The Great British Television Revival

Britain, eh? Just sitting there, in the middle of the sea, getting the craic. My home and native land. What may not strike you about this teeny little craggy island drifting about like a philosophy student is that it’s television has suddenly become….well, very British.

You can’t click on anything on BBC iPlayer just now without being faced with some gurning “quintessentially British” personality or other fronting another show prefixed with “THE GREAT BRITISH” *insert seemingly arbitary activity here*. The Great British Bake-Off. Great British Railway Journeys. The Great British Sewing Bee, for Christ’s sake. Victoria Wood, grandmother of all British female comedians, can currently be found peering coyly out from the front page of iPlayer presenting a show about tea. The final of The Great British Bake-Off last season was watched by 6,743,000 people-just to put that in perspective, more people tuned in to watch Paul Hollywood make accidental double entendres about buns than live in the country of my birth. That’s mad, but also kind of understandable; I’d rather watch people baking than live in Orkney. It’s not just over here, either- Doctor Who, the gleaming jewel in the crown of the BBC’s schedule that’s celebrating it’s fiftieth anniversary this year, has been regularly broadcast in 48 countries-that’s means pretty much one in four countries in the entire world enjoying the exploits of a space cowboy with a light-up dildo.

So what’s brought this on? Well, we’ve got the obvious patriotic nonsense that’s we’ve been fish-slapped with over the last year-the Olympics, the Jubilee, the impending birth of a royal sprog. The whole year has been spent trying really, really hard not to talk about the Good Old Days-Christ, I’m surprised the Spice Girls weren’t strapped to a taxi emblazoned with “THE SUN NEVER SETS ON THE GREAT BRITISH EMPIRE”. As a nation, the BBC wants to think that we’re shakily saluting the flag with our eyes glistening with tears, and it’s reflected in their dredging up of every British insitution-cookery, industry, Stephen Fry- while we still care. And you know what? I’m alright with it.

Bloody hell. Anyway, next time: lols.