Tuesday, October 10

Reach For The Sky... Remote

Emma Mitchell on her love/hate relationship with Sky.

As I sit down on Sunday evening, with a glass of wine (ok, it’s actually squash) and a choice of over 400 channels, I can’t help thinking what better way to unwind before a week of work. That’s right, I am one of the privileged millions to have Sky TV.

Just how did we manage with only 5 channels, and not so long before that it was only 4 channels? I don’t think I could go back to just 5. Maybe that’s what Sky’s next advertising campaign could be about – ‘Once You Have It, You Never Go Back’. Hmm... maybe not.

Every evening, I am given so much choice I can find something to watch regardless of my mood. If I fancy a little escapism, I can watch a plethora of soaps; though I only watch EastEnders and Hollyoaks (if the other half isn’t back from work yet). I find the rest of the soaps plague the other channels. If I fancy some comedy, there are relentless repeats of Have I Got News For You and Open All Hours to keep me amused. Then if I fancy increasing my brain capacity, I can watch QI (although how anyone is supposed to know the answers is beyond me), re-runs of Who Wants Be A Millionaire, or Never Mind The Full Stops. Like any of these actually do increase my brain capacity.

Sometimes I find that there is so much choice that I cannot possibly make that choice, much to the annoyance of the other half. I’ll flick onto the TV Guide and go through so many pages of channels that I often end up just staring at a blank screen, wondering what I can eat next (another great past time of mine). Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned the scary church music they insist on playing on the TV Guide screen on those rare occasions I have the TV to myself in the evenings. Why do they do it to me? It's just creepy.

In fact, there seem to be a lot of arguments and tension in the air over choosing what to watch next. I would quite happily watch a load of mindless soaps until about 7.30-8.00pm, then settle down to watch two films on a Sky Movies channel, as opposed to watching a football match and a rugby match, followed by Match of the Bloody Day.

So the more choice we have, the more we cannot decide what it is we want to watch. At least when there were only 5 channels to choose from, you had a higher chance of agreeing on the same thing. Now the odds are something like 400:1 on agreeing on a programme to watch. It’s no wonder we are an angry nation. I reckon Sky has a lot to answer for.

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