Even if you don’t subscribe to Sky, Netflix or Amazon Prime, when you plonk yourself in front of the telly, you have a bewildering choice of programmes to choose from on Freeview.
For starters there’s BBC One, Two & Four; ITV One, Two, Three & Four; Channel Four, E4 & More 4; Channel 5, 5 Star, 5Spike and 5 USA . . . Challenge, Dave, Drama . . . and let’s not forget ITVBE. On second thoughts, let’s . . .
Then there’s Film Four, Movies 4 Men, and Talking Pictures TV, home of old British films and currently the most-watched digital channel.
Despite all these choices and more – plus whatever’s in your planner and those unopened DVDs on the shelf – I bet you’ve complained there’s nothing ‘decent’ to watch.
So, I was surprised by the findings of a recent survey which asked people (they didn’t ask me– how about you?) what TV shows from the last 20 years they’d like to see revived.
The Number One choice? Foyle’s War.
I was surprised because ITV 3 have been showing old ‘Foyle’ episodes every weeknight for some time. You’d think viewers would have had enough of the great Michael Kitchen’s understated acting, facial tics and large trilby hat.
Other shows people wanted revived were Mackenzie Crook’s well-observed sitcom The Detectorists and Count Arthur Strong, which, to be honest, I never quite ‘got’, but which must have had its fans.
This all ties in with the unveiling of Britbox, the new streaming service which will be available to subscribers later this year.
While Britbox will eventually make new programmes, initially it’ll just feature old BBC and ITV shows. But hang on! That’s what ITV 2, 3 & 4 and subscription channel Gold do right now!
Gold couldn’t exist without old BBC and ITV shows. Some Sundays they screen so many back-to-back episodes of Only Fools And Horses, you can see David Jason age 20 years and Nicholas Lyndhurst grow 12 inches between breakfast and dinner!
When we only had three or four channels, people complained there were too many repeats. Now we’re expected to pay extra for the privilege!