December, 2007: BBC1 broadcasts Rolf Harris' ode to one of the nation's best-loved writer-illustrators, Rolf on Beatrix Potter. Only later does the Corporation realise that it could've doubled the ratings by adding the word …Action to the title. The re-edited Rolf on Beatrix Potter Action, complete with its new cartoon opening sequence of the Kangaroo Rolf rimming Mrs Tiggywinkle on a giant pulsating wobble-board, becomes the most talked-about programme of the season. As a result, "…Action" series become the new trend, hence…
Floyd on Fish Action. Having been inebriate in front of the cameras for nearly three decades, Keith Floyd finally gets it on by putting his arm around a giant cod and saying: 'You know what? I love you. I've always loved you. It's why I'm pissed all the time. I've just been trying to build up the confidence to talk to you. Please… please don't spurn me.'
Alan Yentob on Michelangelo Action. Originally entitled Imagine… Alan Yentob on Michelangelo, but then it turned out that nobody could quite manage to.
Wildlife on One Action. Involves footage of the Queen being mounted by a wildebeest. Controversy strikes the BBC when it turns out that the Queen didn't walk out of the room when the wildebeest attempted anal penetration (as the trailer suggests), but stayed exactly where she was, with all the decorum one would naturally expect. The controller of BBC1 ultimately has to resign, for some reason.
Portillo on Thatcher Action. Not a ratings-winner, as thousands of potential viewers wilfully gouge out their own eyes with dessert spoons just a few days before transmission, to avoid the possibility of accidentally seeing a few seconds of it.
(Portillo on Thatcher: The Lady's Not for Spurning is at 23:20 on BBC2, Wednesday. Be out. Be very out.)