Friday, April 25, 2008

You've got to be in it to win it?

I found myself dashing home from County Hall this afternoon to get changed before going back out to canvass in St James' ward. The television was showing a programme called 'Dickinson's Real Deal', which featured celebrity antique dealer and bronzed icon David Dickinson, in a kind of 'Antiques Roadshow' format where dealers made cash offers for objects.

Now it's not unusual for daytime TV shows to feature fairly fatuous phone in competitions, but this one took the biscuit. At a cost of £1 per minute from a BT land line, viewers were invited to answer the following question:

"Who was Britain's Prime Minister during most of the Second World War?"

Possible answers were:

A) Margaret Thatcher
B) Winston Churchill, or
C) Ted Heath

The prize was the eventual sale price of a set of RAF bravery and valour medals from WW2. They eventually went under the hammer for £2200. I wonder if more than 2200 people will have tried their luck at £1 a minute?

Of course they would, and the profit will have been vast.

After all the publicity about phone in competitions (Ant and Dec, Richard and Judy), about how the winners were chosen but the lines still left open to boost the income, isn't it time the television companies stopped insulting our intelligence with such facile and blatant attempt to generate income?

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