Saturday, June 24, 2006
Jonathan Ross really is beyond the Pale
Cameron, to be fair to him, handled it with the aplomb one might expect of someone who attended the school he was at during his early teens: he smiled a trifle uneasily; said he now understood why politicians had not appeared on the show before; and no, he had admired her as a Prime Minister but nothing more as at 13 such things did not loom large in his life. Later on Ross asked him another gratuitously silly question: had he ever peed in a telephone box? Answer, unsurprisingly, no. In an earlier interview with Martina Navratilova he had done something similar by asking her if she eschewed sexual activity in the period before playing a big match, the aim, presumably, being to sidle seedily up to the topic of her sexuality. The tennis player, clearly a little put out, was embarrassed. Was I alone in feeling ashamed that the puerile question had been put to a guest in the first place?
I know the answer to to my problem is just not to watch the show- my usual default state as it happens; last night was just an exception. Ross is a sparky personality with a very quick brain and an excellent wit, so why does he demean himself and his guests with such pathetic laddish ploys? But maybe the public generally enjoy the 'edge' he brings to his work and laps up his smutty schoolboy schtick. The BBC obviously thinks so otherwise it wouldn't pay him the £7 odd million quid a year, they do of our money to retain his services. But for this Victor Meldrew, his programme, from now on, is forever not switched on.
This interview was never going to be about politics but rather personalities. I think Ross was trying to see whether Cameron was as uptight as most other tories probably are.
Cameron benefitted endlessly from the interview as he got what was probably the closest thing to an endorsement Jonathan Ross was ever going to give "You seem like a pretty good guy". As for Ross, he probably enjoyed trying to play Paxman for an evening and was milking his question-time style rounds of applause for all they were worth.
As I said, I tended not to watch Ross but even if I did know what to expect, should I meekly accept what my licence partially pays for?
I think Ross can be witty, but, for some reason, chooses to play the base card. Perhaps he determines, probably incorrectly, that many in the audience like that sort of thing.
One doesn't really expect this kind of obscenity from the BBC current affairs programming.
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