Election Night 2010

The BBC has received a barrage of criticism followings its broadcast of an election-night celebrity boat party.

Cut-away sequences from the boat party were broadcast throughout the night’s coverage on BBC which featured the likes of Bruce Forsyth, Joan Collins and Fern Britton.

But fans were unimpressed with the event, which reportedly cost £30,000, unleashing a barrage of criticism on the BBC message boards.

On post read: “I have absolutely no interest in hearing the views of drunken celebs. Typical BBC self-indulgence.”

Guests on the boat seemed equally dissatisfied, with satirist Armando Iannucci tweeting: “On the barge. No power. You can’t see us. We have no telly. It’s the worst place in UK to be right now, apart from Brown’s trousers.”

In response, a BBC spokesperson said: “As part of our election night coverage, we produced live interviews and broadcasts throughout the night from a boat moored outside the London Eye, discussing the election results with views of the House [of Commons]. Andrew Neil was talking to politicians, commentators and well-known personalities and opinion-formers.”

Source: Digital Spy

I love election night. I really do.

I’m invariably going to liveblog throughout the night tonight in a giddy fever mixed with a frustrated, aching boredom.

Election night is rolling news that only focuses on one story and with that, there’s a lot of air time to kill… and that’s when the show gets good.

Basically, coverage of an election night is a room full of people repeating themselves over and over… “We don’t know who has won yet… We don’t know who has won yet… We don’t know who has won yet… We don’t know who has won yet… We don’t know who has won yet…”, leaving huge gaping voids to fill with oddball graphics and mind-frying half-statistics.

Because the CGI department have to fill so much of an election night, they really get to go to town. However, since Chris Morris & Co lampooned it so well in The Day Today and BrassEye, TV’s been trying to play it a little safer (which no-one wants).

That’s not to say they don’t get it spectacularly wrong on the occasion, as Jeremy Vine’s slots at the last election showed so expertly. His Cowboy Meltdown is an image that will go to the grave with many TV viewers.

But that wasn’t the only headfuck. We also saw Vine in frozen tundras and in another segment set in an art gallery which saw Gordon Brown turning into Stalin and then, ultimately, to Mr Bean.

We can only hope that Vine isn’t disheartened from the laughing that met his skits and that the BBC have got some equally eye-popping stuff in store tonight.

If not, and they decide to be boring and play it safe, then we shouldn’t worry too much because there’s always a human being on hand to make things get really weird. If you stayed up with me for the US Presidential Elections last year, you’ll no doubt recall the amazing moment when Gore Vidal appeared on-screen with Dimbleby looking ill, drunk and bilious. It made for genuinely, rake-in-the-face funny television.

And so, with Channel 4 offering an alternative election night, we’ll no doubt be flicking back and forth between the channels, only to see most going to bed around 1am with the hardcore/simpletons staying up ’til 6am.

I’m going to ride it out hopefully and I’ll be dribbling with boredom, fear and enthusiasm through the night.

I hope you will too.

  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three
  • ITV1
  • ITV2
  • 4
  • E4
  • Film4
  • More4
  • Five
  • Fiver
  • Sky1