Channel 4’s upcoming seasonal look back on the past year has been pulled from broadcast, it has emerged, and is scheduled to be replaced with three hours of solemn string music, since the original programme was deemed by Ofcom to be ‘too bleak’
The original programme, following a long tradition of C4’s propensity for very long list shows and retrospectives was set to be a marathon look back through the last twelve months interspersed with witty bought asides from Hugh Dennis or Michael McIntyre. However Director General Marcus Fenix has been forced to replace the programme at the last minute when the television regulatory board deemed the resulting broadcast ‘more tragic and gruelling than fifty three consecutive showings of Schindler’s List’.
One of this year's lighter moments
“We thought there would be some light in all of that. But no.” Fenix told us, “ When we got the tapes from the edit and reviewed them it was far more harrowing than we usually expect from our list shows. Banking crisis, war in Libya, mass unemployment, tsunamis, Paul McMullan’s dead eyes, strikes, even the latest Call of Duty was disappointing and I’m pretty sure there was some big war that I’m forgetting. You try making a cheery list show out of any of that.”
“What happened this year? Steve Jobs died. Pretty sad. Well that was our number 3 top moment of 2011! That was the third best thing that happened. Numbers 78-69 were just statistics of different groups of people who had died this year. Number 70 was children who had been killed by landmines and our test audience agreed that that was our funniest bit. Our number one best moment of 2011 was that viral video of a woman ramming a cat into a bin. It was going to be that one of the panda shitting on the other panda’s head but we didn’t want to end the program on that strong of a metaphor.”
2011's comic side
“There were highlights, I suppose. Two mass murdering lunatics were shot to death and pictures of their corpses were loaded onto the internet. That’s a win. But you try having Russell Howard make a hilarious observation about that. As uplifting news goes, that’s a bit of a phyrric victory for us. No. Sombre strings is what we’re putting up. I won’t be responsible for more misery this year.”
The replacement program- described as evocatively dour arrangements from the National Orchestra’s String Quartet over a static black and white photograph of an upturned pram in a concrete stairwell- is billed as a ‘lighter alternative to the other shows that would try to cast a wry eye on the howling void that was this year’
Following suit, BBC3’s new year list programme ‘Celebs wot you should hate’ has been replaced with a more supportive and uplifting list show; ‘People Who Have Kept it Together in the Face of Really Tough Times, Because it Hasn’t Been Easy, Has It?’.
Meanwhile the New Year celeb Panel quiz Show ‘The Big Fat Quiz of the Year’ is set to be replaced by two hours of Jimmy Carr and David Mitchell gently assuring the viewers that 2012 can’t be any worse and telling a series of their favourite knock-knock jokes over pan pipe music.