Saturday, October 20, 2007

This Week We Shall Mostly be Interviewing Actors

I've just watched THIS WEEK on the BBC's play again facility. They had some foppy haired actor called Julian Rhind-Tutt doing a film on why we should all be pro-european. It was a classic example of why THIS WEEK should steer clear of this sort of film. He came out with a series of cliches and platitudes - was quite eloquent, but had nothing very original to say.


But the telling point came when he was live in the studio and was found out. He couldn't string two words together. It indicated that for the film he had clearly learned a script - either his own or one that was written for him. In a ten minute discussion he hadn't a clue. He couldn't answer a single question put to him. What is the point of that? Wouldn't it have been better to have had a pro-european guest ... (whisper it, possibly even a politician?) who could actually articulate an argument?


It is true to say that every programme gets a dud guest from time to time. It even happens on 18 Doughty Street (!), but on a political programme like THIS WEEK surely we deserve better than a bit part actor who's got absolutely bugger all to say?!

49 comments:

Ten said...

To be fair, I think he had plenty to say on the British attitude towards Europe in general; he just didn't have anything to say about whether or not the Reform Treaty was different enough from the Constitution to justify not holding a referendum. This was all that the other speakers were interested in talking about, and since Rhind-Tutt clearly didn't know much about this aspect of it (as most of us don't, beyond what we are told) he kept quiet. I would say the fault was with the producers for putting a guest who was not a politician in a context where the regulars were grilling a leadership candidate, and as such were always going to talk about the political nitty-gritty.

forago said...

Well there's a surprise. Huhne talks as if he's a member of Brown's sell-out government. He actually thinks that the Blair-negotiated red lines are worth a fig and they will protect us from the next bit of "salami slicing".

We'll have to vote UKIP if it goes on like this.

Anonymous said...

Indeed he was piss poor, but then most actors are when they haven't got a script. Why we make such a fetish of people who make a living saying words other people have written amazes me.

Anonymous said...

or maybe there just aren't any pro-european arguments Iain?

But seriously I agree he was embarrassing.

tyger said...

Oooooh!


Saucer of milk for the catty one!!!!

Johnny Norfolk said...

Just another example of the dumbed down BBC. It really is third rate in most of its output and is why it has lost support of thinking people.

poohbear said...

Ah, Iain you miss the point of this, The BBC have learned that if they put a well known celebrity face to front a propaganda film then the masses(common people) are more likely to believe what they are told and the message is absorbed much more easily! It seems that the last thing the BBC wants are the real facts to be known! You have to hand it to the BBC commisars they have read and understood the revolutionaries handbook(agitprop chapter)!

PS You can expect to see many more of these "triumph of the will" type propaganda films in the run up to the next GE!

PPS You must see that the BBC is going to do all in its power to discredit and destroy a future Tory administration? The BBC IS socialism and that aint never going to change! So what are the Tories going to do about this vipers nest of state parrasites?

Anonymous said...

On the contrary, it's a salutory reminder that the vast majority of the population have not the slightest interest/knowledge in the issues which politicos find so important.

Some might almost argue it was a warning to those advocating a European referendum...

At least at the moment the Conservatives can threaten to renegotiate European treaties whilst claiming to have public opinion on their side. Were a referendum to be lost on the other hand...

Anonymous said...

If he is a bit-part actor, that would make you a bit-part politician - and that wouldn't be fair, would it?

Newmania said...

Foppy Haired...? Nice one

It was worth watching Millipede squirming before the Scrutiny Committee now that was real acting . James Clappison was pointing out how worthless the red lines were, as was the chairman ,and Millipepe`s smoke screen was a magnificent piece of theatrical pontificating.
Scarey how muich like Bliar he sounds.Now this actor looks the part doesn`t he . Modern , friendly unthreatening , I imagine his brain was a secondary consideration , like Rod Stewarts girlfriends say

idle said...

Is foppy hair anything like floppy hair? Was he a fop? Clearly, as a political thinker, he was a flop.

Geezer said...

