Love them or hate them, Richard and Judy had a massive impact on the UK’s book buying public. However, their popular show didn’t survive when it was transplanted from Channel 4 to Watch, a digital channel, and left the air back in July. (I wonder why?)
Never fear TV Book Club fans, Channel 4 will be returning the Book Club to our screens – albeit without the duo. Instead books will be discussed by folks like Strictly Come Dancing contestant Laila Rouass, comic Jo Brand and stylist Gok Wan. Interesting. I wonder whether these guys will have the same ability to effectively launch careers on the back of a televised discussion of its merits? Whether they will end up fighting over the books? Whether Gok will make the authors get naked?
I guess it’s got to be a good thing either way, the more people reading the better.
Where would we be without the Richard and Judy book club here in the UK? While I scoffed at them in the beginning (ok, I still do) it has to be said that some of the books they’ve chosen over the years were wonderful and deserving of the attention – The Time Travellers’ Wife being one of my favourites.
Anyway, the two suddenly became hugely influential figures in the book world with the power to shoot a relatively unknown author to stardom and extensive sales. And so their reign continued gathering new subjects all the while, until they moved to digital channel Watch and found themselves dropped for dwindling viewing figures.
Now it looks like the book club is set to make a resurgence, however it will come sans the duo. Instead, the new Cactus TV show for More4 will feature some brand new presenters.
I find the whole thing rather heart-warming (sorry Rich, sorry Judy), as to me it indicates that it’s the format that’s popular. And that means that it’s books that are popular. Hurrah for reading! Who knows what the revamp will hold in store for the book club; a sexified style? A jazzed up culture show? Reading gently with more unthreatening middle classers? It doesn’t really matter to me too much because I won’t watch it anyway. But I absolutely won’t complain that books are getting a viewing on TV, even when I do disagree with some of the selections!