In the previous update I made a reference to Mock the Week and Russell Howard.

I wanted to expand on that as comedy on TV as a whole is dying very quickly.

Mock the Week has been on TV well over 10 years now, I've always been a big fan of comedy and in particular edgy satire, which MTW used to provide, along with the excellent Have I Got News For You?

However, having started the new series of MTW and comparing it with the previous series it's clear that the BBC are prescribing the topics which can be made fun of.

It's pretty clear the comedy itself is scripted days in advance, there's no way the comedians come up with their "routine" off the cuff like that, but now it's clear there's a very short list of what they're allowed to poke fun at.

And at the moment it consists of 2 items:

Brexit (And in particular Brexiteers)

Donald Trump (And in particular how shit he is)

That's it!

Not one person on MTW has taken the piss out of Remainers, the Remain campaign, none of it.

Now, I won't get into the whole Brexit thing now, I've written several articles about it over the last 12+ months.  My point is that the BBC does not allow any comedy against Remain.

Are both sides not pisstaking worthy?  I'm pretty sure they are.

I also refuse to believe that none of the comedians on the show are Pro-Brexit either.  You're telling me not one of the regular or guest comedians voted Brexit?

Well, it's a bit strange because the Referendum result was in favour of Brexit, which means there are people all around us who voted to leave.

Secondly, Donald Trump.

Yes, he's a figure of fun, he gets a lot of piss taken out of him, he would because he's a dick.  But again, you're telling me there isn't 1 person on that programme who might actually like him or more importantly poke fun at the opposition?

I'm not here to push Brexit or Trump - I want good comedy.  I want the piss taking to be on both sides.

Why is nobody taking the piss out of the lunatic left who every week come up with something new to be offended by?

I've supported the BBC for a long time, it was only a few months ago when I wrote an article supporting the TV licence but in the last few months I've noticed a very clear switch and I'm rapidly losing the support I once had. For general deities sake, let's have the comedy we used to have!




     It was alright in the 70s




Over the Christmas period I had chance to catch up on some TV, and that included a couple of back to back episodes of this offering from Channel 4.

Now, I've seen a couple of episodes of this show before, along with it's sister show, "It was alright in the 80s".

Previously though I revelled in the nostalgia, as I have done throughout various retro shows such as the BBC's excellent "I Love 19xx" and the odd Channel 5 offering about specific years.

I liked this show enough to series link it and caught up fully, as I said, over Christmas.

What this show does though is a little different to the other "back in time" shows, and I hadn't noticed it before.

It's used as a vehicle to push political correctness, needlessly.

The premise of the show is to cover 2 or 3 topics per episode ranging from racism, sexism and some-other-ism.

It's a sort of Gogglebox for the Politically Correct, sometimes featuring some of the original cast who pass comment on whether it was right or wrong at the time.

However, the main crux is to film a load of young "comedians" or groups of unknowns for them to make ridiculous facial expressions to simulate their faux-outrage.

Yes, that's right.  Let's get a 20 year old feminist in to watch a comedy show from 1974 where some old geezer smacks his secretaries' arse!

Oh the humanity!  Let's now watch the outrage as she rants about how wrong this is and it's absolutely disgusting and and and....!

And it was 40 fucking years ago, enough with the disgust.

Programmes made back in the 70s were different, boundaries were being pushed, new styles were being sought, this doesn't make the programmes wrong.

Many of these old programmes would not even get commissioned these days, which suggests how far society has changed and TV with it.

But that doesn't suddenly mean the old shows aren't entertaining, Rising Damp and Porridge are still some of the best TV shows ever made.

Was Rigsby a racist?  Who gives a shit, he wasn't a real person, it's not real TV.  Listen to the way he talks, he's not being racist, it's a total ignorance of other cultures; that was common in the 70s and 80s as people did not have the interaction between different faiths and cultures as they do now.

TV isn't reality, we need to stop looking back and debating whether TV shows or characters in shows ARE politically correct!  Some of them aren't and those shows are generally not shown today, even on the higher up channels nobody looks at.

Ellie Taylor loves to look all outraged at 70s TV

In 2017 are we really going to debate whether the Goodies pisstake of "The Black and White Minstrel Show" was actually just that, a huge ironic pisstake which had the BBC poking fun at itself or whether it was racist because it also featured some white men with black on their faces.  Look back at that show, it's VERY cleverly done.

Molly Sugden telling all and sundry about her pussy?  Abhorent!  Such filth should have been banned!

Are we really doing this?  So what next?  We go back in time a bit further to look at other events?

Next we'll be reviewing all the old films, probably even cutting new versions to erase the bits people don't like.

If we're not careful we'll end up rewriting history for all the snowflakes who can't handle stuff that went on in the past.


I've been following with interest a few conversations on that there Facebook recently where people just don't want to pay the TV Licence fee.

Over the years I've changed my stance on the licence fee, probably because I've grown up (honest) and I actually understand things more.

When I was younger I was anti-licence fee, probably simply because it was a fee and nothing more!

In fact, on the 9th August 2001 I wrote the following in a Monkey on Toast update:

It is time for the licence fee to go, get the BBC to stick adverts on. We really aren't arsed about adverts that much are we? We have been used to adverts for the last god knows how many years, another channel with adverts isn't going to make the blindest bit of difference to average Joe in the street.

Now, I'm totally against this these days.  I hate adverts, and the fact there are hundreds of mostly shit channels available on cable and satellite TV plus the smattering on terrestrial who rely solely on adverts proves that advertising cannot sustain an entire media platform.

Advertisers on ITV are down massively since the 90's and early 00's, I don't have exact figures to back this up but you'll have to just trust me.  I'm a doctor.

