God help us. Yet again I note the rise of wildlife evangelism on British television. Last week saw the much-advertised launch of a new BBC series called 'The Nature of Britain'. At last I thought, maybe the good old BBC bods are using our outrageously expensive license fees to produce something worth watching. Visions of hardy BBC Natural History Unit camera people working their arses off to bring us unparalleled images of Britain's rich wildlife heritage. Joy rose in my heart..at last we might have a film entitled to call itself 'The Nature of Britain'.
No. Instead we got Alan bloody Titchmarsh and his oh-so-cosy-ee-by-gum-everyting's-better-after-a-nice-cuppa-tea-aren't-us-Brits-a-perky-lot bollocks. Given the opportunity to make a momentous and serious wildlife series to educate the British viewer, the BBC chose the presenting equivalent of a cosy armchair snooze on a Sunday whilst watching Songs of Praise. What??? The man's a bloody gardener.
It was like watching some fecking quasi-religious sermon...at every opportunity we were reminded how "special" Britain is. Nowhere else on Earth has such "special" coasts, such "special" mountains, such "special" woodlands ad infinitum. Ever been to Spain? Morocco? India? Ireland? Georgia? North America? They're all bloody amazing...we're no different from any of them...we're not "special" you tit.
Alan goes abseiling in search of British wildlife. The hand of justified indignation prepares to strike a small blow and send the tit to oblivion where he can wait until joined by every other BBC wildlife 'presenter'
And what images did we get? OK, Arctic skuas mobbing the Northern tit were good, but it wasn't long before we had baby seals gurning. I fully expect red deer rutting, puffins (aren't they funny!!), urban foxes and blue tits in the preceding weeks. Standard BBC idiot-fodder. It's enough that we have to put up with weeks of Springwatch ("Chaffinches!") and Autumnwatch and the endless live drivel about bird feeders and Dennis the badger (cow killer). There is not a single wildlife propgramme on the BBC nowadays that doesn't assume that we are all dribbling morons who collect cat calendars and wear those fleecy jackets with wolves on them.
If I see another cheesy, wimpy BBC wildlife presenter call something "BRILLIANT!!" again I will fall into an apolplectic rage, find them and beat them to death with a 'Fun Wildlife Pack'. I really will.
My message to the BBC - stop now, go away to your dark rooms in Bristol, have a think about what's worked in the past (Hint...Mr Attenborough...doesn't get excited, knowledgeable, authoritative, knows when to shut up, not a celebrity) and come back when you've worked it out.
We, and the Nature of the British Isles deserve better. Get a grip .