My favourite TV programmeView(s):
Many programmes are telecast on television. Out of them, on the channel Rupavahini, a Korean story called ‘Sujatha Diyani’ was telecast. It has been translated into Sinhala. It is a very beautiful story of a girl who tries to bring justice by proving that females can also do what males do. The English translation is ‘The Jewel in the Palace’.
Changumi, the main character, loses her parents at a very young age. Afterwards she returns to the palace as a maid. She faces many problems and is expelled from the palace. She takes to the path of medicine and is made the king’s chief doctor (though it was forbidden for females at that time).
She faces many challenges in life and inspite of her gender, she makes many discoveries which make great changes in the field of medicine.
Later she leaves the palace even though she could have been on a high position with a lot of power. This shows that more than power other things should be more important to us.
There is a valuable lesson to be learnt from this story. It shows that impatience and greed for power will lead you to nothing while patience and honesty will give you the best results someday in life.
Willesden College Int., Battaramulla
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Selecting a best-ever experience of television raises a version of the dilemma faced by every Desert Island Discs castaway when asked to pick a single book: is the intention to nominate a favourite work of literature or to come up with a text that could plausibly survive regular re-reading during years of isolation? With regard to the small-screen question, for example, The West Wing is the series that has given me most extended and memorable pleasure but – being practically able by now to recite some whole episodes – it's possible that I will never watch it again.
Better, then, to go for a show that offers something fresh and original every week, at least barring the occasional meaningless mid-table nil-nil draw or repetitive analysis by Alan Shearer of attacking stategy. Match of the Day began in 1964, two years after I did, and so has been there throughout my life, although with occasional gaps when football became a marketable commodity and subject of a bidding war between the BBC and ITV.
Televised football represents one of the most extraordinary rates of cultural change: the availability and depiction of the matches has shifted from diet to gluttony. When I first became a regular MotD viewer in the 1969-70 season – lucky at the time to live in Leeds, home of one of the era's greatest teams – it was almost impossible to know which game or games would be shown. The chosen fixtures were not specified in listings magazines or newspapers because football authorities feared that fans would stay away if they knew they could watch later at home. Occasionally, though, a rumour would go round the school playground on the Thursday or Friday that a BBC van had been seen at the Leeds ground. On Saturday afternoons, there would finally be a definitive clue, when a familiar commentator gave a half-time report during Grandstand.
The programme has tried to move with the times – colour, slow-motion, more analytic punditry, Jacqui Oatley as the first woman commentator – although the basic presentational style has remained astonishingly constant: one ex-player speaking to a couple of others about the game. And the personnel have been differentiated mainly by grooming decisions: from the comb-over of David Coleman via the unshaven chin of Jimmy Hill and hairy upper lip of Desmond Lynam to the clean-cut chops of Gary Lineker and the shaven head of Alan Shearer. For me, Coleman has been the franchise's greatest single talent. As his recent obituaries acknowledged, he combined a dramatic voice with an encyclopaedic knowledge, whereas the show's other two most celebrated commentators – John Motson and Barry Davies – offered a choice between strength in facts or language.
In broadcasting, the normal reason for a programme coming under threat is that the subject matter has become less popular or profitable. But, unusually, Match of the Day stumbled – during the decade from the early 80s to the early 90s – because its content became more bankable and attractive. First ITV and then Sky out-bid the BBC to a large slice of the rights, with Rupert Murdoch's satellite channel making live transmission of whole matches standard, where such coverage had previously been a luxury mainly restricted to the World Cup and FA Cup finals. In 2001, Match of the Day looked finished again, when ITV bought up both its rights to football highlights and Lynam as presenter.
The show was saved, though, by two financial handicaps: football brought in less advertising revenue than ITV had hoped, while most fans had to pay out more than they wanted or were able to for the games on Sky Sports. This paved the way for MotD to regain the rights in 2004, showing highlights of all the Premiership games each week, and will celebrate its 50th birthday this August.
The oddity of Match of the Day is that there can be no other programme of such longevity and popularity – except, perhaps, the news – that attracts such regular levels of disgruntlement. Common complaints are that "fashionable" teams are favoured in the running orders, that the best games are often scheduled for the theoretically subsidiary Sunday edition (Match of the Day 2) or that the pundits are too dull, too white, too Liverpool.
And yet, like a poor production of a great play, the programme is always saved by something in one or more of the games. For the multi-channel viewer, there is now sometimes the peculiar experience of watching highlights of a game that you have seen live in full earlier in the day or the weekend. Most football matches, though, even for fanatical followers, are best in truncated form; for the 42 of its 50 years in which I've been a regular viewer, Match of the Day has been a highlight of my week, despite all its regular infuriations.