So our British Broadcasting Corporation finally got back to me last week following my enquiry as to why the four BBC channels were, once again, a Halloween free zone this year. This was the second time I'd dropped them a line to see why they had chosen to give October 31st the cold shoulder. Here for your delectation is the predictably bland response:
"Dear Mr Tappenden
Thank you for contacting us regarding BBC scheduling on 31 October. We understand you were disappointed at the lack of programmes celebrating Halloween on BBC television this year.
‘The One Show’ did present a light hearted feature on zombies to tie in with Halloween however we appreciate that you would like to have seen a film or a programme devoted to the subject rather than our regular scheduled programmes. We’d like to assure you that we’ve registered your comments on our audience log. This is the internal report of audience feedback that’s compiled daily and made available to staff across the BBC, including programme makers, channel controllers, and commissioning executives. The audience logs are seen as important documents that can help shape decisions about future programming and content.
Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.
So there you have it; the sum total of All Hallows Eve entertainment this year was a chucklesome ten minute piece on the One Show about having your flesh ripped off by the undead. It was so funny, I shit myself I laughed so much; only it wasn't, and I didn't. My polite enquiry did ask some direct questions, such as why the Beeb couldn't spare just two hours on one of the four TV licence funded channels on the 31st for a classic film or two. But like a well tuned politician, all specific questions were avoided.
Silver lining though, my comments have been registered on the audience log. That's something isn't it? Like my comments last year were logged, comments which made fuck all difference this year. The BBC equivalent of "please stay on the line, your call is important to us". They'll probably stuff even more Christmas themed fare on this December just to doubly spite me. As with every other public sector body, bureaucracy reigns while common sense and fairness are pissed out of the window.
I'm not usually one for winging off angry emails complaining about stuff that in the grand scheme of things don't amount to jack. There's far more important things in life to get into a tizzy about. But after years of paying for a licence just to own a TV, whilst watching my licence money spent on programming that rarely, if ever, speaks to me, you start to get a bit worn down. I could understand it if my interests were from the rarest niches of humanity, but my love of film and scary movies in particular is hardly akin to a love of obscure fence panels or soiled pant collecting. A steady diet of Eastenders, Come Dancing, and Newsnight, its a wonder I'm not reaching for the knife block and heading out to make my own real-life scary movie to fill the void.