Soon on TVScoop, we’re going to be having a look at local news. So, to whet the appetite, I thought I’d delve into the weird world of regional tittle tattle and whimsy. You see, no-one does whimsy like we Brits. The cat stuck in a tree story is one we Britons thrive on. It’s the bizarre victory for the little man. It’s the hilarious drama and expense caused by a puddy tat trying to eat a bird.
Of course, local news isn’t all amusing tales of line dancing 90-year-olds. Often, you get grave tales of gangs and death and scams and… ooooh… things are horrible… probably outside your door right now. So it is with a mixture of fear and hope you approach your local news spots. Fear for the community, that cat stuck up a tree and whether or not the ubiquitous regional funny man will be doing a skit about funny specs and a fun run.
One thing that sets the local news aside from its big brothers (ie, the proper news with ashen faced men and women talking about war and politics) is it’s penchant for the ridiculous. I recall watching Granada reports in the early ’90s and tittering as some old lady nearly fainted when telling the North West about a pair of acid heads “fornicating in my hedge” whilst convoying to a warehouse rave. You don’t get Huw Edwards covering that.
Up here in the North West, we’ve been blessed with various celebs presenting the news. At the minute, you can catch The Krypton Factor’s Gordon Burns meekly grinning at a fund-raisers and news about a woman that hasn’t missed a Stockport County match for 40 years. Also, on ITV, we had the recently deceased Tony Wilson (or Anthony H. Wilson as he preferred) going back to his old stomping ground and flicking up an eyebrow at the news of a Lowry painting going for silly money. Yep, we know how to live up ‘ere.
A pal of mine has a dad who is the anchor on the Tyne-Tees news. He’s called Andy Kluz (who reads the news boom tish… he hasn’t heard that one before) who is something of a cult hero in certain parts. Speaking to his son, Andy has a wealth of amusing anecdotes from TV as well as a deep and rich seam of local knowledge. It’s this local knowledge that is important to all of us. Okay, making a documentary about a local fisherman may seem a bit twee, but it’s these people that really make a region. Footballers are no longer our property, so we have to look toward those that are keeping the regions identity alive.
There has been reports telling us that ITV will be cutting its regional news output from over 20 to a paltry 9. This is bad news for those of us who like to keep an ear to the ground in our region. For every depressing tale about the closure of a children’s hospital, there is a uniquely eccentric tale from your region. These are the tales that keep your locality different and special. Losing these is a steady decline into dronesville. [Mof Gimmers]