Two days ago we published a piece about how token female panelists who don’t make an effort are ruining comedy quiz shows, notably a particular favourite, 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown. I was still incensed over the matter this morning, and duly sent this email to Channel 4:
Good morning. I used to be a HUGE fan of ‘8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown’ but it is becoming a shadow of its former self, and for one reason only, as I explained in a blog post recently, here.
PLEASE – stop including token female contestants who contribute damn all to the programme. They manage to make the overall show a lot less funny, the past two episodes have been particularly bad.
A person of the female persuasion at Channel 4, who will remain nameless, responded a few hours later with this:
Dear Mr Buchanan,
Thank you for contacting Channel 4 Viewer Enquiries regarding 8 OUT OF 10 CATS DOES COUNTDOWN.
We are sorry to hear that you were unhappy that female guests were included in the comedy panel that feature on the show because you feel that they are less funny than male guests.
Please be advised that it is a fact that very few presenters on any programme meet with the unqualified approval of everyone in our audience. Nevertheless, please be assured your complaint has been logged and noted for the information of those responsible for our programming.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact us. We appreciate all feedback from our viewers; complimentary or otherwise.
Channel 4 Viewer Enquiries
I responded with this:
Thank you. It’s not that I ‘feel’ the female guests were less funny, I KNOW they were, as would anyone with a sense of humour. Jessica Hynes was just particularly woeful.
Disgruntled with the response from Channel 4, I forwarded the exchange to one of the party stalwarts, H. He replied with this:
Years ago, the story goes, when people travelled in Pullman railway sleeping cars, a passenger found a bed bug in his berth. He wrote a letter to George M. Pullman, president of Pullman’s Palace Car Company, informing him of this unhappy fact. By return, he received the following:
“The company has never heard of such a thing, and as a result of your experience, all the sleeping cars are being pulled off the line and fumigated. The Pullman’s Palace Car Company is committed to providing its customers with the highest level of service, and it will spare no expense in meeting that goal. Thank you for writing, and if you ever have a similar problem, or any problem, do not hesitate to write to me again.”
However, enclosed with this letter, by accident, was the passenger’s original letter to Pullman, across the bottom of which the president had written a note to his secretary,
“Send this S.O.B. the standard bedbug letter!”