Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Why I like the man with the cushiest career in Television...........

John Craven- as he was in Newsround Days up until 1989

Maybe there are a few other candidates for the title of having the cushiest career in Television but JOHN CRAVEN has to be up there somewhere.

I feel like I have "known" John Craven all my life, in that strange way we sometimes feel we know celebrities we have never even met. "Celebrity" is probably not the obvious title for John Craven but I am sure he is known to millions of Britons.

To the unitiated he presented the BBC's "Newsround" for 17 years. At home we always called it "Lightweight's Newsround" as my Father complained the news coverage was "too lightweight". Somehow he overlooked that it was supposed to be news for 10 year olds !

Then JC caused sadness amongst all news loving children by moving on in 1989. Horrors have followed since with newreaders standing up or leaning against the desk. JC, in contrast, was always reliably seated and modelling a pullover that could have come from C & A or BHS.

However JC moved on to a career presenting "Countryfile" a BBC TV programme on rural affairs that goes out on Sunday morning. As far as I know he has presented it continuously til this day. My Mother recently mentioned watching him.

JC has made this programme his own. Somehow he does not seem to work. He just drives up to a farm in a Landrover, gets out wearing a jumper or wax jacket and chats with the farmer over a cup of hot tea, on some rural or agricultural issue.

And that is it ! That's a career in television. Reading news for children for 10 minutes a day over 17 years and then driving round in a Land Rover stopping for tea with farmers for a further 17.

However despite this slight jealousy at the ease of your career, I salute you as one of the most decent men in Television. Your amiability in front of the camera, calmness, politeness and sheer enduring presence on our TV screens have endeared you to millions in a subtle but unique way.

Let's hear it for John Craven !

John Craven, as he is now- Countryfile Presenter

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