Monday, 19 May 2008

in spiked May 13

Patrick West - Premium-rate stupidity - Participants in rigged phone-in votes and flawed viewer competitions deserve no sympathy. Everyone knows it’s a mug’s game. -

"It’s difficult to come to a conclusion as to which lot are more risible: television companies who swindle viewers with phone-in competitions, or the people so stupid as to enter them.

It was announced this week that ITV has been fined a record £5.675million by Ofcom for abusing premium-rate phone services in viewer competitions. Its shows such as Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, Gameshow Marathon and Soapstar Superstar were all found to have ‘serious editorial issues’.

A report also released by ITV revealed that The Catherine Tate Show was unfairly denied a prize at the 2005 British Comedy Awards. Although the comedienne Tate collected more votes for the People’s Choice Award, Ant and Dec were announced as the winners for their Saturday Night Takeaway programme.

Why anyone still bothers to vote in television award ceremonies for their favourite contestants on talent shows, or enters TV competitions is a mystery to me..."

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