We all know commercial broadcasters are obsessed with eyeballs, but is UKTV taking it a bit far? The broadcaster describes this 20ft x 20ft inflatable, rolled through country and city to promote new channel Watch, as “iconic and loveable”. But since UKTV also points out that the eye can “watch you everywhere you go”, we're not feeling the love and can't help but feel it's all a little (whisper it) Big Brother, another show where the eye looms large.
It's water and whine for White City staff...
No one's feeling the credit crunch more than staff at White City, where hot water in the canteen has undergone an inflation-busting price hike from 4p per cup to 15p. Want milk? Add another 10p, and don't forget to bring your own tea bag. It could be worse: for a time, staff were denied such pleasures entirely as part of a strategy to remove the BBC's catering subsidy - in its own words, “releasing cash to go in to programme-making”. (Turning water into wine is one thing; turning it into Bonekickers, quite another.) Our spy overheard one employee gripe: “There must be some mighty cows making that milk.” Cash ones, presumably.
...while ITV needs tea mugs and sympathy
More kitchen nightmares over at Gray's Inn Road, where ITV staff are resorting to ever more devious means to get their daily cuppa. In an environmentally friendly move, bosses have cut back on paper cups in the kitchen, leading to a daily bunfight for brews. “It's ridiculous - we have to stockpile them in a locked cupboard or we wouldn't be able to make visitors a coffee,” our mole tells us. “We've been caught short a few times and I've had to steal some from another employee's stash... it was really embarrassing.” Another admitted she had befriended cleaners for the sole purpose of getting extra cups.
Louis and the shoegazers
After decades of selfless devotion to masterminding the rise of the boyband - while stopping off to launch Girls Aloud along the way - there are signs that Louis Walsh is finally tiring of the manufactured pop that has been the hallmark of his music and TV career. What else could the presence of the former Pop Idol judge at the ear-splitting comeback gig of feedback-loving indie rockers My Bloody Valentine signify? A radical change in the band's direction, or the first stages of a reality show devoted to reuniting members of the “shoegazing” movement of the early 1990s?
The bald facts
Sir David Jason appeared a tad wistful at the launch party for the new ITV1 series of A Touch of Frost. However, it was not Frost's imminent retirement that was making him feel nostalgic, but a reminder of hairier times. As the preview rolled, he let out an excited: “Oh look! That's me with hair!” Never mind, Sir David - given the rows about ageism doing the rounds in TV, a balding drama hero is something to be treasured.