you one of our very own?)! Needless to say, despite this being one of the few sensible points made in the show, no reply of any sort was forthcoming. Shame!

There may be a hidden agenda here. It seems to me that there are three factors which make a match or footballing incident "interesting" as far as TV is concerned. 1. It involves Premiership clubs. 2. It is televised. 3. It involves the possibility of an upset. Consequently, as far as TV is concerned, games such the Man City one - in which none of these factors were involved - are simply invisible and therefore not worth talking about. Of course, if Under the Moon were to apply these criteria in full, you'd think they'd screen calls better - to weed out calls which should never have got on air (of which there were an embarrassingly large number last night) and calls (like this one) which they have no intention of discussing once aired. However, as it is, all that happens is that the show appears to make offers to viewers on which it never delivers. Result: one angry viewer (I doubt if anybody else bothered to watch).

'Under The Moon' is on Channel Four at midnight on Wednesdays.
('Brass Eye' is on Channel Four at 9:30 on Wednesdays. Take yer pick.)