ITV tunes out its comedy heyday

There has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth at ITV1 of late, where plummeting viewer figures and falling advertising revenues have hit the morale of workers at that once-great terrestrial TV broadcaster.

This month saw chief executive Charles Allen resign – and not a moment too soon as far as Guru is concerned. Yours Truly is rarely far from his TV remote control, but the number 3 button has not been used of late (unlike the pause button on his video remote, which has somehow been worn down to the nub).

Much of Guru’s extraordinary wisdom was derived from a diet of ITV comedy classics, including The New Statesman and Spitting Image, and quality dramas such as Minder, The Prisoner and Miss World.

But after half a century of success, the station has slipped into a mire of minor-celebrity twaddle. More than four times as many people watched the World Cup Final on BBC than on ITV. And even Children’s ITV, which once boasted classics like Tiswas and Rainbow, is a shadow of its former self – no longer commercially viable since it was stopped from advertising junk food to kids.

But Guru’s spies tell him the last straw for ITV staff came recently when they arrived at the office one morning to find the television screens by the front desk tuned to the BBC.

Talk about a poor reception…

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