Over the weekend when perusing the TV section of my Sunday paper I came across this quote:
"Memo to the BBC re Da Vinci-the Lost Treasure. Fiona Bruce has had enough nice trips around the world for one year guys. Perhaps you should give somebody else a turn. Preferably someone who doesn't love the camera more than they love their subject". Random readers will know how I feel about this, I am sure perfectly nice woman, being thrust down our collective throats as the BBC's Expert on Everything when she so clearly isn't.
The BBC persist in producing documentaries which will appeal to those viewers who spend their days reading Mr Men books (and I apologise in advance to fans of Mr Moany, Mr Miserable, Mr Happy et al) with their simple text and pictures of blobby Men in Primary Colours. Those of us who are able to count on one's fingers and do joined up writing would rather like something a little less juvenile, but we know full well that this will not happen. All documentaries now, with the exception of the wonderful Sir David Attenborough, are fronted by the masters/mistresses of the one liner gasped out into the lens, of which school Miss Bruce is undoubtedly the doyenne. So I was rather delighted to see this comment and also to pick up on other references to her ubiquitness in the letter pages of the Radio Times and in the TV crit sections of the papers.
'Did you see Fiona Bruce last night, you could hardly miss her.'
'Was looking forward to a doc on the lost work of Da Vinci last night, but the BBC turned it into another episode of the Fiona Bruce Show!'
Last week I watched the first in a series of programmes on the rise of the Symphony on BBC4 (where else?) Once again we had the usual shots of ceilings, cathedrals, rivers, trees, etc etc and once again we had the presenter being flown around the world and being filmed in aforementioned locations. However, there was a difference, the person fronting this programme and engaged in intelligent conversation with Mark Elder and listening to his thoughts on Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, was Simon Russell-Beale (looking amazingly svelte these days) and though he did the standard gazing up at ceilings and the usual wandering around the world, I did not find him irritating or resent his presence. And I was wondering why, can't be because I so loved him in Spooks, and then realised that the above quote gave me the answer:
"Perhaps you should give somebody else a turn. Preferably someone who doesn't love the camera more than they love their subject".
And there you have it.