Hard Sell



Mark Franks


BBC Bristol for BBC One, 30 October 2006 to 28 September 2007 (30 episodes in 2 series)


What could brighten up BBC one's one-and-a-half hours of interminable buying-and-selling programmes in its daytime schedules? Yes, another half an hour of selling!

Two pairs of jolly middle-aged, middle-class people go around somewhere in Middle England and sell various stuff that's been supplied to them for the highest price they can. They have to haggle as best they can which usually amounts in them getting, ooh, an extra £5 or £10. Since the teams are selling different items, there's a serious game balancing issue here.

Then there's a speed challenge where they have to sell some goods for an arduous 15 minutes or so. The winners get to keep the earnings of both teams, of the order of a few hundred quid.

The BBC's reliance on these shows (highlight: one contestant earning £13 - whoppee!) is now surely reaching crisis point, and is Exhibit A in why Britain's lost its lead in the formats export market that it had a few years ago. We prefer watching Roar! on Children's BBC which exhibits far more intelligence than this lightweight guff.

Web links

BBC programme page


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