Lambing Live

Live television does strange things to people. If you’re a presenter, it guarantees a certain urgency in your voice. While this immediacy is no doubt borne of nerves and the adreneline of live presenting, it does tend to imply a certain level of importance to what’s going on.

As such, telethons and live sporting events are given gravitas… however, what happens when you’re presenting something that’s not especially dramatic?

I’m looking at you Lambing Live (BBC Two).

The lovely and sweet Kate Humble presents the show which is, essentially, Take Me Out – only with slightly more intelligent participants.

Instead of watching cackling lasses with fake-tan displaying their vaginas at some drone in slacks whilst being egged on by Paddy McGuinness, Lambing Live is essentially one long close up and the backside of a ewe with bearded farmers waiting to hoik out baby sheep all steaming and damp.

It makes for very odd television. At times, it feels like someone has knocked a hole in your wall and you’ve discovered that you live next door to a barn where everything smells of straw and shit and men idly stand around chewing the insides of the cheeks whilst animals bleed and piss everywhere.

Who thought that would make great telly?

I mean, of course, it’s not awful TV… but there’s more of a feeling of being on a boring school trip rather than watching some vital new show.

You might argue that there’s nothing more vital than new life, but honestly, I never dreamed that I would see Kate Humble sticking her hand up a ewe and pulling out a greasy lamb which will invariably end up at chops.

I’m not entirely sure that any of us particularly need to see a sheep being born, live on our televisions. Add to this, the fact that most are shat out just before dawn, the chances of us actually seeing a live birth are slim-to-zilch thanks to an evening broadcast.

It’s less a TV show and more a glorified webcam. It’s the sort of thing that roughly thirty people are really enthused and interested about and I bet twenty-eight of those are sheep farmers.

One good thing is that the show is attempting to make stars of our farmers who are criminally ignored in Britain. Unless one of them streaks or something, it’s not going to happen because we’re prone to forgetting nuts-and-bolts people in favour of… well… men with pecs and ladies with sociable boobs.

And no, sheep teats don’t count. So while Take Me Out is infinitely less useful than Lambing Live, it’s always going to be more popular. We should share a brief moment of shame or something.

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