Alex Massie

Tonight’s TV...

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It's a Sunday night in August. Hardly the most auspicious time of year for television programming. Still, that also makes it a reasonable moment to see how Channel 4 is faring in its mission to meet its public service remit.

Tonight, on the supposedly up-market and less-idiotic-than-most channel, you be reassured that British TV is still "the best in the world" by watching:

  • 19:00      Make Me a Christian: Would a return to a more 'Christian' way of life halt this country's moral decline? Reverend George Hargreaves would like to find out.
  • 20:00     Wife Swap: Working parents Suzanne and Paul Newman swap lives with Wioletta and Tony Butler.
  • 21:00     Big Brother: All the highlights from the Big Brother House.
  • 22:00     The Perfect Vagina: In an age where boob jobs and botox are commonplace it would seem that women have found a new part of the body to worry about... their vaginas.

A reminder of that public service purpose...

which was most recently defined in the 2003 Communications Act. This states that "the public service remit for Channel 4 is the provision of a broad range of high quality and diverse programming which, in particular:

(a) demonstrates innovation, experiment and creativity in the form and content of programmes;

(b) appeals to the tastes and interests of a culturally diverse society;

(c) makes a significant contribution to meeting the need for the licensed public service channels to include programmes of an educational nature and other programmes of educative value; and

(d) exhibits a distinctive character."

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

Topics in this articleSociety