I know I was going on about how bad the UK soaps are at the moment but I realised last night that there is an even more truly awful programme on the telly; the National Lottery draw live. Given that winning the lottery is plan A in our financial strategy for sorting out our current situation, I’ve started to take notice of this little piece of broadcasting hell. Is it just me Lord or is it really, really bad? What is wrong with the BBC at the moment, they are just getting the simple things like programme integrity so wrong. I’m not saying The National Lottery draw is as apparently contrived as their phone-in competitions but the show’s structure is just so meagre and budget-starved and lacking in any sense of entertainment, even though it thinks it is as much fun as TISWAS. Not in the same millenium.
It’s a draw right so what can they do with it? Well I know they’ve tried glamming it up a bit previously but the Wed show in particular is just so sparse. There’s usually a BBC-retained hostess such as Jenny Falconer or Kirsty Gallagher who’s been directed to smile constantly and act as jolly as possible which just comes over as so false. There’s this disembodied voice of Alan, who must be the BBC equivalent of ‘our Graham’ – seen, never heard but always condescending. We have some chump who is the ‘draw master’ (now the Germans would have a proper word for this position like ubergruppenballpoppenuppermeister) who just says hello and confirms that ‘yes’, we are ready to play Jenny. There’s also some sap who stands there with his note pad and clip board whose job is to adjudicate, whatever that entails. He might as well play with himself for all the impact he has.
So those are the participants. There’s an upper level glass fronted room with some souls in it (probably suspended executives) who drew the miserably poor-rewarding prizes earlier. Who cares – just give the numbers. Sometimes there’s a special guest – like a soap star or someone from Generation X – who presses the button to make the draw (but not on a Wednesday I see). We get a request from Jenny to release the big money balls. Maybe it’s big bloody balls and we’re just not listening closely enough. Anyway lots of giggling from Jenny and that canned applause. I think we all know there isn’t a studio audience there, just two cameramen and a floor manager and Kirsty’s latest squeeze clutching his pack of chocolate fingers in anticipation. Oh and I noticed some ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ type atmospheric music and lighting, and they spent a million quid on it less £999,935. It’s like they’ve borrowed the kit from a kid’s party entertainer. Alan the Voice announces that they are using the machine named after some Arthurian legend (why?) and ball’s collection number six, chosen earlier. Does anybody really give two frigs what set of balls and machine it is? No.
‘Release those big money balls’ announces Alan or Jenny and off they go in motion. I wonder if he ever gets invited to open school fetes and has to announce ‘release those big balls’ as part of the routine, stuffing his hands in his pockets and winking at the headmistress as he says it whilst playing with himself? At this point Jenny’s back in shot as she asks Alan for a pointless time-check and then she wishes us good luck as she presses the big red button looking like a huge metallic prick.
The balls come up the tube or whatever one by one and within 45 seconds we realise that’s another few quid wasted. How many numbers love? Precisely none again. And then Alan proceeds to tell us the numbers in order – I think we’re all just about intelligent enough to realise we haven’t won £2.6m in whatever sequence 5 numbers come up in (plus a bonus ball whose function is what?) you self-satisfied gimp. Reminding us a second time of how far away from winning the jackpot we were doesn’t help ease the shortly-held hurt, you wanker.
So there it is. The most disappointing programme ever if you live in my house, and 13.9 million others I dare say, and it’s on twice a bloody week. Mind you if we were to win it I’ll scratch this frigging posting from my site so bloody quick you won’t have time to say ‘£2.6m, you lucky b*stard’. As if…