The BBC was forced into making a humiliating apology yesterday after a number of jokes accidentally found their way into a new Friday night sitcom.
By the end of the programme the average viewer could be expected to have laughed as many as three times. To put it in perspective, this was at least two more laughs than could be found on Channel 4 at the same time.
The first episode, which didn’t end with a married couple sitting in bed reading,
• LACKED jokes about the wife’s cooking
• FEATURED convincingly fleshed-out characters and
• Was BASED around a character who wasn’t constantly whinging about everything.
Writing in the Daily Mail, Simon Heffer – or possibly Peter Hitchens – thundered ‘what has gone wrong with the so-called BBC? Where was the wimpy neighbour? Why were the children in the show intelligent and likeable with a good relationship with their parents? Why were there no embarrassed and resentful-looking extras who were capable of much better things? I suppose it’s politically correct to be funny these days. Tchoh. I ask you.’
BBC veteran writer Tony Oldrope looked shocked when we dragged him out of cryogenic suspension.
‘Where they went wrong was in making the central character too realistic,’ he said. ‘By rights he should have had a borderline psychotic hatred of his wife and children, the kind that would make any sensible viewer wonder why he hadn’t left them years ago, or at least hanged himself. They should also have been forced into situations that were frankly unlikely in the extreme, in which any comic potential was heavily signposted and milked for all it was worth.’
Angry viewer Judge Maria Boombox told us: ‘I work long hours dealing with the dregs of society. When I get home of a Friday night I expect something tepid and unchallenging to watch. Ideally it will feature two-dimensional characters with personalities which depend on some exaggerated trait and not last beyond one series. If it could feature painfully unconvincing dialogue and tediously predictable one-liners that would be a bonus. I certainly don’t expect to be challenged by humorous wordplay and imaginative storylines.’
Acting Director-General Sauron Beelzebub said in an official apology: ‘The BBC prides itself on providing bland lowest-denominator tat. Our predictable, by-the-book light entertainment output is the envy of the world. So I’m sorry we let you down so badly on this occasion. A full enquiry will be carried out to determine just what went wrong. I will henceforth be resigning my position, and hope you can forgive us.'
To compensate it is expected the BBC will be making its news reports grimmer, with extra deaths.