Getting the hang of this YouTube thing. Look! Look! You can gather together all the the Telly Addicts there have been so far – Episodes 1-6 – and then you can play them one after the other, rather than have to click on anything, and you can do it from the comfort of here. So, the six so far have covered telly as diverse as Euro 2016, The Good Wife, The Secret Life of a Bus Garage, Game of Thrones, Billions, Brief Encounters, Forces of Nature with Brian Cox, The Late, Late Show with James Corden, Soundbreaking, Celebrity Masterchef and Versailles. Ah, the early optimism of Episode 1, recorded on Monday 20 June in a black shirt and published on the day of the EU Referendum – who wouldn’t feel nostalgic for those more certain times?

We have only been on the air for six weeks, but in that time, England got knocked out of the European Championship by Iceland, the Prime Minister resigned, Chris Evans resigned, Nigel Farage resigned, Jeremy Corbyn refused to resign, Boris Johnson pulled out, Angela Eagle pulled out, atrocity became a near daily event and someone relaunched petty, insidious racism in the UK, a country which used to be mocked as “the sick man of Europe” during the 70s – a time of industrial unrest and a failing economy – and has now moved on to being a global laughing stock and gear-puller of an economic slowdown. Strange times. But through it all, I have been there, sitting in front of the post-apocalyptic stack of TVs, saying hello, refraining from slagging things off for the sport of it, wearing different shirts and undergoing one or two tiny adjustments to the lighting and autocue and running time and parting.


It’s the same, but different, which is the way I like it. And I’m getting used to the tyranny of automated stats. I harbour a fantasy that it’s Telly Addict and not clips of Suits and St Kitts and Nevis playing cricket that have been driving up UKTV’s subscriber base over the last six weeks! You have to take it as a massive endorsement that three users gave us a thumbs-down in week one, two in week two, two in week three, one in week four and nobody, so far, has given Eps 5 or 6 the same downward Roman signal. We must be doing something right. I’m cheered by the fact that people seem to be going back to watch the older editions, whose number continue to click upwards. And God bless the Colin Morgan fans for sharing the links among each other.


My little red Moleskine notebook isPhoto on 30-07-2016 at 10.21 #2 becoming ragged with notes and scribbles, the ledger into which I pre-launch my telly-watching thoughts and timings. It live, as it should, on the arm of my armchair. It’s been established that my name is Andrew Collins and I am a Telly Addict, and in many ways I feel free of unrealistic aspiration since the Guardian pulled the plug in April. Now that they’ve also discontinued Your Next Box Set in the actual newspaper – a long-time if irregular source of commerce for me, something I relished – and turned it into Stream On (yeah, I get why), I feel a little further removed. In all of the five years of reviewing the telly for the Guardian website, I was never once considered for reviewing the telly in the Guardian newspaper. I’m not entirely sure why, although factionalism between departments and fiefdoms is probably all it was. Being led in through the tradesman’s entrance and up the multimedia fire escape, thereby embedded in the Guardian building without having paid my dues, probably made me a mole. Which is why I’m so comfy at UKTV; not only are their technical facilities better, and staffing levels higher, and they provide sweetened carbohydrates, I don’t feel like I’m sneaking into the building with a blanket over my head and getting away with it. It also means I can be a Guardian reader without benefits again. It’s an infuriating thing to be, but something I choose to do and have always chosen to do in my enlightened adult life. And it comes with no strings attached. I hope it continues.


I hope you’re enjoying Telly Addict v2.0. I am. The comments section on YouTube is way less user-friendly than a newspaper’s equivalent, and the conversation there is slow and unhelpfully formatted, but I appreciate all the comments, and we’ve had next to no trolling.


6 thoughts on “Embed

  1. Andrew, your Telly Addict v2.0 is a rare moment of joy in these troubled times.

    With the Guardian burning through £50m a year – and the trust fund not being replenished- I wonder how long before it disappears behind a paywall?

    As a Masterchef addict myself, have you caught the flashy – and long – Australian version? It is addictive and it provides a lovely holiday (and first class travel) for the luminaries of the Brit food scene. Marco week! Nigella week! Heston week!

    I also just caught up with The Walkng Dead. A soup of rehashed ideas, but….what a finale! Hope they can take it somewhere else in the coming season as it’s increasingly difficult to tolerate the same things over and over again.



  2. Hi Andrew, still enjoying the blog and Telly Addict, though there does seem to be less of the interaction in the comments section btl that was such a nice part of the vlog at the Guardian. In the past you would often look up and review programmes suggested by people btl, and I was wondering if you’ll still do this while at UKTV? If so, did you watch the Exodus, and then Our Desert Home documentaries over the past three or four weeks on BBC2? They were often difficult to watch but they were very well made, informative, and engaging. I’d be interested to know what you thought, and also why the Beeb might have grouped them together almost in the way that they have a (refugee?) season. Is it just a function of those programmes taking quite a while to make, and that they would probably have been commissioned last year, when the issue was all over the front pages of newspapers? Or might it be a deliberate attempt to keep such an important subject in the public eye?


    • The rules have not changed at UKTV: they wanted to take on Telly Addict, and they weren’t looking to change it. We’re more vigilant about keeping it to ten minutes, which is fair enough, and that’s pretty much it for changes. So, yes, always up for suggestions. I’m doing Robot Wars this week as someone asked me if I was and said that it was the TV event of the week for them.


    • Your support is appreciated. By the way, I’ve just found this comment and others in a filter I didn’t know was active. Apologies to you and the others whose comments must have appeared to go into the ether. And I love to discuss stuff in the comments, as you know!

      Liked by 1 person

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