The Media in the Press 3.12.09

The ghost of Christmas past visits us once more: TV repeats. And today's Scottish Daily Express splashes with news that some 600 hours of repeated programmes are going to grace the four main terrestrial channels over the festive period.

“The glut of tired shows and old films on offer from the four major terrestrial channels will be the largest number of repeats ever shown over the festive fortnight,” writes Elisa Roche and Mark Reynolds.

And the BBC, says the report, is the worst offender, with 270 hours of repeats “as it desperately tries to shave millions of pounds from its budget”. A 0901 telephone number allows readers to take part in a poll, asking Are TV Licence Payers Ripped Off by Repeats? Calls cost 25p from a BT landline.

And on page 7 of the same newspaper, BBC news presenter, Susan Osman, is said to be the latest to join “the growing chorus of complaints against the 'culture of ageism' in broadcasting”. And says the paper elsewhere, celebrity cook, Delia Smith, attracted more than three million viewers to her first TV Christmas programme in 15 years on Tuesday night.

Talking of much-loved, lots of papers – Daily Record – page 19, Scottish Sun – page 25, The Herald – page 3, and Scottish Daily Mail – page 11 – note the death of Coronation Street actress, Maggie Jones, who played the character, Blanche Hunt. She was aged 75.

Also in the Sun (page 52), it's being claimed a stunt on car TV programme, Top Gear, was faked. 

Stephen Glover (page 17, Scottish Daily Mail) defends an article by fellow Mail columnist, Jan Moir, about the recent death of singer, Stephen Gately. Moir's piece was branded homophobic and became the subject of an extensive social networking campaign which, among other things, resulted in thousands of complaints to the Press Complaints Commission. 

Glover asks, though, whether there would have been the same outcry – if any – had threesome sexual tryst that appears to have preceded Gately's death involved heterosexuals and Moir simply complained about the sexual (Loveless? Heartless? Wildly promiscuous?) behaviour?