“It’s not a particularly original idea, I admit, but it’s quite cute. It’s certainly not very contentious, but even so, compliance people and producers and lawyers all checked my lyrics long before the cameras rolled,” he said.
Mr Minchin said he liked Jonathan Ross as an interviewer and a person but was disappointed to find the song he worked hard to create, specifically for the show, had been cut out.
He said: “It’s 2011. The appropriate reaction to people who think Jesus is a supernatural being is mild embarrassment, sighing tolerance and patient education.
“And anger when they’re being bigots. Oh, and satire. There’s always satire.”
He was asked to write a song for the pre-Christmas special by Jonathan Ross. He decided to do a song about Jesus, a gentle song about Jesus, that compared him to Woody Allen (short, Jewish, philosophical, a bit hesitant).
He then used other cultural terms to also compare and sum up Jesus.
“Jesus was a great entertainer doing cool tricks all of the time, turning water into wine, making stormy weather fine. Even now his stunts confound us, kind of did what Derrin Brown does.”
The song was performed, it was approved by Jonathan Ross and his producer who felt it had a nice balance and was cheeky.
“And then someone got nervous and sent the tape to ITV’s director of television, Peter Fincham. And Peter Fincham demanded that I be cut from the show,” Mr Minchin said.
“He did this because he’s scared of the ranty, shit-stirring, right-wing press, and of the small minority of Brits who believe they have a right to go through life protected from anything that challenges them in any way. ”
Jonathan Ross said on Twitter: “Really gutted that the brilliant Tim Minchin song has been cut from my show. Decision was out of my hands.”
After the performance he said: “You’ve got some balls doing that in a Christmas show.”
An ITV spokesman said: “We often make changes to programmes before transmission and on this occasion we felt that the song didn’t quite work editorially.”
To understand what I mean by that you need to take a step back in time to around the early to mid-nineties when Digital TV (in the form of Sky) was taking off in the UK – becoming mainstream.
At that time it would be really cool if you saw someone you knew (in the fame sense of knew) on one of the digital channels (i.e. not BBC, ITV or Channel 4) – even though the shows were relatively low budget and often a bit crap.
Well Online is fast taking on that role – as Digital Television has become the norm, as it is taking over from ‘traditional’ television in terms of new shows, big commissions etc – online is taking the role of ‘known people’ doing their own things, creating their own shows and doing the whole ‘ooo cool lets get cult’.
It isn’t television but Phil and Phills Perfect Ten, Stephen Fry’s Podgrams and Colling and Herrins Podcast make for great unique, original straight to the audience radio.
And in television you’ve got people like Robert Llewellyn (Red Dwarf, Scrapheap Challenge, Top Trumps) creating their own shows and even networks.
The latest from Robert is LlewTube – which has one main show in the form of Car Pool – that’s just had its second episode (first official). It basically sees Robert driving around London in a car (either Tesla or Prius) with someone famous or interesting or both.
The first episode was with Red Dwarf (and other things) director Ed By and the second with Jonathan Ross. You can watch that now – but please do check out www.llewtube.com.
Did you enjoy it? OK so the quality isn’t perfect yet, the camera work needs a bit of tweeking and the audio needs a bit of a sledghammering – but the concept is brilliant, the content is brilliant and there are another 16 already recorded – being released weekly.
But this isn’t the only online video Robert is doing – he also presents MoWer (or Machine of the Week) for ChannelFlip – the network launched by Wil Harris and Justin Gayner.
ChannelFlip, despite a slightly slow start that saw several months go by without an update – has rapidly increased both its output, its profile and its user numbers.
As well as having Robert Llewellyn – Wil Harris recently announced via his Twitter stream that comedian David Mitchell (Peep Show, Mitchell and Web) will be presenting a show for the network.
That will be added to the already impressive line-up of shows from lesser known presenters – including Wil and Justin themselves.
You can watch an episode of Robert Lewellyn’s MoWer which has just broken the iTunes top 30:
Back? Right so lets move on – it isn’t just the big high profile sites providing great content – there are also smaller players – just go through YouTube Channels or look at Blip.tv for some of the brilliant independent video content online – but ignore my channel.
As video production gets increasingly more simple, as costs of bandwidth and ease of putting online (set up a blip.tv network, upload video, tick podcast box and go) improves – and as advertising revenues for podcasts increase – I can imagine an increasing number of mid-level celebs launching their own shows.
How long before Andi Peters launches a weekly cooking show – actually Wil Harris – how about giving Andi a call or sending him a Tweet – xxandip?
But there is a more serious side to this online video lark – with sites like ChannelFlip trailblaising their way through and millions using the iPlayer on a regular basis (an average of 700 thousand a week for Top Gear alone while it was on) – could we see a new online PVT service funded from the £130 million BBC digital switchover fund?
