Journalists, ironically, rarely get a good press these days. As a trade, we usually come bottom of those ‘most trustworthy profession’ polls, sharing the wooden spoon with estate agents.
People like George Bamby don’t help either. George was the ‘star’ of Confessions of the Paparazzi (Channel 4, Monday, 9pm), and came across as an unpleasant character, unrepentantly making life miserable for celebs across the country.
George revelled in long lens shots of celebs going around their daily business, before coming up with storylines to fit his pictures.
“I don’t just take pictures, I make stories,”smirks George. “They might not always be true.”
The programme gave George quite a lot of rope with which to hang himself, following him through the undergrowth on the trial of Dawn French –preferably without make-up – or colluding with a kiss-and-tell wannabe reality star to get her pictures in the tabloids.
Unfortunately, it wanted to have its cake and eat it too, on the one hand condemning George for being a willing cog in the ‘fake news’ machine, on the other revelling in his escapades – blagging his way into a Britney Spears concert, for example, or sending hapless assistant Bilko out in the field to take video of speeding footballers.
“It’s a game of cat and mouse,” says George, The only thing is, it’s difficult to tell who is the cat and who the mouse, as his tactics slip dangerously close to harassment.
In the end, it’s clear George thinks he is merely serving a public appetite for schadenfreude, as we lap up pictures of celebs looking pig ugly first thing in the morning. So let’s take the high ground and force George to hang up his lens.
Life is good for some of our best actresses at the start of 2017, with Joanna Scanlon stealing every scene in No Offence and Emily Watson raunching it up in Apple Tree Yard, now The Moorside (BBC1, Tuesdays, 9pm) showcased four brilliant female performances from Sheridan Smith, ,Gemma Whelan, Sian Brooke and Siobhan Finneran, It's about time, but these dramas showcase just how female actresses can properly carry a major TV show.
I think if I could be anyone in TV I would be Andrew Graham Dixon. Floppy of fringe and sharp of suit, he presents Art of France (BBC4, Mondays, 9pm) with wit, savoir faire and an iron grasp of his subject.