Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Skywatch, again


Watching rubbish satellite television so you don’t have to.

The Great British Quiz/ Quiz TV / Quiz-me-do (Various Channels): Just when you thought they couldn’t make television programme any cheaper, then along comes the Quiz TV format – television entirely paid for by the viewers. One presenter, one tiny studio in a broom cupboard, a cheap graphic package downloaded from the internet and the most expensive premium telephone charges they can get away with.

It looks so simple. They put an easy-looking question up on the screen and encourage you to phone in for a hefty cash prize. And here comes the catch.

Number one: the puzzles are of the fucking impossible trick question variety so Ted Rodgers and that smug bastard Dusty Bin on 3-2-1. Watch may look like a simple matter of adding up a few numbers, is actually a horrifying trip down Quantum Physics Lane via They’re Making It Up As They Go Along Avenue. For example this screen capture via Digital Spy – the answer (which nobody got) is 122, don’t ask me how. They’ve got catch-all rules to make sure there’s only one winner, and a newly created “players’ charter” answers what must have been a deluge of complaints about their programming.

In the meantime, the minimum wage host ad-libs until somebody comes on and takes a stab at the answer, which they will get wrong. And here’s the even bigger catch. When you dial the number, you are charged a pound just to (and I quote the Great British Quiz rules) “pass through a random selection process”. In other words, you are likely to pay your pound just to get a recorded message stating that you haven’t won. Never mind. You are allowed 200 entries per day, and the best of British luck to you. Yes, people do win, but then, they'll need the prize money to pay off their phone bill.

Today’s big money question: Complete the following well-known phrase or saying: “A fool and his money…” Go on, guess.

Funnily enough, I'm in an entirely unconnected meeting with broadcast regulator Ofcom today... C-Band satellite downlink frequencies, anybody?

Tea fiasco

URRRRGH! Agh! Etc! I'm not drinking that.

Anyone knows you put the naked flanges into the cup BEFORE the milk.


Found on the internets yesterday: The Duck House (circled) - duck's eye view. Jealous, yet?

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