As a Radio 4 wanker from south of the border, my familiarity with terrestrial TV generally and STV in particular is limited, hence my frustration that all I managed to watch last week was the worst game show I’ve ever had the misfortune to view.
STV’s reputation for shit, low-budget TV is well-known, but I was still surprised at how spectacularly poorly-conceived Postcode Challenge is -ostensibly a 25 minute-long advert for the People’s Postcode Lottery, which offers those buying a ticket the chance to win £25 000, should their postcode be chosen. Presented by Angus Purden, who appears to count as a celebrity up here, two teams from different postal areas battle it out for the “pride of their postcode”. Badly thought-out, produced and presented, the idea appears to have been jotted down on the back of a Greggs’ Steak Bake packet by a fifth-rate STV executive when pressed for something to fill the gap between the two episodes of Coronation Street.
First off, the teams are asked to second guess the answer 100 people in a specific postcode area gave to an inane poll question. Last week four middle-aged nurses from Dumfries were asked about what strategies Orkney teenagers used to keep “chaste” on a first date. Apart from assuming that Scottish teenagers knew what “chaste” meanst(unlikely), the problem with these questions is there is no apparent logic to them; you can’t work them out, but have to guess at random. Three equally-inane options are provided, but it is never explained how these were distilled from the many different answers that they people polled gave.
The second round consists of general knowledge questions that vary at random, from the insultingly easy to the impossibly specific. The final straw, though, is the gap Purden leaves between the contestant giving the answer and him confirming it is correct or not. Three to five seconds is about right for a dramatic pause, but Purden leaves a good ten seconds of annoying silence.
A good reviewer should never leave before the end, but I was glad to give it up before the sheer banality of it all drove me over the edge.