We have been living in an ever increasingly celebrity obsessed culture for the last 40 odd years. The BBC, during this time, has sort to give these people a platform to air their views (as long as they fit the BBC orthodox left-wing position). It's like when they put showbiz luvvies on Question time, they usually know sod-all accept a few hackneyed left-wing clichés and bring the debating skills of an under-achieving six-former.
This is typical of the way the BBC, has for decades, tried to merge popular culture with it's own biased opinions. They no doubt think that Joe public will listen more to a celebrity (even a minor one) than a politician or someone who might actually be an expert on the subject matter.
Just look at the left-wing drivel that spouted out of any luvvie's rear-end, during the last Tory government, that the BBC so often broadcast, usually in non-political programming, so there was never an alternative opinion given and knowing they were reaching a different audience to current affairs, often children. At least with a programme like This Week, it is less sinister, as it will be listened to by people who know that this is nonsense.

Anonymous said...

He was great in Green Wing though...

judith said...

Oh Iain, (big sigh), the point of this particular guy is to LOOK not LISTEN.

He is eye-candy (until he ages), and should be appreciated as such.

Anonymous said...

Oh, lumme.. you're not coming over all 'Eurosceptic' on us, Dale - I thought the Tories had lanced that boil donkey's ears ago ?

Anonymous said...

would you care to name these 'dud guests'..just so that we don't jump to the wrong conclusions ?

also, would you care to report on rumours that Jose Mourinho is being lined up for the England job ?

simon said...

I take it that JRT is a Liberal Democrat!

neil craig said...

I agree with you Iain. I even noticed that in his recorded piece he said, as evidence that the media are contiuously anti-EU, that the BBC had "had to ring up an actor to put the case". I assume that the BBC decided to get somebody who knew nothing about it to provide an apparent vox pop support for the EU.

Impartiality be damned.

Anonymous said...

The BBC used to drag out swivel eyed eurosceptics to present the comic novelty minority view. Now it trawls out dumb blondes for the purpose. Ectors can never have too much publicity dahling!

jafo said...

Not a comment on this particular programme (didn't see it) but I always wonder when actors are trotted out to articulate their political views. Why should the views of people who live in a world of fantasy pretending to be someone they're not be of any interest to or influence on the rest of us who permanently live in the real world?

Anonymous said...

Fair comment.

But it is also a nice surprise to discover some celebrities who have clearly thought long and hard about important issues. Unfortunately you have to wade through some less informed celebrities unless they start auditioning them.

They sometimes have MPs on This Week but the Daily Politics is their forum which leaves This Week to broaden the guest list and hear comments not formulated in the infuriating manner of professional politicians.

freedom to prosper said...

As soon as a celeb is wheeled out I switch off and Abbott is getting on my tits, she cannot answer the simplest question without closing her eyes, tilting her head up and taking a deep breath. Mind you it's a defence mechanism.

Man in a Shed said...

Iain - the press association is reporting that the so called "red lines" are secure - "for the time being !!!!" - until Britain changes its mind. ( Like perhaps when Gordon Brown sold out the country's interests by giving up large amounts of our EU rebate).

I hope Labour MPs are up to dealing with this betrayal of Britain.

Anonymous said...

I watched this live and was similarly unimpressed. Anyone genuinely undecided on the EU would have found little to enlighten them. I love This Week, but this wasn't its finest hour. However, Andrew Neil was making much of the economies the programme was making - I came to the conclusion that this was one of them!

Oscar Miller said...

I agree with you about the splendidly named Mr Rhind-Tutt Iain. But personally I'm more worried about the survival of the Daily Politics. Andrew Neil seems very agitated about the cuts - and it would be a huge loss to Conservative party and political coverage in general if the DP is axed. A 'save the DP' campaign would be worth it for PMQs alone (watching on BBC Parliament or online is just not the same). Wouldn't Gordon just love that slot, with its emails and agenda setting comment, to be scrapped? I fear cuts to the BBC news service are as much politically as economically motivated. There is much talk of a takeover by Today journalists - fatal I think for any chance of Conservative (and opposition voices) getting a fair look in. It would signal yet more invasion of Labour sponsored news management. I say - long live Andrew Neil and the Daily Politics.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Staying in the realms of fiction and returning to a well worn source of troll fodder: JK Rowling has outed Dumbledore as GAY!

Stand by for book burnings in the good ol' US of A.

(Michael Gambon, the actor who playes Dumbledore was once asked if he was gay. The thesp replied with mock gravity.."I used to be - but I had to give it up as it made my eyes water".)

Ordovicius said...

