One year on from when the telly stopped

BRITAIN is solemnly remembering September 8th last year, the date when all television programming abruptly and without warning stopped.

Millions of Britons have recalled exactly where they were at that moment when Hollyoaks was interrupted for the news and they discovered it had happened on every major channel.

Emma Bradford, aged 33, said: “It was horrible. I flicked from BBC to ITV and back but it didn’t matter which channel, it was the same. Some news thing with footage of the past.

“I turned it off in horror and put the radio on, hoping there would be an emergency broadcast explaining why the telly had gone, but it was the same on there. It didn’t stop all night. It felt like a bereavement.”

Ryan Whittaker of Chichester said: “It went on for what felt like a week. Eventually ITV went back to normal, but that was small comfort because it was still ITV.

“But on the BBC, both channels, it was just the same loop of endless nothing. You could watch an hour of it and walk away still not understanding why. It lasted more than a week and it only got worse. On the last day loads of it was just silent. Total dead air.

“Then, as suddenly as it began, it ended. I suppose we’ll never understand why. But it should be another 75 years before it happens again.”

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Fat Families, and other exploitative reality shows that would be dressed up as empowering today

PEOPLE see reality TV of the past and say: ‘They wouldn’t be allowed to make that now.’ Yes they would. They’d just pretend it was somehow helping people, so expect more shows like these.

Fat Families

As the title suggests, this show was completely wrong. A cheap excuse to shame overweight people while everyone gawked at them from their own sofas. This can easily be remedied, however, if you say you’re ‘empowering’ the participants/victims. Who knows, maybe some of them lost a few ounces? That makes laughing at the hilarious blubber monsters totally guilt-free.


Showing children on any reality show is dodgy territory, especially taking advantage of badly behaved ones with inadequate parents purely for the entertainment value. The kids will be adults now, adults with a crippling, lifelong fear of ‘the naughty step’. These days things have changed, because we only sneer at rich celebrity kids on their reality shows.

Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares

Looking back, this was basically an excuse to watch a man shout at people until they cried. Or laugh at idiots wrecking viable businesses and their marriages by being idiots. It’s okay now, though, because people are made to cry on every reality show, and sometimes it’s even men doing the crying, which is good for their mental health. Or something.

Take Me Out

Who allowed people’s romantic hopes to be crushed and then immortalised on the small screen? Especially with the brutal rejection process of simply pushing a button as if you’re selecting them to be exterminated? Okay, people’s romantic dreams are trampled underfoot on Channel 4’s First Dates too, but it feels less mean because it hasn’t got flashing lights and the music sounds cuter, proving it’s not exploitation if it’s for a middle-class audience.

Big Brother

Locking people up in a house they couldn’t leave and forcing them to do challenges under 24/7 surveillance was in retrospect barbaric and never to be repeated. Except they’re bringing it back this year without even bothering to repackage it. Still, contestants probably learn a lot about themselves from the experience. Things like: you can never go to a pub again without someone shouting ‘TWAT!’