One of my interests is watching TV. It is possible to passively absorb TV, in fact some might argue that that is its primary use. But what I mean by "waching TV" is really monitoring the changes in how TV goes about its business.
My time working at the BBC taught me to see TV from the inside, and perhaps that's why I like to follow its evolution. This has come to include TV advertising too, a whole world in itself.
There has been enormous change in the nature of TV over the last 20 years. The emergence of what people call "Reality TV" has transformed the televisual landscape, as has the onset of "dumbing down" and of course helping us through it all is that squad of TV stalwarts the "stand-ups". Never have we been able to name so many, from the ubiquitious Stephen Fry, to the "Live at the Apollo" guy whose name you can just about recall (I mean by that either Jason Manford or Micky Flanagan.)
The present panjandrums of TV-land firmly believe that we (the audience) can best be entertained (and sold to) by amusing people with a high affability rating (comedians). Off the top of my head, how would I order the Apollo stand-ups in terms of those I'd like to see trying to sell me something:
Dara Ó Briain
Stephen K. Amos
I wouldn't buy anything, but I'd like to see them try to sell it. Who would feature at the top of your Apollo list?