BBC Watchdog - about as sharp and savage as a dying labrador
Two weeks into its much-heralded return and things are going rapidly tits up for BBC1’s blockbusting Watchdog show. The show’s production team have been attacked by Sony and hordes of PS3 users after what they claim was an unfair and inaccurate section of last week’s show.
It was a lengthy report on the (supposed) scourge of all PS3 owners – the Yellow Light Of Death. The YLOD is a system fail which although not unheard of, has never become the epidemic that Watchdog sought to portray it as. So Watchdog covered it as though it was the gaming equivalent of The Swine Flu.
In fact, the Xbox 360’s Red Ring Of Death is believed to be about five times more common than the Yellow Light Of Death on the PS3 – something which Microsoft eventually acknowledged when they extended the Xbox warranty length to three years. The PS3 warranty is still only for one year.
In their response to the programme, Sony said that: “Fewer than one half of one percent of [UK] units have been reported as failing in circumstances where the yellow indicator is illuminated.” Not an epidemic then.
In the show, Watchdog reported that Sony charge £128 to repair out-of-warranty PS3 consoles and then proceeded to park a van outside the Sony HQ where engineers would repair YLOD-suffering consoles for free. Well, free to the public – the engineers probably invoiced the Beeb afterwards. Sadly, a high proportion of those consoles later malfunctioned again.
To add to the pile of evidence against this hatchet job, the presenter of the piece was unfunny comedian Iain Lee – former host of the 11 O’Clock Show, singer of crap songs about cocks and er, occasional Microsoft Network (MSN) games writer. That’s not really helping Watchdog’s plight is it?
So, after just two high-profile shows with its new look and new host, Anne Robinson, Watchdog has had a boot up the arse and is sulking in the kennel in the corner of the back yard.
Oh, and as a postscript, reports are reaching us that Anne Robinson demanded a £550 haircut and makeover before she would make a seven-minute appearance on BBC Breakfast promoting Watchdog.
Call us old-fashioned but we’re feeling some contradiction between presenting a show based around exposing consumer rip-offs and then trying to squeeze £500 out of the licence-payer for a fucking haircut and a coating of slap.
The debate continues over at the HotUKDeals forums...