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!

 Thousands of grown men and women are wetting their dresses over a  baking show that is defecting from the BBC to Channel 4.

 The show, "The Great British Bake Off" has demanded a kings ransom to remain with the BBC.  Production Company "Love Productions", which sounds like a sex  shop in Soho wanted more than £25m from the publicly owned broadcaster.  The BBC however refusing to go higher than £15m.

Grown adults are devastated, as they continue to speculate about who will host the show and if the pre-scripted double entendres will continue to annoy everyone who doesn't give a shit about a stupid baking contest.

Mel and Sue have already decided they're not moving to Channel 4.  Turns out they weren't offered a rise after they demanded more dough to make jokes about soggy bottoms and things being moist.

Still, Mary Berry, who wrote the original Frankenstein novel in 1817 will most likely stay on, along with Paul Hollywood.

The new show won't start on Channel 4 until 2017 but of course the general public have already made up their mind, despite knowing fuck all about it.

How can people really care that much about a baking contest?  It is not the end of the world, but I hope it's the end of that stupid #VaginaOrCake Twitter hashtag.

It's getting rather old now.

Like Mary Berry. 


Following on from my previous rant about TV and Movie clichés I have a few more to add.



Time goes slowly on the silver screen. 

There’s many a time bomb with only a minute to go whose second countdown have turned into minutes.

And of course, as each second counts down it has to beep loudly.   The beep is so loud that it would have been impossible for the bomb to have been placed without someone noticing.

And as the last 10 seconds turns into 10 minutes, it’s diffused just in time, with 1 second (or should that be 1 minute?) to spare.

Phew, you made it just in time!



Doctors know everything, all the time.

There’s usually one who knows sod all because they’re having “issues” with sleep, drink, drugs or stamp collecting.

But that’s fine, because he comes Nurse Nancy, who knows every procedure, disease, condition and new ground-breaking technique even though she’s just a bog nurse who used to work at Hooters.

With every experienced moody old Doctor is a cocky young Doctor who has just graduated from “Med school” with a point to prove.

No emergency procedure can be carried out in A&E without a Doctor describing the exact procedure that is going to be taking place and why, despite the patient being dead for the last 5 minutes.

I’m no Doctor (don’t tell anyone) but when there’s been no pulse for a good 5 minutes then you suddenly bring your patient back to life I’m sure there’s usually a quite a high chance there’s some level of brain damage as the brain has been starved of oxygen for so long.

Not on TV though, they wake up immediately, usually with a gasp and are seen tap dancing minutes later.



Only in America do they have thunder and lightning together at the same time.

Now, I’ve never been to the good ol US of A but I’m sure their weather isn’t a special kind that can’t be experienced anywhere else on the planet?

Usually when we have thunder and lightning they are moments, sometimes minutes apart.  But in America on TV when it lightens there is an almighty crash or explosion that accompanies it.

When it lightens in real life it’s usually silent, maybe you get a “click” sound, not a great big explosion!

Naturally, in America the thunder and lightning is ALWAYS accompanied by the biggest downpour of rain you’ve ever seen.

It never rains on its own, it’s impossible to rain without thunder and lightning.