By Glenn Dyer


Here’s a novel idea for a floundering or
faltering TV news service: use celebrities to make the decisions
instead of the poor embattled producers running the ship. This story
from Britain could be called the latest in the celebrity approach to “light” programming like news broadcasts:

In a move that he must have dreamed about for years, Alastair Campbell is to edit a TV news bulletin.

Tony
Blair’s former spin doctor is getting the chance as one of four guest
editors who are being handed the reins of Five News, in what is
believed to be a British TV first.

Mr Campbell, singer Ms
Dynamite, author Howard Marks and athlete Dame Kelly Holmes will take
control of the half-hour 7pm bulletins presented by Kirsty Young over
four consecutive weeks from Friday, November 11.

As well as
ordering the stories of the day they will commission their own reports
from the Five News producer, Sky News, on a wide range of subjects.

Ms
Dynamite kicks off the series, with Dame Kelly taking over the helm on
November 18, Mr Marks on November 25 and Mr Campbell on December 2.

Seeing this in the vein of its programming “hits” Celebrity Makeover, Celebrity Circus and Celebrity Ice Skating, the Nine Network looms as first cab off the rank here for its struggling Sydney 6pm news.

We
could have Johnny Farnham (aptly named The Voice, he could also read
it), Sue Cato, the chief spinner of the Cross Sydney Tunnel, a sporting
person like Canterbury Bulldogs forward and party animal Big Willie
Mason, and finally an author, say, David Williamson, who after his
recent cruise trip seems to have a “liking” for the aspirational folk
of western Sydney, which is where Nine News claims to be concentrating
on.