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06/12/2007 - par Mark Tungate

One day, I will no longer utter the phrase ­« There's nothing on TV ». For the moment, though, it's a painful wait. I recently signed up to the Canalsat bouquet, which effectively means that on top of the crap that was already on my television, I now have access to a whole lot more crap. Whenever I switch on the box, the choice amounts to this : reality TV, discussion shows, or American series badly dubbed into French. I'm not saying there is never anything good on French TV. I'm just saying that it's never on when I want to watch it.

I hear you say : « Why don't you record the good stuff ? » Nice try : but that would involve planning. And as you well know, I'd just end up with a pile of recorded shows that I don't have time to watch.

It's not just a French thing : the situation is more or less the same in England. Until next year, when the major UK channels - BBC, ITV and Channel4 - will team up to launch a TV on demand service through the internet. Called Kangaroo, it lets viewers watch exactly what they want, when they want to watch it. Imagine the scenario : it is 9pm, you are exhausted. You sit down, select Comedy, scroll through the options, and stumble across an episode of Seinfeld you somehow missed. You press play. You enjoy.

Kangaroo will give ­ British viewers access to 10,000hours of new and ­archived programming, initially through the Web but later via their televisions. What's more, most of this will be free. Vivement le Kangourou français !

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