BBC admits it hasn't really nailed it since Ceefax

CEEFAX was probably the last really good thing the BBC did, the director general has admitted.

Speaking to the Radio Times, Tony Hall said the embattled broadcaster needed to recapture the magic of soothing text-based pages that use very crude bits of animation to depict things like a dog wagging its tail.

He said: “The way I see it is this. Waking The Dead – shit. The One Show – shit. Call the Midwife, Hairy Bikers, The Dancing Thing – shit, shit, shit.

“Ceefax – fucking wicked.

“This afternoon I watched a pilot for a grisly cop drama with James Nesbitt and that ginger bird from Doctor Who. Apparently it cost about four hundred, maybe five hundred grand, something like that.

“There were lots of explosions, moody autopsies and a bit of tit, but all the time I’m thinking, ‘this is bollocks compared to Ceefax’.

“Ceefax haunts me, I tell you – it’s like Banquo’s ghost or something.

“It has this innate poetry, even when it’s just randomly-selected pages of puzzles, weather news and a children’s story about a space rocket trip with a spaniel called Robin. It all makes such perfect sense.

“Like a babbling brook on a sunny day, Ceefax is complete and beautiful, it asks nothing and expects nothing in return.

“Also, I’m sorry for using the phrase ‘Banquo’s ghost’ earlier because I know that 94% of you will have no idea what I’m talking about which means I have broken the credo of the television executive.

“And look, now I’ve used the word ‘credo’ and you’re all going ‘credo? what the fuck’s a credo when it’s at home?’.”

He added: “I don’t know… I saw an advert today – eighteen and a half grand to drive a bus. I might go for that. At least it’s something real, d’you know what I mean?”

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Laurie to release terribly nice blues album

HUGH Laurie is to release his first blues album detailing the trials of being an exceptionally-rich white man.

Mardi Foie Gras will be previewed at a New Orleans concert despite locals praying desperately for another hurricane.

Laurie will perform under his blues pseudonym Howlin’ Waitrose.

Bluesologist, Tom Logan, said: “When I first heard the Son House song Death Letter Blues about his wife being in the morgue, I thought ‘this is all very well but what would it sound like if it was sung by some floppy Oxbridge ponce?’.

“I think Howlin’ has managed to capture perfectly the anger, pain and loneliness of the blues and I suspect this comes from the hurt he felt after the lukewarm critical reception to his 1980s sketch show Alfresco.”

The album was produced in the same studio in San Antonio where Robert Johnson made his seminal recordings after it was ripped out of the ground and carried to Beverly Hills by 14 of Laurie’s biggest helicopters.

In the opening song, Don’t Want Me No Prius Blues, Laurie sings about the difficulties of having to drive a hybrid car to appear socially responsible when he also owns an Aston Martin ‘like that goddamn Jimmy Bond’.

But critics say that, for many, the highlight will be Hotel Blues, in which Laurie bemoans the ill-conceived 2002 refurbishment of the Dorchester.