May Mailbag

Regular readers of this blog will know that the first entry of the new month is about looking back. I’ve perused all the feedback and mail sent in during May. Here’s what you’ve been saying…

Rather controversially, I included The Apprentice, ER and Friends in my list of TV Shows That Lost It. Suffice it to say, some of you weren’t impressed. Bradley wrote in to say:
"I have just finished reading your article, and have to say I think most of your comments are widely off the mark."
Jason said: "I think you’re losing the plot. The Apprentice is the best thing on TV at the moment and each series goes from strength to strength." 
Andrew said: "I mean come on – Friends – you will find looking at the television viewing figures for this shot up towards the end of the series ! Madness ! ER- its still going strong… Re-write this article – please ! For modern entertainments sake. P.S You should have gone to Specsavers."
Andy said: "Sorry Lorna, you’re talking c**p about The Apprentice. If these individuals were any good at their job, then the whole programme would be a complete waste of time –  don’t think you’ve grasped that! It’s because they are so useless at their chosen tasks, that’s what makes’ this programme so entertaining. As for referring to ‘French wording’ in your criticism of the programme, please remember what country you live in, do the French use any our wordings..NO!"

My response? Well, I pretty much explained my point of view in the original article. However I will add that irrespective of the entertainment value of useless Apprentice hopefuls (Michael Sophocles, for example), the entire premise is seriously undermined if the calibre of the contestants is too low; Sir Sir Alan Sugar himself has acknowledged this. As for ‘French wording’ – a quick scan of your history books will tell you that this country was conquered by the Normans and elements of the language remain in colloquial use today. Every word I’ve used is in the Oxford English Dictionary and you can’t get more British than that, can you? Tally ho!

So last month, I put together a page of Apprentice Look-Alikes. I think this one is my favourite – a tad cruel perhaps. But then again, so was Jenny Celerier at times. Abby wrote in to say: "Your page with the pictures or the look-alike Apprentice candidates from past and present was very good, esp the ginger one (provides some very much needed relief from revision).
Thanks Abby – hope you passed those exams! Gareth wrote in on the same subject:
"You said that Claire Young from the Apprentice looks like Kerry Katona and I must agree there is some resemblance, but I feel you’re missing out on a far closer resemblance between Claire and podgy Trowbridge based snooker player Stephen Lee (picture of him here). Not that I’m trying to tell you how to do your job or anything…" Gareth, if your settings had allowed, I would’ve written you back to thank you for giving me a much-needed laugh that day. Very funny!

MuBeE wrote in regarding a gallery feature for Britain’s Got Talent: "I was reading the little paragraph that you wrote about Suleman/Signature…I couldn’t help but notice that you referred to Michael Jackson as the ‘former’ king of pop….what was that about…? So you’re trying to say that Elvis is the ‘former’ king of rock…? I can’t get it why people like YOU from the media are so against the dude; you are so delusional that you really think that by bad mouthing the biggest star the world has ever seen, you’ll get a bit more views on you’re stupid page."
MuBeE, me and Michael go back a long way; right back to Jackson 5 days. As great as he undoubtedly is musically, his crown has slipped somewhat. But that’s just my opinion.

Fraser wrote in with regard to a feature I compiled on the Top Footy Shows: "Not one Scottish show in the top 16? No Sportscene with Archie "Wooof!" Macpherson? No Scotsport (Britain’s longest-running football show) with Arthur Montford’s famous jackets? No "Only An Excuse?" which has become essential viewing every Hogmanay? Is this MSN UK or MSN England?" Fraser, you make a very good point. I can only say in my defence that I tried to include shows that are broadcast nationally on terrestrial and multi-channel platforms, rather than regional variations. Unfortunately I have never seen the shows you refer to and despite input from two Scots in the office, neither mentioned your faves! I will definitely bear this in mind for the future.

My blog entry Let’s All Laugh At Fiona Phillips! continues to cause a stir and opinion is firmly divided. Jonathon wrote in to say: "You are so right. I have been a United fan for 32 years and my son likes Chelski, but I would never support them. Any chance you could get this trailer-park-trash off GM.TV and leave the beautiful Penny Smith to present?" Thank you for your comment Jonathon. Unfortunately, this is one area where I am unable to assist you. On the other hand, Cheryl takes a different view: "If you do not like GMTV when Fiona Phillips is on…either turn the TV over or try exercising your fingers and turn it OFF. I happen to like her and so do many others – grow up and whinge about something worthwhile." Cheryl, something tells me you’re whistling in the wind but it’s always good to have an opposing point of view.

Finally this month, acknowledging that I’d complained about the Trident commercial, featured in my piece about Controversial TV Adverts, has prompted some users to write in and slate me: (no name) said: "Would you like me to get you a peice [sic] of fish, for the chips on your shoulder. Pulling the ‘race card’. How original. Im [sic] actually black myself, and I nor anyone I know found that offensive. All idiots like you acheive [sic] by playing the ‘its so offensive and racist’ card is an even worse sterotype [sic] that we all out to claim the white man is victimising us yet again. Grow up, your [sic] pathetic." Ooooooooh! I did hit a nerve there, didn’t I! As so many of you are genuinely interested in my reasons for objecting, I shall explain fully in a day or two. Stay tuned…

Thanks for all your comments and messages guys. Keep them coming in. That’s it for this month as far as the mailbag is concerned.

MSN Editor Coops
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