What would Queen Victoria have watched on television?
To show you, I need to take you into the world of late-Victorian and Edwardian family magazines. The nearest modern equivalent would be television and the parallels are striking:
a strong visual element and a family-centred audience;
a regular diet of fiction and features;
series, serials and one-off pieces;
comedy, tragedy, romance and adventure;
social comment, travelogue, science and natural history;
celebrities and competitions.
The weekly Clarion polled its readers to find “Britain’s Greatest Benefactor” much the same as the BBC once did. The bizarre articles of Tit-Bits such as “Celebrated people whose mothers have been buried alive” would probably be more at home ona cable network. It is as if a voice from the past is calling to current TV producers – “I’m a celebrity’s mother, get me out of here”.
What would Victoria have watched?
And would she have been amused?