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December 18, 2007updated 19 Aug 2016 10:08am

Jim Shelley is TV critic of the Guardian: but why?

Those among you who read the Guardian newspaper’s G2 section, will oft have seen a column by a certain Jim Shelley, mostly taking the Mickey out of UK TV. Every time he writes a column for the Guardian it says beneath the article: “Jim Shelley is

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Those among you who read the Guardian newspaper’s G2 section, will oft have seen a column by a certain Jim Shelley, mostly taking the Mickey out of UK TV. Every time he writes a column for the Guardian it says beneath the article: “Jim Shelley is TV critic of the Mirror.”

Firstly, why does the Guardian see the need to publish content by the TV critic of the Mirror? Don’t get me wrong, I like his ShelleyVision columns a lot. I just find it a little odd that they are published in the Guardian. Wouldn’t that be like my own esteemed organ, CBR, publishing a column by the columnists of rival magazines? Why would I, or indeed the Guardian, want to do that?

Apart from anything else, the Guardian’s Sam Wollaston (who is in the Guardian’s parlance, ‘TV critic of the Guardian’ but also deputy features editor), walks on water as far as I am concerned. Everything he says is The Truth about last night’s telly – he’s witty, observant, and devilishly clever.

If only Wollaston would preview the TV, instead of reviewing it, I would know exactly what to watch every night. Wollaston is hardly ever wrong as to which programmes will provide a televisual feast, and which a famine.

If there were a referendum tomorrow, I would vote for Wollaston whether the question asked was ‘who should manage the spending of the BBC license fee?’ or ‘who should run the country?’ He’s that good.

Perhaps Jim Shelley gets a regular gig at the Guardian because he used to work there (true). But whatever the reason, and whatever you think about his TV critiques compared to Wollaston’s, I implore you, dear Guardian, keeper of the faith and purveyor of excellent Quick Crosswords: at the very least stop saying that “Jim Shelley is TV critic of the Mirror.”

What on earth is wrong with “Jim Shelley is the Mirror’s TV Critic”?

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