Inside Television: Would the BBC really put on a full thirty hours of Glastonbury if they weren’t enjoying themselves a little too much?


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The Independent Culture

FOMO, or fear of missing out, is the lot of those of us who can’t afford to fly to Brazil, won’t get time off work for Wimbledon and failed to score Glastonbury tickets. Feel like everyone else is someone else having more fun than you’ve ever had?

Well, television has a solution to propose: wall-to-wall live coverage of the summer’s most exciting events. As the judges of the Broadcast Awards said when awarding ‘Best Music Programme’ to the BBC’s Glastonbury programming, it made it “feel as if you were right there”. Except you weren’t. And that’s quite a crucial distinction, isn’t it?

This year, 300 BBC staffers are there at Glastonbury in what the corporation’s music chief Bob Shennan describes as “clear and accountable” roles, plus another 272 at the World Cup. “Broadcasting comprehensive, high-quality coverage of major cultural events requires this level of resource,” explained a BBC spokesman, but who is it that requires the comprehensive coverage? The audience at home who might prefer not to be reminded of what they’re missing out on? Or the BBC staffers whose job involves enjoying the festival atmosphere first-hand - all in the line of duty, of course? It seems all that scrumpy-drinking and mud-wrestling has obscured entertainment’s golden rule: the show should always be more fun to watch than it is to put on.

Would the BBC really put on a full thirty hours of Glastonbury, across all four main channels, if they weren’t enjoying themselves a little too much? It kicks of at 7pm this evening with a special on-site at Worthy Farm edition of The One Show. The Pyramid, Other, John Peel, West Holts, Park and BBC Introducing stages are all being live-streamed and if you miss your favourite band, you can catch up later on iPlayer. There’s even a function which allows viewers to compile personalised playlists from tracks by artists on the 2014 line-up. How clean, how convenient and how very un-Glastonbury.

While we at home can rectify regretted decisions by changing the channel, live attendees must accept that all decisions about how to spend their time are final. They too feel the fear, as they wonder if the mate they can’t find is at a top secret gig without them, whether Rudimental is a better bet than Haim and whether it’s worth leaving to queue for the toilets now, or just waiting till the end of the set.

At least, in Worthy Farm, watching the World Cup is no longer one of the many available options. Organiser Emily Eavis has confirmed that the festival will not be screening any matches on the big screens because, as she not unreasonably points out, “It’s a music event.” And here Eavis has touched on the deceptively simple remedy that will sooth festival FOMO as it does a bout of chronic channel-surfing. Just pick something and stick to it.

Gordon Ramsay’s Nightmare is over

This week we said a fond farewell to Kitchen Nightmares, which Gordon Ramsay has announced will soon come to an end. For ten years, the programme has given the furious foodie an excuse to march into restaurants and mercilessly insult the staff, all undercover of “helping” them. The f-word, of course featured heavily, but he also gave us a whole new phraseology to describe disgusting food. Such as: “When you take a bite of that cod, it's almost like you've got a breaded condom in your mouth,” and “Ground beef?!! Half of it's [bleep]ing fat, you idiot! It's fatter than you!” and, a personal favourite, “Look at those profiteroles over there. That’s how big your bollocks should be. Now find them and [bleep]ing use them.”


Murdered By My Boyfriend, BBC iPlayer

At first the model good-looks of the cast gave Murdered By My Boyfriend the air of a Hollyoaks spin-off, but this BBC Three domestic violence drama soon became a compelling and true-to-life portrait of how young “love” can turn sour. Royce Pierreson is hide-behind-the-sofa-cushion scary as abusive boyfriend, Reece.

Kitchen Nightmares - Amy’s Baking Company, YouTube

In 12 series and 122 episodes of Kitchen Nightmares, both in the UK and in the US, Gordon Ramsay has only ever once walked out on a reforming restaurant. If you’re wondering what kind of person it would take to shout down the Ramsay rage machine, meet Amy Bouzaglo, the deluded princess of Arizona eatery, Amy’s Baking Company.

This Old Thing: The Vintage Clothes Show, 4oD

Like the second-hand clothes it treasures, this new series is a little out of step with the times. Fashion’s elite have long-since embraced “vintage pieces” and now the obstacle for people wanting to shop second-hand is that it typically requires more money and time than buying the ethically dubious high-street equivalent. Still, presenter Dawn O’Porter has enthusiasm enough to help us overlook a few frayed hems.

Majesty and Mortar: Britain’s Great Palaces

Think of this as Through The Keyhole: The Toff Edition, for though there’s no accounting for taste in interior decoration, I think we can all agree that historian Dan Cruickshank, knows a nice pile of bricks when he sees one. This is fantasy property-hunting at its finest.