Media: The Word on the Street
Tuesday 29 September 1998
Step forward young Matthew Bannister, last week elevated to head of BBC production, the top job in television. Sir Christopher has made it known that he sees Mr Bannister's appointment as part of the management structure that will take the BBC into the new millennium.
Channel 4's Michael Jackson may be the stronger candidate, but Mr Bannister is bagging the inside lane.
ADVERTISING EXECUTIVES, it turns out, are just too funny for ordinary people. At least, their humour is often above the heads of their female audiences.
New research by ad agency J Walter Thompson shows that women love the simple humour of Gary Lineker refusing to share his Walkers crisps with schoolboys, but they are perplexed by a Salon Selectives shampoo ad which parodies traditional shampoo commercials.
"The women took it literally," says an insider, "they didn't realise that the absurd big hair was a joke."
UNION EFFORTS to blame last week's mass redundancies at The Observer on former editor, the brainbox Will Hutton, are not being accepted gratefully by his replacement, Roger Alton. Pinning the responsibility on one individual is most unfair, he says - and Mr Hutton, above, has been a very positive force for the paper. The bottom line is that Mr Hutton stays as editor- in-chief but must feel somewhat uncomfortable on the newsroom floor knowing that the staff resent his presence.
IT'S ONLY a week or so until the BBC launches its "News Review", a strategy document that has been an age in the making. It's dominant message, we understand, is that viewers should brace themselves for a dose of "seriousness" as, in the digital age, it is the Beeb's gravity which distinguishes it from its rivals. Sobriety alone, though, is not enough. Each BBC outlet from Radio 1 to BBC 2 will be asked to customise the serious message to suit its audience. Grim faces all round.
THE WHITE Dot anti-television lobby group has a new theme campaign - the idea that Rupert Murdoch's Sky digital television should be renamed "Spy", as it will prey on young children. Once interactivity arrives, parents should tell their offspring "if someone on TV tells you they're your friend, or they want to know everything about you because they like you, or they missed you the other day when you didn't watch the show - you tell me. They shouldn't say things like that." It's a whole new variation on "don't talk to strangers".
ADVERTISING agencies say they are somewhat unimpressed by the first wave of promotion for digital television. "By selling the technology, the BBC and others are selling something they don't need to sell," says Simon Parker of STS research.
"People don't want to know about the technology, they only need to know what's on it. It's a bit like when microwaves were launched. They were sold on the basis that you could cook a five course meal in 20 minutes, but no one ever used them for that." Quite.
ARE THE Barclay brothers genuinely trying to sell the troubled European newspaper, or do they just want to close it down? Staff last week were struggling to make sense of their situation after a sale to Time Warner collapsed, and wondered whether they should just give up. In the end they decided to put the paper out, spurred on by editor, and former MP, Gerry Malone. "Malone scored his first brownie points with staff since he's been here," says an insider. "He was at least around during the redundancy announcements." Unlike editor-in-chief Andrew Neil who was nowhere to be seen.
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
Better Call Saul creator Peter Gould on the creative concerns of a prequel, season 2 and the mind-numbing realities of the small courts
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens trailer: The most extreme fan reactions on Twitter
The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer has leaked – watch
Madonna might be a stand-up comedy virgin - but she wasn't terrible
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a white stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
Russian warships in English Channel 'to conduct anti-aircraft and anti-submarine military drills'