“Dear BBC…”.

I hoped it wouldn’t happen so early in my life but I’ve been sufficiently annoyed to consider putting pen to paper and write to the top brass of the BBC.

Why, oh why, oh why? I hear you ask.

Well, you can blame Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. Or rather, you can blame the fact that the cult of celebrity has now become so ingrained in our everyday lives that their nuptials were deemed such big news.

Why else would the BBC spend so much money on having an outside broadcast unit stationed in a small Italian town to bring live updates of…well, to be honest, live updates of a castle with a few bemused locals milling around?

To be fair, it did look a rather picturesque Italian town and the castle had all the characteristics you would ever want in a “fairytale” setting.

But all we got for the presence of the outside broadcast unit and an experienced BBC reporter was shots of the castle walls across one of the town’s squares, footage of random celebrities apparently arriving in Rome for the wedding and endless padding by the journalist desperate for something to speculate on.

On the day of the alleged wedding itself, we got one grainy shot of the happy couple, plenty of footage of blacked-out cars entering the castle and a firework display that served only to shroud the hill-top town in a fairly dense cloud.

Was it really necessary for the BBC to send out a crew to cover what, at the end of the day, was always going to be a non-event?

The fact that on Saturday BBC News 24 kept going live to Italy for updates, which consisted of the same footage and meaningless speculation, served to compound the folly and lack of news judgement.

It wasn’t as if it was a slow news day or weekend. There was sufficient happening around the world and yet top story in terms of coverage and no doubt money and resources spent was the wedding of TomKat – as the happy couple is now inevitably referred to in our superficial, celeb-obsessed world.

The only person to come out of the whole sorry non-event was the mayor of the Italian town that played host to the wedding and the world’s media. She did her town proud and proved equally adept at giving the assembled hacks the run-around too.

Good luck to the happy couple, they’ll probably need it.

I just wish I didn’t feel quite so neutered by the saturation coverage given to TomKat.


Comments are closed.