Thursday, August 3

We're not singing anymore

Never mind the World Cup. It's the hooligans at the BBC's commisioning department who should be tackled, says Alex Grose

Sad as it may be, I’m a bit of a veteran of hooligan TV. From the films ID and The firm to more recent movie drivel and the raft of hooligan programmes offered up to us around the World Cup including Danny ‘Bit of a tasty little firm these lot’ Dyer on Bravo. This subject has been well and truly covered. But the BBC had been noticeably quiet on the subject.

In Hooligans – A Panorama Special (BBC1, 9pm) my hopes lay in the "Panorama" part of the title. What slant would they take? What revelation would we be treated to? Nothing. Pure and simple. Due to clever undercover cameras they managed to hit us with the outstanding journalistic gems that a gang of drunk English louts are not pleasant, need good policing and aren’t overly PC. At least we know we’re getting pure quality for every pound of license money…..

Five or ten years ago a programme like this may have made an impact, a quick glimpse at a world that people had heard about but never seen. Donal MacIntyre’s expose springs to mind as an example of how well this subject can be handled. We’ve seen it before.

Maybe a more fitting title would have been "Policing around the World Cup", but would that satisfy the me-too ratings whore the BBC seems to be becoming? Overall a real shame. I didn’t expect this with my first review but I’m struggling to find anything positive.

So, maybe I’d treat myself to a bit of Big Brother (Channel 4, all the time, will it ever end?) for some more intelligent debate…? A naked Welshman burping and farting in the bath. Not my night was it.

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