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BBC Meme

It's based on that rather rose-tinted song doing the rounds on YouTube. (If I was cynical, I'd...hang on, I AM cynical. OK, now that I am cynical, I'd suggest that there is scope for someone to do a similar song mentioning all the less good things that the BBC has been responsible for over the years*...)
Anyway, the idea for the meme is that these are all the shows and people mentioned in the song. Mark the ones you love in bold, leave the ones you know in normal text and strike through the ones you’ve never even heard of.

I’m going to suggest a change to the original meme. If you’ve seen a programme and hate it, then put it in italics.


Toni Arthur
Brian Cant
Adam Adamant
Postman Pat
Yes Minister
Later with Jools Holland
Pride and Prejudice
Hitchhikers Guide

World Service

Stuart Lee (Really??? I think he’s a) completely unfunny and b) represents a lot of what is actually wrong with the BBC)
Mr Benn
6 Music
Glastonbury (Not the festival itself, which often has good music, but the BBC coverage of it, which manages a) fawns over the performers and b) often has ‘interviews’ while actual music by the main headline acts is being performed.)
Horrible Histories
Dennis Potter


Two Ronnies
The Thick of It
Radio 3

Open University

Mark Kermode & Simon Mayo
Round the Horne
Goon Show
Blakes 7

Dick and Dom

Last Night of the Proms
Gardeners' Question Time
Last of the Summer Wine
Steptoe and Son
The Young Ones
Edge of Darkness
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Letter from America
The Mighty Boosh
QI (I quite like QI, although it says some total bollocks at times. “There is no Welsh word for ‘blue’”; “It’s a myth that there were EU regulations about the shape of bananas”.)
I Claudius
Absolutely Fabulous 
John Motson (There are better football commentators out there – and in fact now that I think about it, all three of Sky, ITV and ESPN have better ones.)
Red Dwarf
Our Friends in the North
Culture Show
Woman's Hour
Charlie and Lola
Alan Partridge (Steve Coogan is one of the BBC’s greatest assets – a genuine comic genius.)
News at 6 o'clock
Live Aid (Or any of the similar events that the BBC likes to cover because they fit in with their particular world view)

Likely Lads
Michael Palin
No ads (This isn’t actually true is it? The BBC advertises its own programmes in between actual programmes.)
This Life
That's Life
Life on Earth
The Good Life
Captain Pugwash
Tony Hart
Til Death do us Part
Ken Bruce
News Quiz
Keeping Up Appearances
Who do you think you are?
Kirsty Wark
Jeremy Paxman
Wogan (OK as a chat show host, brilliant presenting Eurovision – possibly the only BBC-approved racism ever and all the more hilarious for it, but tedious on the radio.)
Fireman Sam
The Ascent of Man

One Foot in the Grave
Armstrong and Miller (In the original text of this meme, Mister Armstrong is bizarrely referred to as ‘Xander’, as if he’s the gormless one in Buffy.)

Mitchell and Webb
Antiques Roadshow
David Attenborough
Bruce Forsyth
The League of Gentlemen

Have I Got News for You
Hairy Bikers
Being Human

In the Night Garden
You & Me (Me & You)
Monty Python
Doctor Who
(Hmmm. This would be the same BBC that disowned the programme and ridiculed its fans for many years…)
Top Gear 

Ivor the Engine
Wimbledon (The BBC gives blanket coverage to Wimbledon, but pretends that tennis doesn’t exist for the rest of the year.)
Formula 1 (Credit where it’s due – they do this even better than ITV did. I miss Murray, but I’m glad they brought back the Fleetwood Mac theme tune.)

