The Perfect Riposte

© Conde Nast Store

I remember many years ago, I decided to watch the late night movie on BBC2. The channel, at the time, was noted for showing the best films on TV. It was a film I never heard of. I can’t recall the title. Thinking it might be a neglected masterpiece, I took some sips from my cocoa, and began watching.

Within minutes I fathomed this was no masterpiece and far worse than anything ITV was serving up (and still does, of course) . My respect for BBC2 plunged. I decided to ‘phone them to express my anger. I was expecting a long wait as the switchboard would be swamped by other film buffs complaining, too, but surprisingly I was put through immediately. “Oh” I said, “I was expecting a long wait”. “You’re the only caller all evening, sir, what can I do for you?” I said something like, I’m in bed at past midnight in a stupefied state watching this unmitigated rubbish you have the cheek to inflict on the viewer. Do you actually employ someone to rummage through dustbins for these movies? There was a slight pause… “You can turn off your TV, sir”. I should have countered that with “put me through to your Director General”, but didn’t, he was probably at home, fast asleep. Another thought occurred to me, if I was the only caller, where were all the other film buffs? No doubt also fast asleep.

My respect for film buffs plunged, too. There was only one thing left for me to do – turn off the TV and follow suit. Goodnight.

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