TONY GILLAN: Is this the worst programme on British television?

One of the many blights of lockdown is that we’re watching far too much television. We could zap it and pick up an improving book, but let’s face it, we won’t.

Thursday, 28th May 2020, 12:00 am

I have no real excuse for laying eyes on This Morning on ITV. It had been some years since I watched it and must say it maintains the same standards I remember. Still, I blame myself for watching.

Sponsored by Nivea, who look after the skin that the programme will indubitably get under, it’s an irresistible combination of space-filling, gossip and sensationalism.

It offers advice and information which can be categorised from “sound” all the way through to “outrageous piffle”.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

This particular programme has had 30-odd years to improve, but hasn't.

The genuine expertise of Dr Chris Steele and money man Martin Lewis, is counter-weighted by advice from people, on deadly serious issues, who are non-experts at best: outright charlatans at worst.

It’s as though, in the interests of balance, people with real, encyclopaedic knowledge must be matched up with others who could not discern their elbow from any other part of their anatomy.

This is before we consider the platform This Morning gives to people who really ought not to be on television; either because they’ll say anything to be noticed, or because they aren’t operating at a safe level of mental health.

All you need to secure an interview is an insistence that no one has ever been to the moon, or that the earth is flat and bang!, you get your mush on ITV.

This was encapsulated nicely this week in a feature entitled “What does lockdown mean for leprechauns?”

“Spiritualists”, “clairvoyants”, “astrologers”, complementary “therapists” and similar evidence-hating members of society all get a turn too.

But at least they’re interesting, albeit for all the wrong reasons. In fairness, no programme with 12.5 hours per week to fill will be ceaselessly engaging.

That must be why they repeatedly tell you to enter their competitions for a minimum two quid a pop.

However, when you’ve endured features called “Live from lockdown on a houseboat”, “Alison’s perfect picnic hamper” and “Lisa’s fashionable facemasks” you can only conclude that the channel should make the show shorter and repeat a couple of episodes of George & Mildred instead.

Read More

Read More
Read more: First World problems during lockdown: perhaps life’s not so bad after...

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you.

How to subscribe to the print edition:

It’s easy to subscribe to your local newspaper. We have arranged a special 20 per cent off subscription offer for people to take advantage of. Visit, choose the newspaper title, the type of subscription and enter your details.