Sunday, September 10, 2006


TV One will report more hard news in future in a measure destined to cater for viewers who find the current bulletins too easy. The change is a response to recent criticisms by news-reader Simon Dallow that the news isn't hard enough. Future TV One reports will contain some "really difficult news stories, some quite hard stuff and then the usual easy or just banal news."

TV One Head of news and current affairs Bill Ralston announced the changes this morning saying that he and Dallow had "had a frank discussion in which I called him a melee-mouthed little c*** and threatened to break his glasses if he ever bagged the channel publicly again. However Simon then explained that we needed to appeal to a wider audience with our news, not just those who watched it for Wendy Petrie-Dish's lip gloss but also those who watched because he was "the thinking woman's bit of eye-candy." I agreed we should give it a go. The new format will have something in it for everyone including clever-clog types like Simon who do the Herald cryptic crossword.

Mr Ralston agreed that in the past the channel had avoided complex economic, science and international stories from places with names that were hard to spell or remember.
"Most viewers don't want to hear about wars in places like Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Bosnia-Herzegovina. If the USA invaded Invercargill, Australia or Austria we'd be fine featuring that, although people often get the last two countries confused."
He also complained that "Too many modern-day bad guys have hard names. In the old days Hitler, Tojo and even Sadaam were names you could remember and attach a face to. Nowadays they're all El-this, Achbar-that and have inter-changeable beards. The average punter finds it about as confusing as year 13 chemistry. Nevertheless we will be having some of that stuff in the Really Hard News part of the bulletin provided we can cut in some images of
gratuitous violence or send Pippa Wetzel to report in a strapless sun-dress."

Mr Ralston also announced that TV One reporters have been provided with lint brushes to remove fluff from their reports - a response to Simon Dallow's plea for less fluff.

"If Simon has an allergy to fluff I think TV One, as a responsible employer, has an obligation to remove as much as we can from his work environment," Bill Ralston told the Kiwi Herald. " When I saw Simon drying his eyes last week I thought it was because of having to read the sad news story about the Crocodile Hunter. Obviously though it was his allergy not just because he's a big shielah."

Meanwhile, Mr Ralston defended the fact that the lead story on the death of Steve Irwin had taken up 13 minutes of Monday evening's news saying that many viewers watched the news with their pets and both groups were valuable members of the TV One viewing public.

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