“ITV swings axe to revive channel”

ITV are taking the hard decisions. What they’re doing is “painful, but utterly necessary”. It’s their “clause IV moment”. They’re revamping for a brave new world. They’re twisting the knife and scrapping the schedules. It has to be done.

Yes, in a move that has shocked the nation, they’ve cancelled Rosemary and Thyme.

Sorry. It’s just funny. From the words of their director you’d think they were getting rid of Coronation Street or something. Also scrapped are “Today with Des and Mel” and “Celebrity Fit Club”.

The BBC’s Question Time last night had the public quizzing ministers on terrorism vs. security, Labour’s environmental record, and whether the private lives of MPs should be private; ITV’s only current affairs programme spoke in shocked tones this evening of the stunning revelation that sat-nav devices don’t always get it right.

While the BBC arguably got off to a slow start, they’re rapidly becoming market leaders in new waves of podcasting, on-demand-tv and the ‘web 2.0’ revolution; ITV still think I want to enter an SMS competition that costs “£1 plus seven standard rate messages”.

The BBC website is the largest in Europe, with award-winning news coverage; ITV’s site tells me that “Bettany [is] too Buff for his Mrs!”.

Channel 4 are buying the best of US tv, and broadcasting it at prime time (The West Wing nonwithstanding), while generating the best new comedy in the UK (along, arguably, with BBC3); ITV generate show after show revolving around rude people yelling at each other.

Channel 4 have been the BBC’s only real competition since ITV decided to become a cheap cable channel. Truth be told it would be nice to see ITV regain some of its lost dignity.