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TV Review: launch of STV Glasgow made me think of sugar, Teletubbies and switching off

'We're finally on air. Yay!'

Presenters of The Riverside Show
Presenters of The Riverside Show

Yay: a word which should be banned or, at the very least, put on an official list headed 'Words Idiots Use.' It would sit alongside other scars on our language such as 'megalolz'.

So I was disgruntled when the new channel, STV Glasgow, chose to launch tonight with an exclamation of 'yay'!

The two young presenters of its flagship programme, The Riverside Show, had clearly consumed too many fizzy Haribo sweets and they bounced and giggled and chirped through the next two hours.

The Riverside Show is a magazine programme involving chat, snippets of news, music and cookery. If the producers were aiming for a laidback atmosphere it was rudely overturned by the giddy hosts. This pair swivelled their heads, threw up their hands, reacted with mock surprise to everything and said things like 'yay' and 'wooh' and 'partayyyy!' They did everything but roll down a grassy hill and clutch their tummies and it was this particular omission which convinced me they were not impersonating the Teletubbies. Until then I couldn't be sure…

When the presenters mercifully relinquished the screen, it was often to hand over to a woman whose sole purpose was to read out tweets about the show. (Strangely, none of mine were chosen.) This recital of flimsy praise happened repeatedly throughout the show. Their budget must be huge if they can afford a specialised tweet-reader. This woman - again and again and again - read out tweets, stumbled over her words, occasionally waved tiny dolls at the camera and told us how super-duper-fabby we all thought the show was. Yay!

I thought this kind of adolescent drivel would be on the wane after BBC3's demise but sadly not.

The Riverside Show was irritating nonsense. It's similar to other magazine programmes, such as The One Show or Loose Women or This Morning, but if you want a fluffy magazine show then just watch those ones. At least then you'll get famous presenters and big-name guests. The Riverside Show, being new and, crucially, being local, can't compete and so becomes nothing more than a Richard and Judy Tribute Band.

Truly, The Riverside Show is only fit for being beamed silently into the dayrooms of neurosurgery wards.

Next up on STV Glasgow was Peter and Roughie's Football Show but this wasn't actually a TV show - it was just a radio phone-in where someone had perched a camera on a shelf.

Later came The Blether, which I had high hopes for. This put the comedians Phil Differ and Raymond Mearns together at a café table and we listened over the shoulders as they had a chat about random things from the M74 to stamp machines to the shops in the Trongate. This was a great idea: put the two funny men together with no annoying middleman. It was a great idea but there were simply no laughs.

This has been a harsh review, and perhaps my opinion of the launch night was soured by having to sit through two hours of the remarkably poor Riverside Show. Had they opened with something other than the rictus-grinning Tellytubby Kidz I might have felt differently because there are good things about STV Glasgow once you shoo Riverside away. There will be a subtitled Polish drama and, with the recent successes of shows like The Bridge, the producers are estimating they'll pull in more English-speaking viewers than Polish. This is an innovation and to be welcomed. They'll also have a weekly slot called Classic Drama where they'll re-run old favourites from the STV archives, like Taggart, and which Glaswegian won't welcome the chance to watch the scenes of 1980s parks and rivers and streets and shout 'Hey, I know where that is!'

But Taggart is the only thing which will lure me back to STV Glasgow. And if footage of Kelvingrove and Gardner Street is the only thing luring me to Taggart why don't I just switch the TV off and go for a walk instead?

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