Today bosses at struggling channel ITV have announced that all programming will be replaced with videos from YouTube.
"We have to react to the ever changing and challenging world of Television, " said Gerald Billingsworth, head of Light Entertainment at Granada TV. "Our competitors such as the BBC have produced innovative, entertaining and informative programming. However we aren’t in a position to do that."
Mr Billingsworth said that the ITV programme management team had expended a great amount of research effort in trying to understand where ITV’s current programming output can fit in the new digital, on-demand, multichannel world.
"We liked the BBC deal with YouTube but we realised that they have quality programming to offer," he reveals. "Whereas ours is increasingly dependent on members of the public filling our airtime. So we thought, ‘why not just show all those videos from YouTube?’"
The actors’ union Equity has welcomed the news, as it will provide increased work for some of its junior members.
"It is good that the older actresses can get more prominent roles now that ITV will be showing only blurry streaming internet video," explained Fiona Knight, a regular extra on The Bill. "It is great to be in the foreground again. The ‘home movie’ genre retains the quality of ITV’s output - even if I have had my hair set on fire 3 times and crashed my bicycle 18 times when my skirt blows up."
ITV bosses say that the new programme will be a rolling broadcast of Ant & Dec surfing YouTube and showing their favourite videos, or just whatever YouTube thinks is similar to the last one.
"Naturally we will use Ant & Dec to front a programme of this quality. However one of the other changes we plan is to ensure Anthony McPartlin is wearing a hat at all times, " revealed Mr Billingsworth. "His hairline is quite mesmerising and we know our advertisers don’t like families spending entire commercial breaks in discussion about exactly where his hairline ends and the combing forward begins."
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