Joe’s Crow Country

WOULDN’T it be great if all that money could be raised without ruining a night’s television?

The good people of Britain stumped up a total of �18,098,199 for Children in Need this year, and everyone who donated, including myself (�5 if you’re asking), deserves a pat on the back.

But it came at a cost. I was looking after my 12-year-old sister this weekend, and she was insistent on watching it, so I gave in, as other options were things like Fearne Cotton Interviews Peaches Geldof and someone talking about the upcoming royal wedding. Probably.

A few minutes in, Terry Wogan announced what was coming up on the show, and with every item, my annoyed groan increased in volume.

First the “nation’s sweetheart” Cheryl Cole (it’s amazing that she’s been given this moniker, considering just seven years ago she was found guilty of assault, and accused of racially aggravated assault), enlightened us with her new single.

Fair enough, I thought. She’s a popular star and though the song isn’t to my tastes, she must be doing something right.

The same goes for any musical performance on the night. I would never choose to watch JLS, Westlife, Kylie or Susan Boyle, but people seem to like them.

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But I don’t know why anyone would want to watch cast of Eastenders and Coronation Street doing anything other than being in an episode of Eastenders or Coronation Street. Why do they have to become exaggerated versions of their character, and try and make things funny?

And who wants to see Loose Women singing? Why are McFly and The Saturdays in a dancing competition? Why are newsreaders going ‘gaga’ with Louis Spence?

I don’t know why it qualifies as entertainment. I find it tedious enough watching professional dancers on television, so why would I want to see popstars doing it? They might end up being OK dancers, but if you want dancing, watch a pro.

Item after item was zany, uncomfortable and witless.

I suppose there is no way round it though. Prime-time BBC one is the best place to make an appeal, and one night of missing out on some of the only half-decent programmes the channel has to offer is ultimately a small price to pay.

I just wish they would try and vary the people that get involved, and verge away from Heat magazine’s range of favourites. Or if they do insist on using the same old faces, then at least get them to stick to whatever it is they did to make their name.