“Thanks for coming at such short notice.”
“Oh, no, always a pleasure.”
“Not today, not after last night’s ratings.”
Dave had to agree, Sunday at the BBC commission office sat in front of the commissions chief himself wasn’t going to be the best place to find yourself when your show has just bombed with the viewing public to the tune of just under 2 million viewers. The show in question being new Saturday evening alleged game show ‘Don’t Scare the Hare’.
“Let’s just dive into it, Dave - I don’t think Satirical Saturdays are working that well.”
Dave was taken aback, “Satirical Saturdays have been a staple of Saturday night entertainment on BBC One for nearly ten years now!”
“I know, Dave, but the thing is, I don’t think anyone, well, gets it.” “What, so we’ve been putting out consistently - heck - increasingly naff light entertainment shows for ages now, and you don’t think the public haven’t noticed?” “They’ve noticed, yes. They’ve noticed they’re naff. But they just haven’t grasped the fact that it’s all really, really subtle satire.”
“Surely that’s down to the higher-ups refusing to officially call it Satirical Saturdays.” “Let’s give the viewing public some credit, at least. I thought we agreed that Hole in the Wall was a comedic highlight of 2008 amongst the general public!” “Celebrities in latex forcing themselves through comprisingly shaped holes in walls at the risk of falling into a pool of water is funny yes, but not at the angle we’re working towards. I think having Dale Winton as host just made it camp, rather than satirical.” “And we know Anton du Beke just killed it.” “Yes, Dave,” said the chief, lighting up a fat cigar. He didn’t deserve it, he knew that all too well, but desperate times called for desperate measures.
“Let’s move onto this hare business,” he continued, preparing to say what he had been thinking ever since he watched the review copy. “I’m worried that with Don’t Scare the Hare that we’ve just made something that’s, well, shit.”
“No!” Dave was indignant, “Morris and Iannucci would kill for this! It’s the ultimate Reithian nightmare. It’s Reith tripping balls on LSD. Look, people didn’t get Brass Eye at first. But here? Do you honestly believe people think that we seriously gave this the go-ahead as a serious attempt at entertainment? We’re practically giving it to them on a plate – we’ve got an animatronic rabbit for fuck’s sake, how can people not get the satirical edge?”
“Are we being too subtle though? Isn’t this all getting a bit meta? Look, let’s wrap this up. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a show that everybody used to love, like Noel Edmond’s House Party, or Big Break?”
“Yes, but we could do that easily. We’re the BBC, we’ve got to challenge people! Besides, Jim Davidson is kind of a racist now and Noel Edmonds is a bit mental.”
“Of course, you’re right. Let’s go ahead and order another series of this Hare bollocks.”
“Satire,” Dave corrected, “it’s not bollocks, it’s satire.”