Thursday, August 21, 2003

SM FEELS THE PAIN: The now-rather-unfashionable SM:TV is to be axed although it will limp on showing repeats until Christmas ("classic compilations of the show's greatest moments called SM:TV Gold will be shown throughout the autumn"). CD:UK, once an integrated part of the programme, will be spared; Cat Deeley is booked on to carry on yelling between live performances of Busted and Kelly Rowlands until the end of next year. "After five fantastic years of SM:TV, we all recognised it was time for a change on Saturday mornings. We've gone for a show that is all about fun with a team with bags of fresh ideas" promises Steven Andrew, ITV's controller of the few children's programmes it still makes until Ofcom decides to let them off the hook at some point in the future. "ITV1's new Saturday children's show will feature a broad range of content including games, sketches, music and acquired programmes, as well as interactive elements. So, the bags of 'fresh' ideas sounds oddly like The Saturday Banana and Motormouth. And Get Fresh, Number 73 and The Mersey Pirate. Fun Factory, Ghost Train. The (ITV) Saturday Show, the (BBC) Saturday Show, Saturday Superstore, Saturday Starship, Saturday Morning Picture Show and, erm, SM:TV. Might we suggest puppet sheep and snot-dribbling aliens? And from somewhere in the distance, we can hear a little voice calling ITV Network Centre pitching a revival of Buzzfax...

But, seriously, how desperately poor must ITV think the current incarnation of SM:TV be doing if a bunch of offcuts of Ant & Dec is perceived as being a better risk than letting the current team plough on? We're not suggesting Brian Dowling's fifteen minutes are up, but we'd like a Diet Coke and an extra pillow, please.

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