Thursday, July 10, 2008

Apparently Wales doesn't exist.

Nothing like overstating a half-decent point. A bunch of Welsh AMs (that's members of the Welsh Assembly) have produced a report complaining that Wales doesn't get enough attention on British national television. There's a degree of truth to this. The UK media is obsessed with London, which is partly because important stuff tends to congregate there, but also results in disproportionate coverage being given to local news stories that happen to take place on the broadcaster's doorstep.

In the case of Wales, there's perhaps also an element of the local broadcasters spending a lot of their resources on making programmes in Welsh, which the rest of the country understandably isn't keen to network. BBC Scotland and STV don't have that issue; most of their output is in English, and a lot of it gets networked.

But, says the report, "Everyday life in Wales is reflected nowhere, in any genre, at any time across the schedules." The chairman of the report, Alan Davies, is also quoted as saying, "If you watch TV day in day out, week in week out, you won't see Wales represented anywhere across the UK networks."

Um... that's a bit sweeping, isn't it?

I mean, Torchwood's not the greatest show in the world, but it is set in Cardiff, it airs in prime time, and it features scenes of Welsh people going about normal daily activities (admittedly interspersed with invasions from Jones the Hellmouth, but they did say "in any genre"). Perhaps in real life the Welsh don't derive quite so much pleasure from standing dramatically on local tall buildings, but surely it takes us over the threshold of "nowhere, in any genre, at any time"?

And I've never actually watched an episode of Gavin & Stacey, but I know it's an award-winning comedy drama, and I know it's set partly in Glamorgan.

Now, I can't think of much else (and I draw the line at counting The Charlotte Church Show, or sketches from Little Britain), which tends to suggest they've got a point. But it'd be an even better point if they made it accurately, wouldn't it?