To be fair, I think he had plenty to say on the British attitude towards Europe in general; he just didn't have anything to say about whether or not the Reform Treaty was different enough from the Constitution to justify not holding a referendum. This was all that the other speakers were interested in talking about, and since Rhind-Tutt clearly didn't know much about this aspect of it (as most of us don't, beyond what we are told) he kept quiet. I would say the fault was with the producers for putting a guest who was not a politician in a context where the regulars were grilling a leadership candidate, and as such were always going to talk about the political nitty-gritty.

Agreed.

poohbear said...

How about a top ten list of thicko 'celebs' that try to poke their ignorant noses into politics?

Bono (mumbles incoherently)?

Geldoff (shouts and swears)?

Anonymous said...

Before you go on actor - why not to say something about your politicians - they are all-in-one variety show actors and not a good ones I must say.
Of course, Julian got himself into British politics (exemplary proamerican and laughable) and now paying for it by causing your dirty article. He just said what member of a public, who have brains, would say on a subject.
To author of the article: who the hell are you. Balding politician or journalist? noe of it is adding you a popularity. :D

Anonymous said...

JRT's appearence was just symptomatic of the awfulness of "This Week". It's a hideous programme. Made by people who think they're funny, for people who think they're funny.

Peter Stringfellow was on it the other week...I mean, what the f**k??!!!??

Andrew Neil, whilst fine on "Daily Politics", isn't a comedian, and I am embarrassed for him whenever I watch it. Instead of filling up the schedules with this crap, why can't the BBC extend Question Time, a far better programme?

Oxymoron said...

I didn't watch it.

Joanna Lumley telling me I shouldn't eat meat because it causes global warming was too much for me already this week.

Add that one to the list poohbear.

judith said...

Anyone else hear Mark Mardell's report (BBC4 From Our Own Correspondent) this morning on the EU Treaty:

An insider told him that at the pre-meeting, the senior politicos go round glad-handing everyone (in case they ever need a vote); so what did Brown do? "He sat in a corner, picking his nose".

Linka said...

I disagree Iain - television programmes discussing the coutry's political stand-point shouldn't just be about big flouncing politicians shouting at each other just for the sake of arguing the toss. We as a country have ordinary people and yes, remarkably, we all carry opinions as well. Just because Julian couldn't get a word in edgeways between some self-absorbed political showoffs does NOT mean he doesn't have a right to be there and have people in the public hear his opinion, especially when he's not just trying to market himself to get elected like all of the politicians we so commonly see. It's valuable to have someone with an outside opinion discuss, quite frankly, a very important political view.

Travis Bickle said...

To be fair to the smug barclaycard advertising twat he did manage to get the xenophobe word into conversation (forgot Little Englanders but heck even actors have nerves) but without Huhne, the Captain Black lookalike, holding his hand he'd have been completely lost.

Still better these sorts of people than Harriban trawling obscure scientific journals for papers in support of MMGW to pad out the Breakfast Time news.

verity said...

Idle writes: "Is foppy hair anything like floppy hair? Was he a fop? Clearly, as a political thinker, he was a flop."

Idle, I believe it was a rather clever pun.

verity said...

Poohbear says: "if they put a well known celebrity face to front a propaganda film ...".

I'm trying to think of a little-known celebrity. None comes to mind.

Caper Gailly said...

Somebody's got a fine line on Gordon's ('I think the people are stupid enough to fall for it') spin on the Scotsman site.

86. Charles1234 / 4:24pm 20 Oct 2007

Brown's red lines revealed:

He would oppose the treaty if it...

1. Allowed giant alien moon frogs to come to earth and eat the EU's asparagus mountain

2. Made Swahili the official language of the EU

3. Banned the use of loud voices by British tourists talking to waiters in Marbella

4. Straightened British-grown bananas

5. Made him lower fuel tax

On all five he successfully saw of these attacks on our sovereignty by the Albanian tea lady who came round after the plenary.

Another great result from a great Prime Minister.

He will go down as one of the greatest socialists who ever picked his nose.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjHP1zyVTaI

kathp89 said...

