Whatever happened to Beeb’s standards?


Even though in the minds of the public, a comedian lives a life devoted to creating an atmosphere of laughter, merriment and joyfulness, it may surprise you that that there are times when we’re just as grumpy as everyone else.

And it can take the smallest thing to make comedian Phil Evans grumpy. From the pain of getting an unexpectedly large bill through my letterbox to the even bigger pain of getting a finger unexpectedly caught in my letterbox.

But those dark clouds of grumpiness usually appear when I’ve come off stage having failed to create an atmosphere of laughter, merriment and joyfulness.

Because my shoulders are broad – and my stomach’s starting to expand slightly, too – I’m able to take a philosophical overview of what happened…and always blame the audience.

It’s hardly objective, but it saves me worrying and I can be home in time for ‘Family Guy’.

However, although my episodes of grumpiness used to be well-spaced  apart, last week I suddenly realised that I was officially becoming a  grumpy old man when I found myself shouting one word, over and over, at the BBC Breakfast programme as a result of something a reporter had said.

It’s alright. The word I was shouting wasn’t rude.

I was shouting “Research! Research! Research!”

Because not only did the BBC reporter mispronounce the word as ‘Ree-search’, but the two presenters on the sofa who introduced the reporter also said ‘Ree-search’.

I was so annoyed I bit through two slices of toast at the same time.

Everyone in the media now incorrectly emphasises the first syllable of the word as ‘Ree-search’ and it’s now ingrained as the correct way to say it.

But unless you’re an American, it ain’t!

I was being ironic with the ‘ain’t’ by the way.

But it gets worse…

During that same BBC Breakfast show, another reporter mispronounced the word ‘resources’ as ‘ree-sources’, again incorrectly emphasising the first syllable, American-style.

By now I was so annoyed I bit through the plate which held my two slices of toast.

But it gets worse.

There’s an annoying speech and spelling error in current use which drives me crazy.

I don’t know how it happened but I hear it all the time in the street and have seen it written down by ‘on-line’ posters.

Maybe their excuse is a poor education, but I didn’t think I’d ever hear it on a BBC news programme.

I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard BBC Breakfast’s Steph McGovern blithely say to a reporter

You should of….” instead of “You should have!”

That’s sloppy grammar, girl! Write out 100 times….

We don’t say, “You should of been here earlier/”

We say, “You should have been here earlier.

By now I’d bitten through two slices of toast, my plate and the kitchen table.

So I poured myself another cup of tea and calmed down.

Until a male reporter appeared on my screen…without a tie!

Now don’t get me started on reporters who don’t wear ties….