The Steamie

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

David Maddox: Pizza and beer for the new political blockbuster

They may well be seen as boring men in grey suits talking about dull economics but it seems that the Chancellors' debate last night drew amazingly high viewing figures.
According to one of the Tory spindoctors 7 million people, more than one in ten people in the UK, tuned in to Channel Four to watch Messrs Darling, Osborne and Cable talk about the economy. The peak viewing according to figures they received was 2 million.
This compares to the normal Channel Four News viewing audience of 1 million and Dispatches audience of 1 million.
It would be a good omen for interest in the political process and the forthcoming election.
However, perhaps a more accurate assessment of the viewing audience appears in the Guardian Media Guide which reports that there were 1.6 million viewers, a 6.6 per cent share of the total UK TV audience.
Let's hope that the Conservative estimates on potential savings they can make are more accurate.
Whatever, the truth of the figures, it seems that the Tories at the party's London HQ at Millbank Tower decided to have a night of it with the debate and ordered in pizza and beer before settling down to watch the first political blockbuster of the election campaign.
The choice of cuisine is largely because there is a Pizza Express nearby, but perhaps it is a sign of how far David Cameron's party has come from the days of champagne and caviar, just as Labour is returning to its traditional beer and sandwiches union tucker.

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