Julian Rhind-Tutt's hair is amazingly gorgeous, and why the hell should his points be better than the three politcians who were on the show, he's an actor for God's sake, who did have some very eloquent points, which no one gave him the chance to say.
If Julian was able to argue his politcal points betters than actual politicians (who are paid for this fact, and live by politics) then what would it be saying about today's British political system. I think your comments, Iain (who the hell spells Ian like that anyway) Dale, were hugely unfair and bigoted. I suspect Julian Rhind-Tutt is a million times better at his job as an actor, than you are at being a politcian!

Anonymous said...

Having read some of these comments I am aghast.

Anyone - even actors and pop singers - have a right to 'poke their noses' into politics if they wish and as for actors 'living in a world of fantasy' - you really think all politicians live in the real world, worrying about what most people worry about like paying their mortgage and bills and trying to get their kids into a decent school.

We live in a democracy and anyone has the right to say whatever they wish (obviously within the confines of the law), be it scripted or not.

So what, he wasn't great and he's a much better actor. He was obviously there to articulate a political point (which he did well) - it's called 'celebrity endorsement' - all parties do it.

Iain Dale said...

That may possibly be true. But the slight flaw in your argument is that I am not a politician.

Anonymous said...

So the rumours about you applying for a seat in Kent aren't true then?

Iain Dale said...

Ah, I very carefully said "I am not a politician". That didn't rule out the possibility of being one in the future - however unlikely that may be!

Rosie said...

I think that many of the comments concerning Julian Rhind Tutt are very unkind he is a very eloquent speaker and was rudely interrupted by the politicians who seem to love the sound of their own voices. I expect that the viewing figures for this episode will be higher than usual as he was guesting and did a very good job in difficult circumstances. If any of the commentors bothered to find out, he is well educated and is involved in fundraising for his local hospital he is also very sincere alot more than can be said for the people he appeared with on "this week". He made a dull show much more watchable, Iain I believe you are jealous!

Anonymous said...

I very much enjoyed QI last night, in which Stephen Fry hilariously pointed out various Euromyths which apparently are believed by Daily Mail readers and other scum. I didn't find him in the least patronising, on the contrary, as one of the little people I am grateful to have been allowed to pay the BBC to be informed by this two brained genius. I'm only surprised he couldn't manage a simple cheque book scam without getting pinched, but there you go.

Newmania said...

There is a much longer list of Euro myths that are true up to and including regulation condom sizes( which are too big for Italians ).

Stephen Fry has made far too good a living for a perfectly appalling actor . Have you seen Gosforth Park . When he apears its as if a wandering am dram panto fell through the scenery; perspiration inducingly dreadful .
He seems to be able to read auto cue though. Trif

Anonymous said...

I think your use of the term "cliches and platitudes" may indicate just a little bitterness on your part that someone aside from yourself has the temerity to deliver them...We can all make personal attacks on others, but unfortunately it doesn't further the debate - even my four year old has learnt to play the ball and not the man, but sadly that concept seems altogether lost on yourself.

I am looking forward to your run at the National though - oh, what, you haven't been offered one? Shame - JRT got both the National AND the slot on This Week....You know, jealousy is an ugly emotion and only for the weak - remember that!

Kim said...

I agree that This Week was not a particularly edifying sight, but for different reasons. Julian Rhind-Tutt articulated views which represented many interested pro-europeans outside the party political debate, namely that the whole thing is a bit of a storm in a teacup which presents as much risk to Britain as globalisation – ie: not much. Yes, there were clichés, but the accusation is a bit rich, considering how often the old chestnut ‘loss of sovereignty’ continues to be trundled out by Portillo et al. Julian Rhind-Tutt appeared to me as someone open-minded and genuinely interested in the debate, confronted with the usual tired party political point scoring techniques. He was shouted over, and put on the spot in a way that made me despair for any real debate over this issue. And what's with all the name-calling?

Chris Paul said...

Neill had another dud on Wednesday after PMQs. Another actor who had done a nice piece with lots of talking to camera and voice over about kids doing role play. He couldn't hack it in the studio.

There seems to be a bit of a quality problem in the reasearch and production areas of such news programmes. C4N is forever looking very thin. BBC Politics Show NW Segment was pretty duff today also. Unbalanced and ill-informed propaganda piece about entertainment licences.

Perhaps they should allow some such guests to send a sub to do the debating part?

Stuart said...

Absolutely, Iain. I never understand why political programmes feel obliged to include non-political guests. Match of the Day doesn't feel obliged to have some violinist on halfway through.