Was Planespotting Live really that bad?

One for my UK based readers.

So I’m sure most people reading this site would have seen Planespotting Live on the BBC last night. If you didn’t, you would have no doubt seen plenty of comments on social media about it – most of which were extremely negative.

The points raised there were valid, however lets remember that we have an interest in the aviation industry, so the information in this show isn’t exactly new to us. Most of the general public don’t have much clue or interest in what type of plane they’re seeing. And that’s the audience the BBC have to cater to. They are in the business of making entertaining the masses and not catering to a niche few.

The presenters were criticised for not being overly clued up on what they were talking about – however I suspect that they had to dumb it down somewhat to make them relatable to the audience. Obviously Arthur is well known on social media from his other TV work and from following Andi Peters on Instagram for the last year or so, his interest in the aviation industry seems genuine.

If we look at it from another angle, lets say it was about shipping for example. I personally admit to knowing absolutely nothing about the shipping world, so if Andi, Arthur and the gang were at Dover and were getting excited about the ABC456 ferry coming in from Calais, I wouldn’t know that it was really an ABC567. And that’s what the majority of people watching Planespotting Live would have been thinking too.

Also, having to present live for an hour at East Midlands airport can’t have been an easy task – it’s not the busiest airport in the world compared to the likes of Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester so not an awful lot to plane spot there in comparison, although maybe that was the whole point. Pick a regional airport that’s busy enough to have some planes on it, but not too busy that they were able to cut away to the other features that had been filmed externally without missing too much. This could also explain some of the more random comments made on the show too – not too much going on so having to think on their feet to fill the more quiet moments at the airport.

There could have been a few improvements made to the program, but taking a step back from being an AvGeek and seeing it for what it was supposed to be – a bit of light entertainment in the evening, it did just what it was supposed to. Filled an hour after work with some easy viewing.

Sure, it wasn’t the best TV to have graced the screen, but I’ve seen far worse.

Catch up with Planespotting Live here (UK only): https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/m00071fp/planespotting-live

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