Posted by Tania Kindersley.
I do apologise in advance to my international readers (how I love writing those two words) and those ordinary decent Britons who think the whole political class a bunch of showers. There is going to be a bit of election hysteria in this parish for a while, although I might have calmed down by the end of the week.
For now, I am in hog heaven. The BBC outdid itself yesterday by turning the entire News 24 channel over to the Great Event. On top of that, I get Paxo going paxolicious on Newsnight, Jon Sopel presenting an all-singing all-dancing daily election special, and good old Andrew Neil still attempting, without success, to GET SOMEONE TO ANSWER THE QUESTION. Reporters are being sent out on buses and trains to hunt down actual voters, most of whom say lovely sensible things like: 'I'm going to listen to what they all have to say', thus maintaining my enduring faith in the great British public.
I suppose there had to be a fly in the ointment. Just as I am throwing bouquets at the Beeb for representing public service broadcasting at its crest and peak, I wander onto the iplayer for an extra little political fix as a tea-time treat, and I find What The Election Papers Say. At first, I think it must be a spoof. There is someone who sounds like Kevin McGuire, except instead of being his normal sceptical self, he is attempting to be funny. Then there are two actors, reading out excerpts from the newspapers in mad shouty voices. When they read from The Times, they do extravagant cod-posh. When they read from The Mirror, they do ey-oop North. (I can't work out which bunch of readers or social demographics this is more insulting to.) They obviously think they are being perfectly hysterical. In fact, it sounds as if we have gone back into some sort of 1970s time-warp, when comics thought that doing accents and telling mother-in-law jokes was amusing.
BBC, what are you doing to me? Can you not get Samuel West, who has the best voice in the entire world and should be made to read everything ever written out loud? (Peter Firth comes in an honourable second.) Can you just stop with this nonsense before I go all Disgusted from Tonbridge Wells on your ass and start asking for my licence fee back?
Thank goodness it is almost time for PM with Eddie Mair.
Picture of the day is not a naughty little political dig. It is of dear Virginia the Pig. She is not well, and we think that she may be in her last days. She is a very splendid lady, and we shall all miss her. Here she is, during the last snow, with a little avian friend: