Now that all TV ends up getting archived on the internet somewhere, the gulf between that which is broadcast live, that which is broadcast as if live, and that which is edited for future enjoyment is getting smaller all the time.
So, in gathering up the best of the year’s gaffes, spoofs, interviews and how-do-you-dos, let’s just agree that we’re either after some moments of total humanity under showbiz gloss, or the bits where the TV suddenly stops looking like it has been constructed by diligent professionals and starts to resemble a school nativity play gone awry in which lines, poise and authenticity are the first casualties.
And we’re starting with the best thing that has ever happened on a television anywhere:
Madonna at the Brits
Pop stars are supposed to carry themselves with a certain amount of hubris. Otherwise they couldn’t do what they do, and we couldn’t care about it. That said, there’s something enormously satisfying in seeing pride go before a fall quite as literally as this. And of course it just would be a regal cape that caused all the problems. You don’t get this kind of thing with T-shirts, after all.
The Easiest Typo in the Universe
Everything around the name of the Large Hadron Collider at Cerne is stacked against the news agencies, from the word large, to the juxtaposition of the letters D and R, which utterly changes the meaning. That said, calling the Hadron Collider “the world’s largest atom-smasher” when you’ve spelled it, ahem, incorrectly is merely adding insult to injury.
David Tennant’s children love Doctor Who
This is just an adorable clip, which shows just the level of affection with which David Tennant still views Doctor Who, and it’s a rare glimpse into his well-protected family life. And it has the kind of ending only a parent would be able to correctly identify as happy.
BBC Newsreader’s Beauty Regime
The time is 8:56, there are four minutes to go before the 9 am bulletin on the BBC News channel, so newsreader Carole Walker clearly has plenty of time to give her hair a once-over before she begins broadcasting live to the nation, right? Wrong! But look how seamlessly she shifts gears into full work mode. True professionalism at work. Unlike…
Steve Backshall spots a blue whale
You have to feel for Steve Backshall, standing at the prow of a ship and heading up a live TV show about whales. In the middle of his interview with Dora from Moss Landing, the crew spots a blue whale, and the excited junior naturalist inside the grown-up broadcasting professional leaps to the fore, and he breaks off the interview and commences an excited (and slightly hyperbolic) monologue that is all charm.
Olly Murs should stick to singing
As a co-presenter on The X Factor (and not a fair pop star in his own right), it’s fair to say Olly Murs can occasionally be prone to confusion. And this would be fine for a TV show without a strong sense of its own stampeding importance at every moment of every show. As it is, his inability to add up votes caused him to tell contestant Monica Michael that it was her turn to leave, then it wasn’t, then it was.
BBC reporter’s imaginary smartphone
Another BBC News clip: Sports reporter Chris Mitchell had just delivered his piece to camera, delivered his sign-off and waited for the editors to cut away to something else. Why he chose to tap at his hand as if holding some kind of electrical device, has never been made entirely clear. But it’s a safe bet that he thought it looked cooler than it does.
Katie Couric pranks James Corden
Whether he was in on the joke or not (and it’s much more fun to believe he was not), this is a classy April Fool’s Day tumble down the stairs by Katie Couric and one that left a horrified expression etched across James Corden’s face only a week after he started presenting The Late Late Show.
Dame Maggie Smith does not give a monkeys
One of the reasons Maggie Smith is so good in Downton Abbey and the Harry Potter films is that the characters she plays are hard-to-please older women with nothing to fear from speaking their mind. And that is who she is, as this interview on The Graham Norton Show proves. Confronted with a young Harry Potter fan, her only response to his starstruck “Were you really a cat?” is “Just pull yourself together.” AND she’s never seen Downton Abbey.
Sir David Attenborough narrates Adele’s “Hello”
OK, so this one is a bit of a cheat, in that it happened on live radio, rather than TV. But it was filmed for the internet, so it basically counts. This is Sir David, one of the most trusted and recognizable voices in broadcasting, offering his whispery tones to narrate the musical comeback of the year.Read More