Media in the Press 2.12.10

The ‘big freeze’ dominates the front pages, but in today’s media news STV find themselves in hot water for opting out of another ITV programme – this time a one-off drama – titled Come Rain Come Shine – starring popular actor Sir David Jason. As previously reported on allmediascotland, the broadcaster had been criticised over its decision not to screen the period drama Downton Abbey.

The Scottish Daily Mail (page 13) picks up the story with the headline ‘Bah Humbug … Now STV Cuts Sir David Out of Christmas’. Writes reporter Sarah Bruce: “Last night it emerged that viewers in Scotland will not be able to see the much-anticipated Come Rain Come Shine, to be shown on ITV during Christmas week.”

Adds Bruce: “Instead, those north of the Border will be subjected to a programme about Abba being shown days before in England, and a ‘home-made’ film review show where a Scots presenter tags onto a red carpet premiere in London.”

But STV have defended their scheduling decisions, which have seen the broadcaster drop other high-profile shows such as the popular drama Doc Martin and psychological drama Bouquet of Barbed Wire. An STV spokesperson is quoted, saying: “STV’s autumn programming continues to perform extremely well and across Christmas we will deliver a rich and varied schedule.”

Sticking with the Mail (page 8), the BBC has been accused of ruining long-running sports panel game A Question of Sport after giving the show’s set a jazzy makeover.

Writes the Mail: “Viewers claimed the kaleidoscopic new backdrop with flashing lights has left the show virtually unwatchable and made them feel sick.”

The show also drew complaints for its decision to include celebrities on the quiz teams – traditionally only athletes featured in the line-ups.

One viewer’s complaint is quoted, saying: “What have they done? The audience behind the teams seems to have been evicted and replaced with an annoying flickering background and the sports stars have been replaced by celebs.”

Staying with the Mail (page 19), Britain’s libel laws are being used as weapons of the rich and powerful to silence critics, according to former shadow home secretary David Davis. Writes political editor James Chapman, Davis “… highlighted a string of ‘nasty’ cases in which companies have attempted to silence critics”.

Continues Chapman: “He called on ministers to use a review of libel laws to bring down the cost of defending cases and limit ‘libel tourism’ by stopping foreigners using English courts ahead of their own.”

Meanwhile, The Herald (page 10) reports that, as part of a new Channel 4 documentary, TV chef Jamie Oliver has recruited a team of inspirational teachers to turn around the lives of teenagers who struggled with education.

The assembled staff include ‘spin doctor’ Alistair Campbell, Olympic gold medallist Daley Thompson and artist and TV host Rolf Harris

Writes The Herald: “The series will examine why many young people are not engaged by education. It will also investigate whether those who are eminent in their own fields have the skills to tackle the realities of the classroom.”

Staying with The Herald (page 11), the paper reports that the BBC could be upstaged by a former favourite at an upcoming awards ceremony.

Writes The Herald: “Alan Partridge’s online comeback is to take on BBC TV shows for an award. Steve Coogan’s character returned for a series of sponsored internet shows. The Partridge shows face BBC4’s Getting On and BBC2’s Rev in the comedy category for the South Bank Sky Arts Awards.” 

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