Media in the Press 11.2.11

FEARGHUS Roulston, a post-graduate Journalism student from Edinburgh Napier, casts an eye over the media stories in the news today…

In a quiet day for media news, the Scottish Daily Express (page 39) reports that STV has upset its viewers by replacing hit sitcom, Benidorm, with a new series of home-grown The Football Years. The ITV comedy, which is said to have attracted six million viewers, UK-wide, last year, is reportedly set to welcome a series of famous names onto its next series, including Bananarama and iconic television presenter, Cilla Black. But the Express quotes a spokeswoman for STV as saying: “From Friday…STV will be showing the second series of The Football Years.”

The Express also speculates that STV have saved millions by choosing not to broadcast hit shows such as Downton Abbey and The Bill. STV and ITV have long-standing legal claims against each other, the latter for supposedly outstanding payments towards the making of UK-wide, network shows.

The Scottish Daily Mail (page 11) also focuses on tension between two broadcasters, reporting that the BBC is “re-igniting its period drama battle with ITV” by giving a new series to popular drama Upstairs, Downstairs. BBC One controller, Danny Cohen, has commissioned a furrther six episodes for the show, which competes with ITV’s Downton Abbey for viewers.

A novel approach to dealing with inaccurate weather forecasts is mentioned in The Scottish Sun (page 34). It claims that the Met Office wants to improve its service by allowing amateur forecasters to post observations and predictions online.

The Scotsman (page 3, meanwhile, continues examining the criticism of TV presenters, Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May, after they mocked Mexicans on their Top Gear car show on the BBC. It understands that the scenes in question will be edited out before the show is broadcast in the United States.

The controversial presenters joked about Mexican national characteristics, with Hammond stating Mexican cars would be similar to Mexicans: “lazy, feckless, flatulent”. After coming in for criticism from various quarters, including the Mexican ambassador to Britain, the Corporation was forced to apologise for causing offence. The Scotsman reports a spokeswoman for the BBC as saying: “Top Gear episodes are routinely edited for international transmission.”

Elsewhere, Herald columnist, Robert McNeil (page 15), is standing up for Glasgow. Partly because a judge on the TV show, Britain’s Got Talent, has reportedly said the city has ‘no talent; partly because there was a furore last week about the editor of the BBC discussion programme, Question Time, choosing not to relocate from London to Glasgow, where the programme is going to start being made from; and partly because former Sun editor, Kelvin MacKenzie, has apparently described Glaswegians as “freezing cold, miserable people” (page 3).

Finally, The Scotsman (page 13) reports that social networking site, Twitter, is in talks with Google and Facebook over a potential £6.2 billion buyout. It claims that “investors have shown keen interest in social networking services in recent months”.