I am big, it’s freesat that got small

Rob Hutton takes dictation, very carefully, from our new proprietor

To All Staff of Critic TV,

Let me begin by introducing myself. As you are doubtless aware, as a result of a misunderstanding involving a number of Western governments earlier this year, my predecessor Lord Kronsteen decided to place Critic Enterprises into a charitable trust, for the benefit of victims of the war in Ukraine (specifically, children who had seen their yachts impounded and their trust funds frozen, simply because of who their parents were robbing).

Kronsteen himself then travelled to Moscow for a discussion about his role as chief supplier of tyres to the Ground Forces of the Russian Federation. His exact whereabouts are currently unknown, but I am assured that he will not be joining us for the rest of his life.

“Loathe him or pity him, you can’t forget him”

I have now purchased Critic Enterprises in a transaction so complicated that my accountants promise me the National Crime Agency will need at least a decade to unravel it. So allow me to introduce myself, your new employer. I am Lord Drax. Some of you might remember me as Sir Hugo Drax, but well, let’s just say that when wallpaper is expensive, peerages are cheap. I have long yearned to own an intellectual magazine, and while I wait to buy one, I thought The Critic would be fun.

As you will be aware, one of my first acts was to relaunch Critic TV as an all-talk station that would not be afraid to take on the big issues ignored by the mainstream media. I wanted people to be able to see on TV the kind of endless culture war arguments that they could only previously experience on Twitter or by opening a newspaper or listening to the radio.

You will also have been aware that I spent the money allocated for salary increases on a nationwide ad campaign for our flagship show, Rob Hutton Unhinged. The goal was to create what I believe are called must-watch moments, as Hutton took a no-holds-barred approach to questions such as “Should Radiohead have stopped at OK Computer?” and “You say Operation Mincemeat, I say Operation Barclay.” Our slogan, as you cannot fail to have noticed, was “Loathe him or pity him, you can’t forget him.”

As it turns out, however, they could. After initially beating the Home Shopping Network with his opening shows, which featured a controversial eight-part interview on fiat currencies with Steve Baker MP,  the latest BARB figures show that Hutton’s show is the first in British television history to register negative viewing figures, something that initially puzzled researchers, until they discovered that a number of viewers responded to it by throwing their televisions away, saying he had ruined broadcasting for them for ever.

We are not, however, deterred. Our ad campaign will shortly move to Phase Two: “Hutton — He’s Unbearable”, which I am assured will have people nodding along. Meanwhile, as Hutton has been telling his strangely loyal army of Twitter followers, there are other ways of measuring TV success apart from viewers. I am hoping he will soon be able to enlighten his employers as to what they may be.


Lord Drax,


Sputnik Holdings, Grand Cayman

(written and signed in his absence)

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