Should that money go towards creating a new PVT online broadcaster that carried documentaries on difficult subjects, carried entertainment shows that aren’t commercial enough or wide audience enough to work on television but still interesting enough to follow up?
Could an online PVT service include live streamed (or even just reported) coverage of all the local councils in the country or more specific local news – that there is NO WAY local newspapers will effectively deliver across the country.
Speaking of cookery shows – I got my wife to film me making pasta salad as a sort of test piece to see whether I should continue with my ‘Reluctant Geeks Diet Diary’ idea – the camera work was brilliant – lets leave it there.
So back to the drawing board for my own video ideas – I need an idea for a project that isn’t just me talking into the camera – answers on a postcard – or ideally in the comments bellow.
I watched Jonathan Ross post at around 10.25pm “russell now has proper twitter account ! Would you like his name ?” which was quickly followed by “@rustyrockets” three minutes later.
Between that moment, which was quickly followed by this post from @rustyrockets “i have come to join you pleas be gentle with me as ive been feeling vulnerable… yet implausibly, sexy” and now – he went from 0 to 1700 followers.
It seems to have settled down a little bit now but at one point – a refresh every second saw an extra 20 or 30 followers.
There’s even a TwitPic from @Wossy – I guess Russell was at his house. Oh and “Hello Daily Mail Hack searching for Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand in the hope of finding another pointless story”.
Of course this comment from @Wossy might mean a limited number of posts from @rustyrockets “my kids just told russell that twitter is for oldies. he is cursing me now.”
But somehow I doubt that would have an effect – although interestingly not long before that @bobbyllew was talking about his daughter describing Twitter as being like “MSN for old people”.
Is Twitter really for old people? OK so I’m now in my late twenties – so what are the, oh god I can’t believe I’m about to post this but, what ARE the kids using nowadays?
OK so I’ve avoided the Sachs-venetian blind bollocks on the grounds that I don’t really care and think the whole thing has been blown completely out of all proportion.
So two comedians, known for sailing close to the wind were left in a studio together to record a show they KNEW wasn’t going out live.
They got themselves a little bit (ok a hell of a lot) over excited and over stepped the taste and decency mark – even I accept that fact.
What I don’t accept is the horrific disproportionate response to it – first the show should NOT have been aired – the fact that it was should have led to the SUSPENSION of the senior producer responsible for approving it.
Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross should have been made to give a public apology and that should have been the end of the matter.
But it wasn’t, it became the TOP SODDING STORY across all media for about a week! And to a certain extent is still a major story now – and I can just imagine what the Daily Mail will do the week Jonathan Ross comes back.
Lets take a look at a few numbers – originally two people complained about the broadcast – after the broadcast had gone out. This is about right and proportionate – you’ll get at least one or two people complain about every show that goes out.
Then when the Mail on Sunday complained about it in print another 10 thousand people complained – about the fact that it had happened even thought they weren’t ‘directly’ offended by it.
The Daily Mail and every other media followed the Mail on Sundays lead and in the end about 30 thousand people complained.
So far there are over 50 thousand people on a Facebook group called ‘SUPPORT RUSSELL BRAND & JONATHAN ROSS’ and more in other related groups.
My biggest concern about this whole sorry episode is that, instead of making sure producers are told to follow the current (and very strict) procedures for ALL SHOWS – there will be a sanatising, a Mary Whitehouse-esq watering down of the BBC.
My fear is that the corporation will be forced into a corner that leaves it too scared to take risks or to do anything different – fortunately I don’t think that fear will be realised.
I think there are enough intelligent people to see through the Daily Mail’s thinly veiled bitter little attack on the corporation – but who knows.
I’ve restricted myself from posting what I really wanted to post – on the grounds of taste and decency and I’ve resisted posting the YouTube video of the whole Sachs-pogoda segment.
What I will say though is that the Daily Mail’s latest target – Jeremy Clarkson and Top Gear seems to be back firing.
There are a LOT of very fierce Top Gear supporters and fans out there – covering a seriously wide range of people (young, old, socialist, conservative, male, female…).
The DM wrote an article the other day complaining about Jeremy Clarkson apparently giving the finger to a police officer in the most recent Top Gear (the American Roadtrip).
First this is bollocks and taken out of context (it was just a funny segment in a scripted show that was having a laugh and taking the piss) and secondly – who gives a flying one – sometimes people just need to lighten up and learn to laugh.
If you don’t like it (and they clearly don’t like Top Gear as they complain about it so much – although they do watch it every week for some reason) don’t watch it – Strictly Come Prancing about in sequins is on BBC One at the same time after all.
Interestingly – this article seems to have disappeared from the Daily Mail website – interesting given the volume of anti-Daily Mail comments I read on the article before the story was pulled.
I think the Mail may well be pushing people more in favour of the BBC and the licence fee with their constant whinging and complaining – instead of making people against it (which seems to be their goal).