British television broadcaster ITV have announced the cancellation of police drama 'Heartbeat' in what pundits are calling 'tat-for-tat' moves between the UK's two main networks.
The BBC reacted swiftly when ITV dropped another long-running police show 'The Bill' by ditching its Yorkshire documentary series 'The Last of the Summer Wine', and the corporation is expected to respond in kind to this latest move by the independent broadcaster. 'Any suggestion that the BBC is involved in a childish spat with another broadcaster is entirely baseless,' said a BBC spokesman, 'but if we were to engage in such an activity, it wouldn't be with a poo-smell bum-hole like ITV.'
Public opinion is extremely polarised, with the 'doddery pensioner' group disappointed at the cancellations and 'everyone else' thrilled and hopeful that the spaces will be filled with 'something worthwhile'. 'I have to say I'm thoroughly pleased that some of the crap is finally being dropped,' said one father from Worcester, 'but I do have a firm belief that we should continue to emulate my childhood memories of Sunday-night dross -- it used to mean school was looming and was a chilling reminder to rush upstairs and scribble some answers for my homework.'
Commentators believe the retaliatory moves have become the latest way for the BBC and ITV to display their classic 'ratings rivalry', following massive losses of their usual viewer base to satellite channel Dave. 'The BBC is trying to show that is has bigger, more important unpopulist guff to get rid of than ITV can muster,' says Colin Robertson, TV writer for the Sun newspaper. 'There are rumours that they might go for something huge and get rid of a really unpopular show like Songs of Praise, but my money is on something smaller -- Countryfile, for example. I mean, John Craven can't keep going forever, he doesn't even have his own teeth any more and talks with that John Stapleton-esque lisp and characteristic top-lip movement of someone trying really hard to hold their falsies in place.'
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