Blue Peter (Patronising drivel, and always was.)
Swap Shop
Five Live (Good for sport, but when there’s no sport on, full of the sort of issue-based-phone-ins that Mitchell and Webb satirised. “Do you know anything about this issue? No, but I bet you reckon something. Why don’t you ring in and tell us what you reckon?”)
Top of the Pops
The Archers
That Was The Week That Was
The Goodies
Songs of Praise
World at One
The Day Today
Sorry I Haven't a Clue
Not the Nine O'Clock News
Mr Men
East Enders
Gary Lineker
Radio 1
Radio 2
Ripping Yarns
Johnny Ball
Test Match Special (TMS is quite good for when you’re out of the house, and it’s better than the BBC’s own TV coverage when the BBC showed cricket on TV. However, it’s only when you watch Sky’s coverage that you realise how amateurish and ill-informed the Radio 4 analysts are in comparison. TMS is good for whittering about cake. Sky is good for actual cricket knowledge. I know which I prefer.)

Perfect Day
Radio Active
Howard's Way
Jeremy Hardy
Final Score
Only Fools and Horses
Sky at Night (Someone with Sir Patrick’s extreme right-wing views would never get a job at the BBC nowadays…)
Shooting Stars
Pete and Dud
Life on Mars
Radcliffe and Maconie
A Bit of Fry and Laurie
Children in Need Appeal
Douglas Adams
John Peel




The less rose-tinted song would include lines such as…

Strictly Come Dancing

Jim Davidson

Ben Elton

Biased news coverage, even by their own admission

Funded by a poll tax, even if you don’t watch them

They cancelled Doctor Who

My Hero

Gimme Gimme Gimme

Robin Hood

The Vicar of Dibley

Snog, Marry, Avoid?


Triangle (a glamorous soap set on a North Sea car ferry – brilliant concept!)

BBC Sports Personality of the Year ignores sports that aren’t on the BBC

Endless daytime DIY programmes

Graham Norton

The Generation Game

(I’m sure there are more, but let’s face it you tend not to remember the truly bad shows.)



On the other hand, I’m surprised the song didn’t mention…

Excellent football coverage (including Match of the Day)

Alan Hansen

Murray Walker


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 16th, 2010 12:24 pm (UTC)
You see, this pretty much demonstrates the difficulty of this task - because about half of what you've italicised, I've bolded. And while I broadly agree with your additions some of them are well regarded (Skins, apparently...). I'd probably add Hole in the Wall and Count Arthur Strong's Radio Show as top of my switch-off list.

I have given some thought to what might have been on a similar list prior to the axing of Thames though.
Oct. 16th, 2010 12:55 pm (UTC)
Good meme idea.

I liked the Vicar of Dibley!
Oct. 16th, 2010 01:41 pm (UTC)
Doctor Who (Hmmm. This would be the same BBC that disowned the programme and ridiculed its fans for many years…)

True but surely part of the point is, it's not a song by or authorised by the BBC? It's independently written (with a sort of guerilla video) by a geeky singer/songwriter/comedian who has done some work for the BBC over the last few years, but who has been a big Doctor Who fan for much longer.
Oct. 16th, 2010 09:41 pm (UTC)
Some wounds never heal...
Oct. 16th, 2010 08:06 pm (UTC)
I remember Triangle. The female officer had to start out being introduced to the rest of the crew by sunbathing on an inappropriate piece of crew-only deck. It would have worked a darn sight better if the sun had actually been shining. Poor love looked as if she was freezing. I swear you could see goosebumps. I mean goose pimples. I'm getting Yankified, o no.
Oct. 16th, 2010 09:40 pm (UTC)
Sunbathing topless that is. On the deck of a car ferry. In the North Sea.

That was Kate 'Rani' O'Mara of course, before she was recruited to be Joan Collins's sister in Dynasty.
Oct. 17th, 2010 10:22 pm (UTC)
I think you're being a little unfair on the adverts thing, yes they can be annoying but the intention is to let people watching know about upcoming programmes and they can't assume that people will have seen the one half and hour ago the same as they can't assume that "there's no need to adverstise shows because everyone can check the schedules in the Radio Times or any one of several other TV listings magazines, teletext, or the internet".

We've been cut off from the net, forgotten to buy a listings mag, and had shitty teletext reception from time to time - but we're lucky in not watching much these days (Na'Quis) so its less of a worry.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )