What is the ideal length of a television programme?
Views on this will vary - but some might claim that the X Factor is now too long and some other programmes are too short.
One very short programme, Points of View (Sunday 4pm) first appeared in 1961 as very much a ‘filler.’ However it has continued since then – although it has been temporarily cancelled on a few occasions. These days it is around fifteen minutes long and its contents are often unknown until it is transmitted.
It was originally hosted by Robert Robinson and over the years other Robinsons have filled that role – Kenneth Robinson, Tony Robinson and Anne Robinson.
Now it is in the capable hands of Jeremy Vine. It features comments from viewers about the previous week’s television output and on occasions has interviews with the makers of some of the television programmes that we watch.
The hope is that many of the points raised might positively influence programmes of the future.
One wonders if it still has a place in today’s television landscape where there is Twitter, emails, internet forums and such like, which allow viewers to express their viewpoints. However there is nothing quite like seeing your comments about the media, transmitted on that same media.
I would personally like to see a new programme which connects the programme makers with the viewership in a serious way, like the old Right to Reply used to do. Gogglebox (Wednesday 10 pm. C4) is no substitute in that it seems to me to be principally a study of the viewers rather than of the programmes. Until then, I am happy to continue to watch Points of View, which offers us an opportunity of seeing whether our views of recent programmes are shared by other viewers – or not. IAN K