TV's greatest hits (rpt)

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It is all very well the rest of us thinking the Seventies was the golden age of television. The jokes were funnier when we were younger - we even thought Morecambe and Wise singing "Bring Me Sunshine" was funny because there was not much else to laugh at then. And novelty was more novel when it was still new -
Big Brother is most diverting, but
The Family paved the way for reality television decades before the term was invented.

It is all very well the rest of us thinking the Seventies was the golden age of television. The jokes were funnier when we were younger - we even thought Morecambe and Wise singing "Bring Me Sunshine" was funny because there was not much else to laugh at then. And novelty was more novel when it was still new - Big Brother is most diverting, but The Family paved the way for reality television decades before the term was invented.

It is when the people who run British television today think the Seventies was the golden age that we should worry. In a survey of television's top people, the chosen favourites included single dramas such as Abigail's Party and The Naked Civil Servant, and the comedies Dad's Army and Fawlty Towers - not one of which was made after 1979.

But these nostalgic critics - Michael Grade, Sir Christopher Bland and the rest - are responsible for today's output. If they think the Seventies was the decade of innovation, why don't they produce some ground-breaking work themselves? Perhaps they don't watch enough telly to realise that the schedules over which they preside consist mainly of reruns of The Likely Lads and remakes of Crossroads.

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