I don’t know why I was so keen to review the Chat
magazine-sponsored Moral Dilemmas, a new UK Living series. A fit of
insanity, obviously, as I am one of those people who think that ordinary
people shouldn’t be allowed to expose their awfulness on daytime chat
In this version, the audience and a range of ’experts’ explore the
guests’ dilemmas, culminating in a vote on how the issue should be
Let’s take ’celebrity TV presenter’ Julia Bradbury first. Who? Oh, you
mean the one that lasted for a couple of weeks on Channel 5’s
As she plods listlessly on to the stage, a worrying tone is set,
reaffirmed when she introduces ’Jo’ and her cheating rat of a boyfriend,
The combination of her predatory body language, leaning into her guests
and rendering them even less articulate than they already were (a
challenge, believe me) and her vapid, plonky conversational style make
this programme even less watchable than others of its ilk.
The guests are your bog-standard morons. ’David’ has watched too many
pop-psychology programmes (like this one), ’Jo’ is a pathetic weakling
who would forgive him matricide, while the gaggle of bottle-blonde hags
’speaking their minds’ sends me cowering behind the sofa with my hands
clapped to my ears.
The ’experts’? Well, two cuckolded women tell their own story and are
far more animated than poor Bradbury, who, while they are in full flow,
apparently takes the opportunity to pop another couple of Mogadon.
A woman from Relate comes on to reiterate the ’leave ’im’ option, only
with slightly longer words and less indignant squawking. The vote at the
end? Ludicrous, unnecessary and irrelevant. As if ’Jo’ won’t take him
back. As if ’David’ will stay faithful.
What is truly awful about this programme is that, unlike its rivals, its
pace is slower than Crown Green Bowls. Julia is more likely to whip up a
cheese souffle than frenzied cat fighting.
The Chat branding? A logo only, which appears on the backdrop and also
on Bradbury’s cue card which she clutches for dear life, skilfully
managing to hide it completely with her hand.
Advertisers beware. Put your loudest, brashest ads on air, as your
average housewife will be snoring on the sofa, smouldering iron in hand,
long before the first break.
Eleanor Trickett is a Campaign reporter and daytime TV addict
Format Masthead programme in association with IPC’s Chat magazine TV
station UK Living Broadcast hours Weekdays from 10.50am to 11.40am, runs
to 14 November Target market Housewives Advertisers Shredded Wheat,
Somerfield, Hovis, Boots, Johnson & Johnson, L’Oreal.