Thursday 14 July 2016

How to fix Top Gear, and Trainspotting LIVE?

The big question in TV. 

How to fix Top Gear. Easy, the Ginger one is gone. Left are the petrolheads we actually like, get them in an open topped Austin Maxi across West Midlands Safari Park and it's back to where it left off.

That's that one sorted.

Now onto BBC Four. Home of quality documentaries, the channel where young people can feel clever and clever old people can feel good about themselves. Most importantly, this is a home for excellent rail enthusiast programmes. We feel at home on BBC Four. Like a nice cosy warm blanket with a BR logo stitched into it by your Nan.

So what was this encroaching onto our screens in the form of 'Trainspotting LIVE'? Prepare the onslaught, watch the BM Facebook and Twitter pages for the relentless of ribbing of this gem.

It was what we had all dreamed of for enthusiasts, presenters getting things wrong. Glorifying the horror on our railways in the form of the Class 66, or as our hip presenters claimed the 'Sheds'. They know their stuff right? They know what a shed is, they are one of us. Arent they?

Add in a safe pair of hands in Peter Snow. The live TV maestro who managed to make John Major's election swingometer seem interesting. We are told he is a railway enthusiast of countless years, long before his swing found its 'ometer'.

Peter struggled with the influx of 'spots' that were live (dug out of the archives) and thrown straight onto Live TV. We were calling Direct Line at several times to make new claims for several car crashes, or at least slight bumps on roundabouts, every time Peter looked down at his cards. Those people the program weren't aiming at, the enthusiasts, winced and grimaces as things didn't quite add up.

The entertainment came when even Peter was bored with all things diesel boringly honking their horns at Didcot. Or the Wick Pendolino heading to the Isle of Wight. Bring on the kettles said Peter, we all agreed.

But, it's Peter Snow. He's having a ball live on TV - whats not to like.

So we find with a new BBC lineup the Ginger one is the main problem

Well actually no, it felt odd placed within this program but take the pieces presented by the ever enthusiastic Dr Hannah Fry as small nuggets, and you have a decent side dish against a mixed up curry of the 'Spotting Sheds' fun. 

The young signalman at Didcot must have thought all of those pulling of levers had finally paid off when the young Dr Fry came to unlock his points. Lad.

Dr Fry was a great sidekick for Peter, giving gravitas to the hobby that could quite have easily come across as manic people scribbling numbers. That was pure Dick.

Ah, Dick

Beyond a sequence at the Severn Valley, tricking youngsters into revealing they don't indeed call a locomotive 'Taw Valley', they call it 34027 which means - they are trainspotters. Dick dug the dirt on that one.

Then Dick was getting excited over a shed in Doncaster. That's not something we want to see on primetime BBC Four now is it. Jenny Agutter would be frowning at the very thought.

We did indeed chuckle, we indeed laughed at the K1 / Black 5 super hybrid bred in Scotland. But it did seem everything fell into place on Day 3 of Didcot resisting giving the King a good thrashing. 

Tim Dunn on the platforms at Stafford was amongst friends of the Bash Mash. Indeed Tim himself is a friend of the BM, he once thought we hated Scotsman. We forgave him. It was a shame the bunch of lads and lasses from the Railway Forums, gathered and selfie-gurning behind Tim didnt get a chance to feature. Then we really would have had an interesting programme on our hands. Can you call Facebook Police for something someone says on BBC Four? We would have found out.

So step back, look at what we were given

Three Days of Trains, Live on the Telly box.

Yes: Too many sheds, Too many hiccups, Too many diesels and Too many Rod Hull's. 


Good fun.