Retired teacher, voice of the nation

According to The Daily Mail (no link as yet, extract from Mediawatch-UK), teachers – ie an unnamed “retired teacher” – claim that Saturday morning TV shows are “encouraging poor language skills”.

The BBC responded by pointing out that Dick and Dom in da Bungalow was aimed at 8 to 12 year olds, and that it was therefore unsurprising that it does not appeal to some adults. Particularly anonymous retired teachers who readf The Daily Mail.

John Beyer, self-styled St Paul-alike and smut campaigner extraordinaire, leapt gleefully at the news (if it can really be described as “news”):

It seems the BBC has fallen at the first hurdle! This week, at the BBC’s AGM, the chairman of the Governors, Michael Grade, said that the corporation had ‘not paid enough attention to licence fee payers and needed to start listening more to the public than to management.’ The standard response today to criticism seems to suggest that the corporation is still not listening.

Naughty BBC. They should jump to attention when a retired teacher is quoted in The Daily Mail. We all should.

UPDATE: The retired teacher is Joyce Watts, who made her speech at the annual conference of the Professional Association of Teachers yesterday. In her study of programmes, she gives this example of a typical children’s show:

Two presenters – usually one female one male – from the moment they are on air they shout – exuberance is the order of the day – every time –
and the winding up process begins highlighting who will be on the programme and ‘what we are all going to do’. This sets the scene of loud, wild enthusiasm. We all shout and scream because X will be here later – then – we are going to have Y group – Hooray, yeah – yeah! don’t you mean yes!. We play games – we all jump up and down, all scream when someone does something right.

Then on comes X more screams, we laugh and talk loudly – too loudly and too quickly.

Joyce went on to say “This encouragement for noise, poor language and diction is not helpful to the young”. Her motion was seconded by Peter Morris, who demonstrated he has his finger on the zeitgeist when he observed:

Today’s heroes are Rodney and Del – a far-flung distance from the morality and language of Dixon of Dock Green.

Rodney and Del? You pl*nker!

11 Responses to “Retired teacher, voice of the nation”

  1. Hector says:

    It pains me to say this: Beyer is a lightweight looking for something he can have any influence in, but using Dick and Dom in da Bungalow as a justification for just about anything is futile. It’s crap – and the Beeb know it, which is why D&D are shortly to embark on their last series (thank fuck).

    Even my 8 year old thinks it juvenile.

    Bring back Noel.

  2. Andy A says:

    ‘Saturday morning TV shows are “encouraging poor language skills”…’

    Hah! You don’t need crap programmes to encourage poor language skills – well, poor grammar, anyway: just listen to the flagship R4 programme Today. What are schoolkids and people learning English as a second language supposed to make of it if they see this as a standard to look up to? If I hear ‘try and’ one more time I’ll fling the muesli at the bloody radio. Not to mention ‘one of those people who is at today’s conference …’ (‘… people who are at the bloody conference’, one of, you semiliterate dork); ‘neither A nor [sometimes or] B were …’ (‘was’, for shit’s sake!); ‘looking at the sky from Earth, the moon looks very bright in August’ (the moon is looking at the sky from Earth?); ‘voters will be able to choose between A, B or C’ (‘A, B and C’, you cretin: you can’t choose between one thing, and using ‘or’ means you’re talking of one of these things at a time, not all of them). I could go on. Don’t get me started! However, I doubt Beyer was too bothered about the grammar. Probably thought Dick and Dom were an item.

  3. Peter Powell says:

    I am I pervert or do the images of kids upturned faces splattered with goo on the BBC Sataurday morning program echoing images of cum splattered bukkake pics ? I don’t watch the programs for kids but am forced to view them whilst I choose to listen to Sheryl Crowe and the Dixie Chicks.

    I only ask.

  4. Hector says:

    AND another thing….why oh why can nobody on BBC Radio 5 say the word “amateur” properly?

    Mike’s bukkake imaginings had indeed passed me by. All I can think of when the inestimable Dick and Dom are on is the wish that one of those gobby kids comes (sorry) through the bungalow door with a chainsaw.

    I fear I may be turning into a grumpy old man.

  5. tom p says:

    Peter, did you mean to say “I am a pervert…” or “Am I a pervert…”?

  6. Christopher Shell says:

    Spot the BBC non sequitur. Who said it was directed at retired teachers in the first place?

  7. Shaun Hollingworth says:

    Mary Whitehouse was a retired teacher… She should have been retired to Iran or somewhere…

  8. Christopher Shell says:

    Yes- ‘a most dangerous woman’ (as her autobiography put it) – a threat to the lives of people everywhere.

  9. Andrew Nixon says:

    Not a threat to people’s lives, but a threat to the way people live their lives.

  10. Shaun Hollingworth says:

    She was a threat to free expression, and even to freedom itself.

    She was ALSO WRONG in just about everything she said…

    It’s religion not sex on television, which is the biggest threat to a stable society today…

  11. Christopher Shell says:

    There are all sorts of counter examples. Her 1978 volume tells the story of the complacency which existed re child pornography until she put her foot down.