small screen

Click to follow
Radio God

The forward march of consumer choice: tomorrow sees the launch of Premier, the UK's first Christian radio station, on MW 1305/1332/1413kHz, with a party for an anticipated 10,000 people in Battersea Park. The station will broadcast 24 hours a day seven days a week (presumably using atheist staff on the Sabbath), and comprise a blend of 80 per cent chat ("news, current affairs, lifestyle issues") and 20 per cent "suitable music". As Cliff Richard (right) is one of the 80,000 people who are claimed to have pledged support to the station, we can guess what some of that suitable music will be. Other celeb backers include Kriss Akabusi, Wendy Craig and Jill Dando: a proud gang of role models if ever there was one. Broadcasting over London and the South East, they anticipate raising an audience of around 570,000 people. So if you're a regular listener to Thought for the Day and think it should be on more often, this could just be the station you've always been waiting for.

The ink is always greener

Last month those heroic defenders of our moral well-being at the Broadcasting Standards Council had to field a whopping 225 complaints. Well actually it's not that whopping at all, is it? It's a ridiculously tiny sample of unrepresentative paranoiacs who want to spoil the voyeuristic fun of the silent majority. Chris Morris again takes a wet haddock across the face for several items in his Radio 1FM show, which has been off the air for over five months but still keeps the punters outraged. Devotees will remember that la Morris used the word "twat" and was reprimanded: well he did it again - he said "twat" on live radio (that's pronounced "twat" not "twot": there's a big difference) - and gets another ticking off. Another complaint which was upheld was made against an interview with Ronnie Biggs on Radio 2's The Jamesons - particular exception was taken to "the jocular offer of a plate of jellied eels to Mr Biggs if he returned to Britain". Well, gratuitous cruelty to non-vertebrates must be stopped. Finally, two complaints which weren't upheld but which your ethical experts here at metro wholeheartedly sympathise with. One viewer of Late Review - The Arts in Berlin, complained of a "sick and depraved art display". What could it have been - Rolf Harris sketching the Kama Sutra? No; it was "an exhibition of excrement 'sculptures'." Ah well, shit happens. And four - four - viewers hated the Walker's Crisps ad, noting that "the use of a well-known sporting personality... was likely to encourage theft by children" - but were dismissed by the BSC. What is the world coming to?

A little bit of politics

They're called Republicans in America. So when Michael Jackson's people did a "pun" on questions of gender ambiguity, by calling his latest greatest hits collection HIStory, it probably never occurred to them that the UK might find it laughable. Whose Tory? Should questions be asked in the House, or would that be too expensive? Anyway, the vid is out on 16 June (pounds 12.99) and contains all those moments from your youth like Thriller, Billie Jean and so forth. The night before, another fab Sky exclusive (Thur 8pm Sky One): Big Mike and his wife, Princess Lisa Marie, talk to Diane Sawyer about life, marriage and their plans for the future and let us have a peek at their wedding video. Michael's outfit appears left; can't wait to see the bride's.

Carry on broadcasting

And more consumer choice for the opposite end of the market from that coveted by Premier - or maybe not? - has been fulfilled by the launch of of TVX - the Fantasy Channel - on 2 June. This is not some interactive pastime in which anoraks fight the goblins of Horth with the Sword of of Gezeil, but a channel which lets you feast your eyes on "the most beautiful girls" (above) and "adult movies" encrypted on UK Living after midnight for pounds 5.99 a month. But don't get too excited: it's all within ITC guidelines. Thought for the Day is probably more stimulating.

Compiled by Serena Mackesy

and Steven Poole