Eschewing the tawdry entertainments on offer from the major channels this Christmas, I decided to support my local TV station and tuned in exclusively to Kent County Council TV's festive fare. After all, it's cost us £1.6m and I figured, for that kind of money, the least they'd be doing was exhuming and re-animating Morecambe and Wise this year.
So imagine my disappointment when I discovered their prime time Christmas viewing consisted of a lame docco about some amdram panto, advice from the British Christmas Tree Growers' Association about how to prevent your needles dropping, and a member of Her Majesty's Scrotum Scratchers breath testing drivers on Margate front for the benefit of the cameras. Admittedly the panto docco was, albeit unintentionally, almost as amusing as Extras, but where was the seasonal message from the Tory council's ruddy-faced leader, telling us how he was going to pull a cracker and roast his nuts this Yuletide?
Later, as I was changing Bertie's litter tray, I came across an old copy of the Gazunder which carried a story about £229,000-a-year KCC Chief Executive Peter Gilroy being 'very pleased' with the number of people watching the channel - 109,000 since its launch in September. Crumbs! By my reckoning, that's around 8,000 viewers a week, or, with around 400 videos on their site, 270 viewers per video! At an average cost of £4000 per video, it would be cheaper to mail out the DVDs individually, surely? If I made programmes that attracted a grand total of 270 viewers, I'd be sacked. As indeed I have been on many an occasion.
I've a good mind to write to my old TV chum Nigel Dacre, the Ten Alps Project Director behind Kent TV, and the brother of Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre, and complain. Or perhaps I'll just pop round his North London mansion and make my views known in person!