Tonight on BBC one I can look forward to a, “Star Studded Pointless celebrating 100 years of the BBC”. I need it having just returned from a trip to our local Cooperative to purchase ingredients for my Special fried rice. Becca is out, and my 扬州炒饭, or Yáng zhōu chǎo fàn, is one of my two go to dishes, and to be clear, there are only two and rarely used.
As I sit recovering from the shock of the cost of some veg, a few chillies, four packets of firecracker microwave rice, and the now regular 21st-century phenomenon of an item not being available, this time it was eggs – avian flu. The Zombies are just around the corner;. Although, having watched 11 series of “The Walking Dead”, 264 hours of instructional video on how to survive the Zombie Apocalypse, I am not that worried. The email promising a Star Studded Pointless was at the very least something to look forward to with a tummy full of Yáng zhōu chǎo fàn.
I subscribe to TV Guide; it is essential and deductible in my line of work. Providing me with valuable insights, a schedule and emails suggesting a must-watch. Today it was the promise of a Star-Studded Pointless celebrating 100 years of the BBC. Now dear reader (yes singular at the moment on Altdiv) you are aware of my interest in narrative. If you Read my missive entitled “Shark Infested” water you will note I am a master of manipulating the narrative, it is of course the job of a writer.
My issue is when it is the population that are being manipulated by lies that have consequences for all of us. So heres the issue and yes it’s about the accuracy of language. Star Studded Pointless celebrating 100 years of the BBC prompts one to look at the “stars” my expectation have been managed this is a huge milestone 100 years at the BBC and the show is STAR STUDDED.
So what does Star-Studded suggest? As narratives go it’s fairly innocuous, he writes ignoring the obvious temptation to say “pointless”. What the BBC PR is suggesting, I watch this show and will be wowed by the wit and repartee of some stars. What do I expect, well its celebrating the BBC a grand organisation, Sir David Attenborough for sure, Gary Lineker the BBC highest paid star, Zoe Ball highest paid female star (note the disparity) – I knew her when she was a researcher on “Stars in Their Eyes”. Perhaps I can hope for some real Stars, Judy Dench, Daniel Craig, Dame Maggie Smith and Sir Ian Mckellen (My dream team).
I should declare an interest here, I have directed Pointless, although that’s just self-promotion and has no impact on my point. The actual Stars in question are, hosts Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman aside, Tony Blackburn, Scott Mills, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Prof Chris Lintott, Peter Purves, Lindsey Russell, Shanequa Paris, Mobeen Azhar and Baroness Floella Benjamin are not stars. While I have nothing against any of these people they are regular DJs, presenters and hosts, possibly falling into the celebrity catch-all.
Why is this even important, well back in the day, a star meant something, Marilyn Monroe, Gregory Peck, Humphrey Bogart. Getting Even more contemporary Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Olivia Coleman, and Robin Williams. It was an event to see them on TV. I remember walking into the Muppet Show Studio on a Monday and being blown away at being in the same room as Jame Coburn, Donald Sutherland even Joan Baez. I’ve even held a used tissue from the sweaty brow of Rudolf Nureyev, and this is the link to the actual show I worked on Giselle / Nureyev, Seymour, Mason, Bavarian State Ballet .
Using words or phrases do set a narrative and using Star-Studded when the reality doesn’t deliver on the promise, it downgrades the expectation permanently. It reduces us all to the mundane and ordinary. And in these times of real hardship, we seed a dream, we need stars, and we need star-studded, not celebrity masquerading as stardom. #pointless #bbc #jgtvdirector #jonathanglazier #controlthenarrative