Saturday, May 12, 2007

Not another phone scandal? The Daily McCrumble

News just in...

Here in the UK, ITV have apologised, after forgetting to remind viewers that a phone-in quiz show that depends on people phoning in to guess the answers was not, as you might expect, live.

Is this another example of a phone-in scandal, something to rival the escapades of the BBC when they 'forgot' to remind viewers that one of their 'live' cookery programmes was recorded two years ago - a mistake that had thousands of amateur cooks throwing mushroom fritatas at their televisions in frustration?

Sadly no. It turns out that the program was shown on the hugely popular ITV2+1 channel. Anyone familiar with the imaginative abbreviations that TV executives like to use to separate their channels will immediately recognise that the program in question could not have been live, as it was being shown 1 hour behind the mother channel, ITV2. Nonetheless, ITV estimate that 'hundreds' of people may have been affected when they tried to phone in. My sources tell me that the 'unfortunate human error' was due to the fact that the girl who normally writes the reminder that goes on the screen was out shopping for a new Kate Moss dress (allegedly).

Mmm. Look closely at the BBC article and you'll see that ITV have offered refunds, despite the lines apparently being closed. My scientific training allows me to spot a discrepancy here. If the lines were closed, how could people be charged? One suspects the lines never close - it is simply the case that there is no-one there to take the call.

Were you affected? If so, you might be ideal for an experiment that I'm conducting as part of a damning expose of the whole industry. Read on for details of how to take part.

How to enter:
Think of a word beginning with N that describes someone who likes to play on these TV quiz shows. Send your answer to I'll pick someone at random, (but it will probably be you) within the next 24 hours. If you are chosen, you'll be given a special premium phone line that you should ring at least 50 times in the next two days. All you have to do is simply count how many times you hear a real voice after the 5 minute recorded message, and tell me by email at the above email address. If for some reason you don't make it to 50 calls (eg, a technical failure after your 48th attempt!), let me know and we'll start the clock again. If my expose is commissioned by ITV2+1, I'll make sure your contribution is given full accreditation by including your name in the list of victims that I will show on screen, thus ensuring you finally make it onto the telly.

Good luck!


1 comment:

Gorilla Bananas said...

It sounds as if a lot of greedy publicity-seeking humans have been humbugged by another lot of greedy publicity-seeking humans. I hope they pursue their fight to the bitter end - and both lose.