Say it loud, say it proud, I got cooncil telly.
After eight years of Sky, the cables leading to the rusting dustbin lid nailed to the outside wall have been disconnected.
I had a basic Sky package – no movies or sport, no matter how often they tried to flog me an upgrade.
Of the hundreds of channels available at the zap of my remote, I watched only a few – a bit of Dave, some Film4, a dod of More4 on a lazy weekend and, the occasional plus one service.
And the truth? I don’t miss it. Bruce Springsteen once wrote there were ‘’57 channels and there’s nothing on.’’ I had four, maybe five times,as many, and there WERE programmes; just the same ones playing on an endless loop.
Who needs waterboarding when you can get all the secrets you want just by forcing someone to watch Storage Wars for a few hours?
And that’s the real issue with multi-channel telly.
The more channels there are, the more they need content, and that means repetition on a ludicrous scale.
If a programme is worth screening once, it’s worth showing every day and night until the nation sits in a catatonic state silently mouthing the lines as the actors speak them.
In the eight years I had Sky, I never even flicked over to two thirds of the channels. Anything numbered around Channel 496 or higher was, I presumed, complete dross.
And it was.
The greater the channel number, the lower the ratings, to the point it’s just you and your neighbour watching the 276th screening of Upstairs Downstairs’ Christmas special. In September.
The beauty of not having Sky Sports – where every day is Super Sunday – was that I got to see the wee channels which had to make do with live greyhound racing, dominoes and tractor races, all filmed by one bloke with a smart phone.
I knew it was time to chuck it when I I could recite the menu of some contestants on Come Dine With Me off by heart even before the introductions had been completed. When an entire afternoon was wasted watching Four In A Bed, I knew I needed a) to get out more or b) professional help.
And when I was still on the couch after three episodes of Take The High Road circa 1983, the men in white coast were knocking on the door.
So, contract cancelled, £60 a month in my hipper, and I am back to five channels.
Before departing, I checked what I’d recorded, and that just confirmed it was time to go. There was an entire season of Christmas specials from 2016 still waiting for me to hit the ‘play’ button.
Television, like everything else these days, has become completely fragmented. We buy all the packages so we can watch different things when we want, and how we want. The days of crowding round one telly belong in a museum,
But are our lives richer? Nope. More is less.
And in 2017 even Sky feels old hat as Netflix and Amazon Prime take over.
If the revolution is ever broadcast it’ll have to be done as a box set, I guess ...