The Radio Times now lists 72 channels, and that’s not all of them.
The most watched programme on British television this year was the special live edition of EastEnders, broadcast in February to mark the soap’s 25th anniversary.
It is the 50th anniversary of Coronation Street and there seems to be as much celebration and feasting as there was for the Queen’s own golden jubilee, in 2002.
Courtroom dramas filled the schedules this week, with Jimmy McGovern writing a series for the BBC called Accused (BBC1, Monday).
I’m writing this near Ludlow, a town which has miraculously kept its centre.
There have been the usual moans about the BBC spending £100,000 on coverage of the Chilean miners.
The Song of Lunch (BBC2) was a rum old go. Christopher Reid’s poem, about a publisher half-hoping to rekindle a past love affair over an Italian meal, was read out by Alan Rickman, who acted the publisher and recreated the lines on film.
Highgrove: Alan Meets Prince Charles (BBC2, Thursday) brought us two men who are not quite national treasures, though who would certainly like to be.
Him and Her (BBC 3) is the BBC’s notion of a really edgy sitcom.
The X Factor is back on ITV, and it’s fascinating, being a paradigm of British life.
The Unforgettable Bob Monkhouse (ITV1) might be thought a slightly coat-trailing title, though not perhaps as much as its follow-up, The Unforgettable Jeremy Beadle.
Some 13 years ago, a six-year-old girl called JonBenet Ramsey was murdered in Boulder, Colorado.
What a strange organisation the BBC is! Imagine the meeting at which they discussed the cancellation of Hole in the Wall, the world’s most mindless game show.
Years ago, not long after Tony Blair’s first landslide, I was asked by London Weekend Television to co-write a sitcom.
In spite of the hype, I enjoy the World Cup. But I don’t enjoy the omnipresent James Corden, who played the clingy, footie-loving, curry-scoffing, lager-glugging, belly-baring, deeply annoying best friend in Gavin and Stacey.
I really wanted to like When Romeo Met Juliet (BBC2, Friday).
Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.
Two programmes about singing this week, and they could scarcely have been more different.
The other day there were four cookery programmes in prime time on the terrestrial channels.
The sublime Outnumbered (BBC1, Thursday) is back.
Lewis Carroll invented the word ‘mimsy’, probably soldering it from ‘miserable’ and ‘flimsy’.
I am, I hope, still too young to watch daytime television, but conversation can be slow in the care home where I visit my parents every week.
Things you never hear on Masterchef (BBC1, passim).
Last week I had the pleasure of lunching with Michael Medwin, who is the only surviving member of the cast of The Army Game (ITV, 1957–61).
Our attitude to the past of our own youth is like our feelings towards an old grandfather: we love him, admire him for what he’s done, but, goodness, we don’t half patronise him.