Prime time… to switch off

As a student I spent 3 years without a television (the last of these years was spent with the luxury of the BBC iPlayer, the first most certainly wasn’t and I think the middle year had limited internet television). I didn’t miss having a TV as I instead did the radical thing of speaking to people and socialising (speaking to people next door via Skype still counts as speaking to them, right?).

I now have a TV and I watch it quite a bit, although I only really watch it because it’s there. If it wasn’t, then I’d stare vacuously into an empty void (one that’s similar to the empty void that exists between the ears of a cast member of The Only Way is Essex).

Trying to predict rating winners must be difficult, for example Sherlock is a real ratings winner (no sh*t) and The Great British Bake Off is also very popular (even though the person who did initially pitch the idea for a show involving taking people with respiratory problems to places like Whitby and Morecambe is said to be very annoyed at the outcome – he wanted to make a show called The Great British Bay Cough).

Quite why someone thought Splash (a programme where Tom Daley teaches ‘celebrities’ how to dive) would be entertaining is beyond me. Additionally, given that both Dancing on Ice and Celebrity Big Brother are currently on at the moment, this would also mean that getting celebrities to appear on it must have been harder than pushing an elephant through a cat-flap.

Surely the mere fact that the obvious headlines were, ‘Splash is ratings bomb’ or ‘Diving programme belly flops’ should have been enough to put the commissioners off?

But this wasn’t the case, so instead we got Omid Djalili going off the 7.5 metre flat board and Jade Ewen (it’s okay, I don’t know who she is either…) jumping from the 5 metre springboard – unfortunately for some viewers Tom Hanks & Daryl Hannah didn’t appear and there was no place for Felix Baumgartner to do a somersault from the 12,500 metre board where he was trying to freefall faster than Jim Davidson’s [admittedly already poor] reputation.

The diving at times was pretty bad (think Gareth Bale crossed with Dider Drogba) and after getting out of the pool, the divers were then judged by a bloke I’d never heard of (presumably he was well-known in the diving fraternity), one half of former Olympic medal winning synchronised diving duo Leon Taylor and Peter Waterfield (but I don’t know which one) and… er… Jo Brand.

Quite why Jo Brand is a judge is unknown (obviously it’s nowhere near as ironic as when Piers Morgan used to judge talent) and after a relatively poor performance from her, there were calls for her to be replaced. To their credit, ITV have said they will persevere with her – which is a strong showing of Brand loyalty…

Perhaps it’s hoped that Tom Daley and his celebrity diving programme will make diving cool? Let’s be honest, Bradley Wiggins has made cycling and sideburns cool; which is something that John McCririck failed to do on both counts – albeit, he didn’t put much effort into the cycling.

That said, because I’m keen to test the waters (literally) I decided to give diving a go yesterday just to see what it was like. I grabbed a fish, held it close to me, jumped off the board… my dive was a double somersault with a pike…

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