Yesterday my schedule had been built in advance around the latest Prime Minister’s Question Time shown live from the House of Commons on BBC2 as part of the Daily Politics programme hosted by Andrew Neil.
What I hadn’t banked upon was the fact that David Cameron wasn’t going to be there – he was at some summit being held in Japan – so in fact the Chancellor George Osborne was batting for the Government whilst Angela Eagle, Shadow Leader of the House of Commons and Shadow Business Secretary, was substituting for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
However even that clash [a points win for Ms Eagle in my opinion, but only because Mr Osborne invariably comes across in public as effortlessly condescending and out of touch with ordinary folk – in other words, as a fundamentally toxic influence whenever the Tory party is seeking to curry favour with the electorate] is not the subject of my post today.
Rather it is the fact that, in switching television channels shortly before the 11.30am start of Daily Politics on BBC2, I alighted briefly upon ITV’s This Morning show at a point at which its presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield could barely stop themselves from ‘corpsing’ with laughter as they previewed the item coming up on the half-hour, viz. a segment in which sexpert Tracey Cox would be reporting upon a Good Housekeeping survey of vibrators which was going to include video interviews with some brave This Morning viewers who had ‘road tested’ the products for the show.
For some strange reason I could not easily identify, I then made a snap decision to stay with This Morning in order to witness said item before (hopefully) moving on to the Daily Politics show in good time for PMQs which traditionally begins at noon on a Wednesday.
It was a weird experience. Call me old-fashioned, but it did seem somewhat inappropriate to be watching a discussion of the utility and ‘satisfaction’ quotient of a range of sex toys at 11.30am in the morning on a mainstream terrestrial television channel.
I do appreciate that these days the traditional ‘9.00pm watershed’ of yesteryear has as many holes in it as a kitchen sieve because of general lack of parental control, the universal facility to record programmes off-air to watch later, and kids’ ability to circumvent the weak ‘obstacle’ built into the system in order to prevent youngster accessing adult material [viz. a box appearing asking ‘Are you over the age of 16?’ which these days even a six-month old baby could click their way past].
Anyway – as per usual, I think it’s part of the show’s in-built likeability factor – presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield could not prevent themselves sniggering through both the introduction and their exchanges with La Cox as she held up, one by one, the line of vibrators that she had arranged upon the table in front of her and explained how they worked and were best used.
The fun begins almost immediately as a deadpan Willoughby introduces the item and mentions that the use of vibrators has increased exponentially in recent years – “… It’s gone up, hasn’t it?” [cue collapse of stout parties] – see here, courtesy of YouTube – ITV’s THIS MORNING PROGRAMME