Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

PointlessGate isn’t really a scandal

Richard Osman, co-presenter of the popular quiz show, objects to the presence of Kelvin MacKenzie.

Sun, Oct 26, 2014, 15:00

   

Most of you won’t care, but fans of Pointless, the addictive quiz show, will have been amused at the minor kerfuffle that seems to have greeted the presence of Kelvin MacKenzie, former editor of the Sun, on yesterday’s episode of Pointless Celebrities. It was, actually, a bizarrely right-wing line-up this week. Stanley Johnson, father of Boris, was there. The ghastly Nick Ferrari, conservative shock jock, was on the same team as old-school Tory-leaning commentator Julia Hartley-Brewer. That’s fair enough. There’s been a fair few liberal-leaning people on the celebrity version of the show. What else would you expect from Buggers Broadcasting Communism (to quote Christine Hamilton, a former Pointless Celebrity guest)?

It was, however, the presence of Kelvin MacKenzie, former editor of the Sun, that really sent Pointless fans into a frothing fury (if such a calm bunch of people are ever so fearsomely roused). More than a few tweeted in the direction of the enormous host Richard Osman. Here’s where it gets interesting. An admirable fellow by all accounts, Osman responded to every tweet. It seems he was not at all happy with the situation and expressed his disgust to the producers. “Agree 100%, he absolutely should not have been there. I hope you can accept my apologies” he said in a representative tweet.

It is revealing that MacKenzie still triggers such antipathy in the British public. The Sun was the biggest selling newspaper for three decades, but its aggressive end-of-the pier journalism always kicked up Olympic levels of fury with those not in its gang. As a football fan (Fulham in particular), Osman is undoubtedly aware of the continuing fury in Liverpool at the Sun’s revolting coverage of the Hillsborough disaster. ¬†At any rate, it is unusual to see a TV professional coming out so publicly against a decision by his producers. We wouldn’t expect him to storm off the set. He’s a professional. So all thumbs are raised.