The Pleasures of British TV – Musings from Thailand
January 2014 will bring new TV shows onto our screens – and some old favourites will return. It is only when you are overseas and get the chance to watch local television that you are reminded that, no matter how many times we may moan about the quality of British television, we are very lucky with the choice of programmes available to watch in the UK.
We may be addicted to dark Scandinavian detective shows like Wallander, The Bridge and The Killing but such enthusiasm is apparently a puzzle to many viewers in the countries where they were produced. French television appears to consist of a combination of over-excited game shows and over-serious discussion programmes that, without fluent French, are hard to understand. In Spain a few years ago we were shocked to see the locals crowded around the television cheering on a bullfight just as though it was a Premier division football match.
Hotel rooms usually offer a range of satellite stations and so gives us the opportunity to at least catch up on the latest news, but I was once caught out on a weekend trip to Bruges when every channel across Europe was showing the same programme – it was the night of the Eurovision Song Contest!
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