What is the pettiest and most typically British complaint sent into Points of View? Scott Bryan investigates…

"Dreadful. Rotten host. Rotten concept. Rotten set. Apart from that it was terrible"

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I love Points of View, the BBC TV show that airs feedback and complaints about BBC programmes. Part of the reason is how wonderfully meta it is (“we contacted the BBC and the BBC told us that the BBC had no comment etc etc”), part of it is to spot any faithful viewer shouting something like “I LOVE THE LICENCE FEE AND I WANT TO GIVE YOU ALL MY MONEY” and part of it is because, when you think about it, the premise of this show is so damn loopy.

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Scott Bryan also investigates…


I only came to this conclusion after I asked some American colleagues in my old job to watch an episode of Points of View (don’t ask) and tell me what they thought about it:

“Wait wait wait. You all have an entire TV show about people’s phoned-in complaints about TV shows?” asked one colleague.

“The customer complaints department is a TV show in England?” asked another.

“Is this the most British thing I’ve ever seen?!”

That third question stuck with me. It is the most British thing they’ve ever seen. But how British and petty can the complaints be? I decided to investigate. Every time a peak Point of View complaint happened I made a note of it and lo and behold, (I am single) here are some of my favourite petty ones.

This complaint about the innuendos during The Great British Bake Off:

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This complaint about a new version of Porridge starring Kevin Bishop:

“I felt Fletcher chewing gum was ugly and not necessary and he spoke very, very fast. It put me on edge.”

This complaint about Question Time not answering the questions:

“I enjoy Question Time but I find it a bit infuriating because it is called Question Time but doesn’t seem to answer the questions.”

This complaint about hot beverages on EastEnders:

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This complaint about the World Cup, which was watched by more than 20 million viewers on BBC1:

“I think it is quite outrageous that we should have to suffer through these next four weeks or more whilst you fill the channel with unwanted football when you could easily channel it to BBC4.”

This viewer who complained that nobody else watched a show they liked:

“I loved it! But absolutely nobody I know seems to have watched it and have just stared blankly at me when I have asked them about it.”

And the upset that the winning painting in the show was an “ugly giraffe”:

“I am absolutely mortified at the result of this programme that I have watched with enthusiasm each week. How anyone with any knowledge or experience of art could choose the hideous final painting of a giraffe is beyond me.”

This complaint about Strictly Come Dancing that went from 0 to 10,000 degrees of insanity real quick:

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This complaint about why Homes Under The Hammer has three presenters:

“Three presenters doing for me what could be one person’s job. It’s like asking a plumber to fix your central heating and then three turn up at once.”

This complaint that Robin Hood was now too politically correct:

“Whoever heard of a PC Robin Hood? No one. Only the BBC could have come up with this idiotic idea.”

This complaint about BBC News that gets many, many, many thanks from me:

“When switching from presenter to presenter, how many ‘thanks’ does this take? You would think one would suffice. Not for BBC presenters. Apparently ‘many thanks’ and ‘many many thanks’ are required. I’m just waiting for my first ‘many many many thanks.’”

This complaint about Gunpowder, a drama about Guy Fawkes:

“After the executions I switched it off.”

This complaint about what happened when two agents went abroad on Spooks:

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This complaint about Wimbledon showing us um… Wimbledon:

“Is it possible that with Wimbledon just around the corner we get fewer pointless shots of the crowd fanning themselves, taking pictures. wearing silly getups etc?”

This complaint about the Russell T Davies show A Very English Scandal:

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The complaint that Autumnwatch was not relevant because it was broadcast from a country that wasn’t ours:

“The very essence of past programmes is that they capture moments in nature on the doorsteps of the audience. Your programme from New England is remote. It is foreign. It does not involve us; merely informs us.”

This complaint about the language in a sitcom called White Gold:

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This complaint that a show set in Wales featuring the Welsh language was not in English:

“I live in Wales but don’t speak Welsh (sadly). I knit when I am watching TV, so I might not always be looking at the screen when the subtitles pop up for a few seconds, and miss bits… I won’t be watching it again.”

This complaint about Radio 1’s Big Weekend (during an episode of Points of View hosted by Scott Mills):

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This complaint about a new BBC series about cars, leading to a suggestion of the worst TV programme of all time:

“When is the BBC going to make a programme looking at the everyday safety hazards pedestrians face on their journeys?”

This complaint about Andrew Neil:

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This complaint about Pointless:

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This complaint about a new show by Brendan O’Carroll, the man behind Mrs Browns Boys:

“Dreadful. Rotten host. Rotten concept. Rotten set. Apart from that it was terrible.”

This complaint about The Thick Of It, best known for Peter Capaldi’s sweary spin doctor Malcolm Tucker:

“The BBC makes wonderful comedy programmes, and has some of the best writers in the business. So why insist on spoiling what could be a brilliant satire by insisting that the ‘f’ word is used in every sentence uttered?”

This complaint about errrrrm… Points of View itself:

“How much is it a PR exercise with no direct impact on BBC output – simply a time filler masquerading under the guise of concern and response? From the point of the BBC, what is the point of Points of View?”

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In conclusion, this is my favourite one…

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