Neither the Independent Television Authority nor the Independent Television companies object to informed and responsible criticism. The two reviews by your television critic, Miss Eve MacAdam, in your issues of February 15 and 22 do not however, fall under this heading.
On February 15, Miss MacAdam asked herself for the name of "the man with the winning personality" then gave it wrongly. Later she referred to the famous "actor-producer-dramatist, Tyrone Guthrie." Sir Tyrone has not acted professionally for many years and would not regard himself, or be generally regarded, as an actor. Nor can I believe that anybody who knew Donald Swann by sight could describe him as either "burly" or "avuncular"; it is clear that Miss MacAdam was thinking of Michael Flanders, to who both these epithets might he applied. Finally. Miss MacAdam devoted a great part of her piece to an attack upon ATV's "A Box of Birds". She is entitled to her own opinion of this programme, but generalised statements of the kind "it is actively disliked by youngsters" are not criticism.
In your issue of February 22, Miss MacAdam complained that on the previous Sunday she had to watch "two programmes about homosexuals". This statement is misleading and irresponsible, since neither programme was exclusively. or either primarily, about homosexuality. Furth cc m ore. where a serious subject is under serious discussion, as was the case in ATV's "The Law and the Prophets". your critic should have the courtesy to review the programme with corresponding seriousness. It is not valid criticism to say of Sir John Wolfenden that he "was there, trotting around on his hobby horses".
The examples I have quoted from Miss MacAdam's reviews are. unfortunately. not isolated. and I think it a pity that your journal, which. by serious and informed criticism of religious programmes on television could contribute to their quality. should be failing so signally to make this contribution.
Robert Ponsonby Programme Services Officer