WHY do the producers of television programmes treat their viewers like imbeciles?

I am aware that a substantial proportion of the audience may live down to the producers’ expectations but some of us do have IQs slightly higher than kelp and we are entitled to better standards in the programmes that we watch.

The Beeb recently screened a series about Italian gardens hosted by a chap called Monty Don.

All very interesting as Monty visited a succession of delightful estates, explained their provenance and identified flowers many of which neither The Lady Bartie nor my good self had ever heard of.

Throughout the series Monty moved from garden to garden with what looked like a leather satchel slung over his right shoulder in an attempt to convince us that he was nothing more than a well-informed tourist hopping off the local bus but prepared to share his erudition with us, the experientially deprived.

Did they, the producers, really expect us to believe that Monty had travelled the length and breadth of Italy on his own? Did he research all of the historical data himself? Were we supposed to think that he was carrying his tooth brush, a clean shirt and a spare pair of underdaks in his satchel?

Come on producers, get real! We all know that someone was holding the camera; that there was a sound technician; that Monty didn’t apply his own make-up; didn’t book his own railway tickets.

Are we really expected to believe that everything happened spontaneously? There was an entire production team so why try to make it look like a home movie?

It is bad enough that, for the sake of continuity, presenters are required to wear the same frock or suit week after week, even when travelling across continents?

Stop treating us like dummies! The least astute among us quickly realise when we are being patronised.

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