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
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.)