The incomparable John Doyle, half of TV and Radio's "Roy and H.G.", shares his thoughts on the media at this year's Andrew Olle media lecture.
"If commercial radio is so slight because it is under resourced, so too is Television. And if more channels are allowed then the resources will be even further stretched. As it is the ABC has been cut to the marrow and can no longer afford to do any Drama, and commercial networks have decided Drama is too flakey and expensive. Meanwhile our very fine drama schools are pumping out scores of new young actors each year and there is nothing for them to do. The lucky ones might get to appear in a Holden advertisement or survive for a season in the Bell Shakespeare Company. So our local content is reduced to game shows, dancing shows, lifestyle shows and talent quests all creaking under the weight of diminishing returns. Think of something mindless, rope in a couple of celebrities and there’s your show.
Big Brother is a waste of an opportunity. The housemates live in a state of perpetual boredom, unless they’re pissed. Why not engage them. A house of really smart gifted young people from various fields: scientists, engineers, mathematicians, builders, a Latin scholar, a poet etc and they have a problem to solve. With a shared incentive of a few million dollars they have to find a solution to Australia’s water problems in ten weeks – there’s a show."
You can download an mp3 version of the speech here, and ABC2 will broadcast the speech next Monday (17 October) at 7pm and 9.15pm.