Look what shite content is available on ITV these days, X-Factor, I'm a Celeb, Britain's Got Talent etc.  Notice anything about these long running shows?

They're all a vehicle to make ITV money.  ITV really need that money too.

When was the last time you saw something really good on ITV?  I mean properly good, not imported from the US and not some god awful "talent show"?

I cannot remember.

The BBC, however, consistently churn out good original content, the recently aired Rillington Place is a prime example.

I really don't want to see adverts on the BBC, that will certainly dilute the advertisers even further and that will just turn the BBC into a money making machine like ITV, we'll see non-stop dross inviting us to phone in and vote for which front garden looks the best or something.

Going back to the licence fee, I can see the point of some, those who claim they do not watch ANY live TV at all might have a good case.  However, there are many people who claim to never watch the BBC and then list the exceptions!

"Well, I watch Match of the Day on a Saturday night sometimes"


So you watch LIVE TV ON THE BBC SOMETIMES THEN.  You prick.

Now, there will be people who don't have a means of watching live TV.  They have a TV that doesn't have a Freeview tuner, they don't have a set-top box for terrestrial TV, they don't have a satellite box, they don't have cable.

Should they have to pay for a TV licence? No.

However, they do have internet access and therefore iPlayer, which does now necessitate the need for a licence.

If they never use the BBC iPlayer then they shouldn't pay for a licence, that's all fair game, but in all honesty, who is really in this position?  There can't be that many.

Then you get dolts like this:

This tit actually thinks that Sky or Virgin should pay YOUR licence fee because you're already paying them.


That's like expecting your ISP to pay for your Asda shop because you did it online or your local Shell garage to pay your Road Tax because you put their petrol or diesel in your car.

And if we're going down that route, what happens for those who don't have anything other than terrestrial TV then?  Freeview or Freesat?  They're not paying anyone for their TV, so who pays their licence?  Oh they do?  Riiiight.

That's not confusing at all is it?

Stop trying to find ways to avoid paying a measly £12 a month for something that is totally worth it, if you genuinely can't and don't watch the BBC either live or catch-up then crack on, otherwise just pay the money and enjoy.  You can guarantee you're paying more money for shite elsewhere.


I like this show, mainly because it proves that what I’m spending on the “the weekly shop” is probably a reasonable amount.

When I see families spending in excess of £200 a week and throwing a good chunk of it away really riles me, there’s nothing more I hate than food being wasted.

It amuses me at the start though when the couple are doing their shop.  It’s just them, they never take the kids.

There’s no kids throwing a strop or throwing themselves to the floor because their trolley isn’t full of Cadbury’s Chocolate Buttons.

And when Gregg and Chris appear at the checkout the couple always act so surprised, like they didn’t know they were there.

Despite the fact they’re being followed by a camera crew with a big boom mike.

Bit of a giveaway.

Gregg and Chris then go through what they’ve bought and throughout the show make substitutions for the more expensive brands in the hope that the family will like the alternative and therefore save money by changing to a lower priced product.

No issues there at all.

The family often don’t have time to make meals and rely on convenience food which comes at a premium or they have the same food on the same day of the week.  So an alternative set of meals is often suggested.

My beef with this, if you pardon the pun, is that more often than not the meals are vegetarian.  It almost feels like the premise of the show is to save money for the family AND  turn them against meat.

You used to have sausages on a Wednesday.  This week you’re having sausages, made out of chickpeas! Huzzah

That chicken you used to love on a Friday night, try this scrumptious cauliflower cheese instead!


You can save money on your shopping by simply planning your meals, or knowing what’s in your cupboards and freezer first.

Plan your shop, by all means try the cheaper versions of stuff and if you like them stick with them but a bit of forward planning helps every time.

I’d like to see them swap other things though, not just edible items.

Compare the difference in Domestos and own brand Bleach for example, or Persil vs Asda’s own washing powder.

Granted, they’d have to change the name to something like “How to shop for less” but it would be interesting to see the differences between the things we pay a premium for versus the cheaper options.

I was thinking the other day that there’s a real lack of technology programmes on TV these days.

If you’ve watched The Gadget Show in the last few years you’ll see that it’s not really about upcoming technologies and the “next big thing”, it’s more to do with comparing cameras and advertising their own competition.

They spend longer telling you what you could win than they do covering anything else and the presenters aren’t the best either.

What we’re really missing is a show that was axed in 2003, a show that DID show off what technology was emerging (possibly with a little bit of uncertainty at times!), step forward Judith Hann….

Tomorrow’s World.

Has there been anything like it since it disappeared off our screens?  No. 

There used to be loads of computer and tech programmes on TV, granted some of them would be well out of date now.

The likes of Mac and Fred Harris typing in BASIC programs and transmitting them over the air for you to record and LOAD in to your computer with a tape recorder are no longer relevant but that’s not to say there isn’t a market or a need for news about computing and technology.

The world of IT gets bigger by the year, where’s all the programmes telling us about how things are progressing?  What’s the next platform? 

The BBC have a little programme called “Click!” but that’s on at such random times and if you ever try to series link it you end up with a recording of the show plus about four 5 minute long versions of it from 3 in the morning with someone signing over it.

I honestly believe there is room for a comeback of Tomorrow’s World which not only shows us technologies on the cusp of modernity but also a genuine glimpse into where life is heading.

Go back to the old style of the 80’s and 90’s before they started mucking around with it.

Hell, get Judith Hann and Maggie Philbinn back on it!

Let’s bring it back, come on BBC!  Spend some of that money you saved on not resigning GBBO!

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