I have been tuning into Dave on a fairly infrequent basis since it was launched.
For the uninitiated, Dave is the new free digital channel for men of a certain age created by the UKTV franchise and is amongst other things “the home of witty banter”.
The usual suspects are there to entice and entertain the 20-, 30-, 40-something males (along with other waifs and strays), so there are lashings of Top Gear, Little Britain, Ray Mears, A Question of Sport and Never Mind the Buzzcocks re-runs, along with other man-friendly telly.
The channel earned its slightly unusual name as the creatives at UKTV decided everyone knows someone called Dave – hence it is familiar and would encourage a bit of male-bonding. Also, everyone likes a bit of sophisticated silliness, or “a place where intelligence meets irreverence, the surreal meets the spontaneous…” as the channel’s blurb puts it.
It is occasional TV. If you want to watch something, but nothing else pushes your buttons, then Dave will probably throw up something diverting.
This happened last night when I tuned into a repeat of Never Mind… with the always watchable Lauren Laverne as guest host.
It hit the right spot. But my lasting was impression was the errant use of the bleep button.
At various points during the programme the use of choice language was edited out with a good old fashioned bleep. If my failing memory serves me correctly, the bleep was absent from the original broadcast (and subsequent repeats) on BBC2.
So, Dave does witty banter but he doesn’t do swearing. Is that right?
My initial reaction during the show, which remains after sleeping on it overnight, is that the bleep was misplaced. It was an annoying intrusion into my enjoyment.
Having worked in a newsroom environment for 15 years I’m used to swear words littering just about every conversation that took place. On some occasions, the liberal use of choice swear words could have been classed as witty banter – it had a context and it worked.
I’m not a fan, however, of the likes of Gordon (F-you!) Ramsay. He swears for effect, but the desired effect is to make him look more intimidating than he actually is. I often get the impression he doesn’t have the skills, wit or imagination to back up his argument with coherent, joined-up words, so he swears a lot instead.
Others on TV and in life generally fall into a similar trap. So there is a time and a place when the use of the bleep button is not only wholly justified, but welcome.
Yet I can’t help thinking it doesn’t work during a clever exchange between Bill Bailey and Phil Jupitus.
Maybe it is a case of swearing snobbery on my part?
I don’t like Gordon Ramsay or his programmes as I feel they dumb down and serve up arrogance and ignorance as entertainment, yet I fall into the trap of believing that when an accomplished comedian like Bill Bailey swears it is clever and sophisticated.
So I’ll keep monitoring Dave’s use of the bleep button and report back my findings…yeah, coz it ain’t like I got anything f***ing better to do.