The BBC has apparently endured a barrage of complaints following the cynical “Next on BBC One” graphical banner displayed in the closing moments of Doctor Who on Saturday night.
As The Time of Angels reached its cliffhanger ending, all tension was wrenched from rooms across the country as a computerised Graham Norton appeared at the foot of the screen to advertise Over the Rainbow, the latest in a series of Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber talent search co-productions.
For those of you who watched on HD or have yet to see The Time of Angels, the intrusion occurred during the now-legendary “trap” speech – hardly great timing.
Reaction against this most unusual of interruptions – commonly promotion material for the subsequent program appears during the end credits – has been strong, with Matthew Graham, writer of 2006’s Fear Her and executive producer of Ashes To Ashes, tweeting:
“I take it everyone else was livid that the Beeb put a gurning cartoon Graham Norton across the exciting cliffhanger climax of Dr Who. Please BBC – you’re not a US network, you’re so much better than they are. Don’t cheapen yourself. The public know what’s up next.”
With newspapers, the web, electronic program guides on SKY and Virgin as well as the Radio Times (other listings magazines are available), it’s likely that the entire viewing public that can be trusted to use a remote control had an idea of what they wanted to watch after Doctor Who…
Of course, this isn’t the first time that Graham Norton has appeared in Doctor Who – in 2005 he briefly bled through into the first few minutes of Rose.