Interactive TV – are you kidding?

"It's like going to a restaurant and being asked to cook..."

Interactive? Me? Are you kidding? I don’t think I’ve ever pressed the red button on the remote control, not on purpose anyway. Accidentally, yes, in my haste to get Rock and Chips and anything with Piers Morgan off my screen as fast as possible. But no. I am interinactive.


Perhaps there should be a special button for people like me that we don’t have to press, maybe in a pretty shade of azure and studded with sapphires, just so we don’t feel left out while everyone else is splitting screens or dividing the atom or whatever they do in the Land of the Red Button.

I don’t join in with television; I don’t email and I don’t Tweet my thoughts on traffic chaos, the 2012 Olympics, the routine arming of police officers, the Middle East peace process, chocolate buttons, why pixies should run public transport or on any other topic that news programmes insist demands my incisive abilities, along with the incisive abilities of people who have only just worked out that they have opposable thumbs and how to use them.

So I don’t think I am the target audience for BBC1’s forthcoming The Weather Show, described by BBC1 controller Danny Cohen as “an exciting live and interactive programme, the like of which I’m looking to develop more widely for early evenings”.

The idea is that viewers look out of their windows and let the programme know what the weather is like where they live. I read this and decided that this is really television just getting all of us to do its work. If I watch telly, it’s because I expect a service; I don’t want to do anything.

That’s why I’m lying on my sofa in a silk dressing gown and my bunny slippers. I am, dear reader, hardly likely to rouse myself, stick my head out of the window, decide it’s pleasant if a bit nippy, then contact The Weather Show to impart these golden nuggets of priceless information.

Particularly as I could have eaten at least one Curlywurly in that time. It’s like going to dinner at a nice restaurant and the chef comes out of the kitchen, flings an apron at you and demands that you make the twice-baked souffle yourself.

Quite apart from anything else, an interactive programme about the weather? Really? And there will be more like it? What – Laundry Watch, where I put my washing in the machine and email the telly when it’s reached the rinse cycle? Or how about Paint Drying Watch, where I put a nice coat of gloss on the banisters then report when it’s dried to a satisfactory finish?


If this kind of “interactivity” is the way forward – and it sounds as if it is – then we, the interinactives of this world, need to unite and do nothing. That’ll teach them. Let telly make its own programmes.