Channel 4 launched their TV Book Club tonight, minus Richard and Judy but with Jo Brand hosting, a regular sleb panel (Dave Spikey, Auntie Gok et al) and a special guest each week. I never really got into the R&J book club but do feel that there’s a great need for a good book programme on TV – but sadly, this wasn’t it.
In the half hour the programme lasted there was a 15 minute interview with Chris Evans (because he has an autobiography out), amildly amusing film about weird words (linked to a newly published book), and a very brief (5 minute?) discussion on the “book of the week” Sarah Walters new one. Brief in that I blinked and missed it!
By the end of the programme I felt I’d learned nothing new – I didn’t know much about Chris Evans’ book or whether it was worth reading, I couldn’t remember the weird words that had been mentioned and I didn’t know whether or not the panel liked the book of the week. Furthermore, I had no idea about the bookish tastes of the panel. It was all too short, too shallow and not very sweet. In fact, the atmosphere was flat as a pancake.
Shame because there is definitely space in the schedules for a programme of this type. Will I watch again? Possibly, if it comes on and there’s nowt else to do. Will I actively look out for it? Sadly, no.