Here is the schedule for BBC1 this Monday morning:
9.15 Heir Hunters
10.00 Homes under the Hammer
11.00 To Buy or Not to Buy
11.25 Cash in the Attic
12.15 Bargain Hunt
That's almost four hours of programmes (daily) devoted to buying and selling houses or bits of tat. These programmes are toxic. The line-up looks like it has been written by a 1960s science-fiction writer's view of a dystopian future where Britain has become a nation of profit-hungry golems. But unfortunately it's true. This is the world. These shows both construct and encourage Britons to be money-obsessed bargain-hunters, desperate to make a few pounds. As the channel which is supposed to best represent what Britain is about, they give off a message that the most important thing in your life should be to follow the capitalist dream of making money. We are a long way from Lord Reith's notion that the BBC should educate, inform and entertain.
Considering that the potential audience for these shows are people who are not working, they represent a wasted opportunity. The BBC should be making programs which engage with communities, address social issues and encourage people to try new things. It doesn't have to be depressing or expliotative like the Jeremy Kyle show over on ITV, and it doesn't need to be overly worthy and inaccessible either. But the lack of choice in daytime tv, on a channel that we have to pay a licence for is pitiful. Daytime tv producers - I'd sack the lot of ya.