Saturday, June 24, 2006

 

Jonathan Ross really is beyond the Pale

There are times when I don't just feel 'Victor Meldrewish' but actually become him with all the teeth gnashing apoplexy it entails. Such an occasion was last night watching Jonathon Ross interview David Cameron. For some reason Ross thinks that his asking toe-curlingly embarrassing questions is what viewers tune in to hear. My toes curled, as far as their curliness potential allowed, when he began to edge into a line of questioning about Margaret Thatcher's sexual attractiveness to Cameron when he was a 13 year old boy. I prayed he was not going to, but in the end he did: 'Did you ever wank over Maggie Thatcher?'

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.

Comments:
Ross was terrible; but Cameron was v impressive. He'll romp home with the middle england votes.
 
To be fair to Ross it was only slightly worse than one of Paxman's questions about whether Cameron knew what a 'slippery nipple' was.

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.
 
I do think that Cameron is a tosser but not in the way that Ross suggested!
 
The answer is simple Skipper - Just say no to this pop trash!
 
If you haven't woken up to the general quality and nature of popular TV in the 21st century, regardless of whether it's good or bad, more fool you. What did you expect, exactly? Or have you never heard of Jonathan Ross before?
 
Anon
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 can't stand Ross myself, Skipper. How old is the guy? About fifty, or thereaouts? Fifty going on sixteen. His idea of wit seems to be simply to say "wank" or "fuck" or "poo". Then again, anonymous has a point. Most television is garbage (always has been so long as I can remember) - what's different nowadays is the level of vulgarity: the truly appalling Big Brother sets new standards in this respect. I didn't see Cameron on the Ross show; but he seems to have handled it well.
 
He's 45.

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.
 
Reminds me of Paxman's interview with David Davis last year. Paxman's very first question went something like this (can't remember the exact words): David Davis, some of your colleagues think you're a shit. Are you?

One doesn't really expect this kind of obscenity from the BBC current affairs programming.
 
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