Thursday, February 15, 2007

18 Doughty Street - Good luck to them

Norfolk Blogger comments that "18 Doughty Street is turning into 18 Tory Street". What is this "turning into"? - it always has been. It is based near the old Spectator HQ (which was at no. 56) in Bloomsbury, and there has never been any attempt to hide its true colours.

So now they are running attack ads on Ken Livingstone. Big deal. Let them get on with it. It is a free country and Kenny boy has taken thousands of far higher-profile knocks from the Mail, Evening Standard etc in the past. I think this knock-Ken campaign is a little advertising ploy by 18 DS....perish the thought!

I have great affection for 18 Doughty long as I don't have to watch it in more than short bursts. You have to admire the folks who valiantly stagger through five hours of television per night, like they do. It is a very British set-up, just like the Spectator was. Their web site looks brilliant.

What are the viewing figures? This is what Iain Dale said shortly after the launch in the Guardian last year:

Viewing figures, he says, seem to be up in the thousands but are hard to determine at this stage and, anyway, "We're not going to let the viewership dictate what we do."

"In the thousands" - What does that mean then? 2001? 2002? 2003?

And we hear unsubstantiated whispers that the figures have gone down since the launch (I would welcome any knowledge of what the viewing figures actually are - I couldn't find them, despite a very lengthy google). Oh dear. But they don't want to be dictated to by the viewership. Marvellous. Great British eccentricity. TV for the presenters and their mothers. I hope someone is carefully watching the profit and loss account.

Looking at this week's 18 DS schedule it seems to be heavily presented by Iain Dale. Marvellous practice for him. And he is exceptionally good at the relaxed 18 Doughty Street style of conversation. He even types email replies to the likes of Tim Ireland while he is chairing the live discussion - Chutzpah or what?!

Watching the 18 Doughty Street blogging programmes is like wandering into the student digs of the chair of the University Conservative Union at 1am and listening to the discussion between him and his friends. It is all very illuminating and stimulating. But, at the end of the day, it is rather incestuous and amounts to little more than self-gratification for the participants.


  1. A very fair post, Paul.

    Would you like to come in sometime?

  2. Thank you very much Samuel.

    Thanks for the kind invite. I think I would enjoy it - at the moment, though, I am busy with campaigning in the evenings, so will have to regretfully decline for the moment.