Hopefully I’m not the only person to be cheered at the return of PROPER Watchdog with Anne Robinson back at the helm.
In Thursday’s opening episode of the new-look show Anne took on fellow BBC star Duncan Bannatyne over the use of sunbeds by under 18’s (he came off worse after mentioning that she’d used them only for her to show the scar from her melanoma), Matt Allwright exposed some iffy sales practices and Virgin Media came a cropper thanks to a rather catchy tune:
Shows which return to their past aren’t always successes but the new hour long format rapidly banished all thoughts of the pale imitator of recent years which went undeservedly by the same name.
This was Watchdog as it was in its glory years when Anne would readily bash big name companies and get real results. It also happened to be real public service broadcasting, something the BBC does less and less of these days as it crams the schedule with shiny floor formats and overpaid comedians.
At last here was a consumer show which didn’t treat the audience like so many thickies waiting for their next dose of reality TV.
There wasn’t a patronising word to be heard or smug look in sight, Anne, Matt and Anita Rani looked like they were having the time of their lives as they stood up for consumers and there was even a little quiz which provided more educational content than the rest of the BBC’s output has managed all year.
The sad thing is that the revitalised show highlights just how shallow so much of the current BBC factual output is.
If you missed this rare glimpse of quality journalism in the BBC One schedule it’s on the iPlayer for the next few days.