Nice try, Virgin Press Office, but…

The thing about the Press Offices of TV companies is that they want you to write nice things about their programmes. To do that, they give you nice things, hoping to persuade you.

Take Virgin Media, which has just acquired Bravo (US)’s Imposters. Now, I’ve written reviews of this already (Episodes: 1-2, 3), so you might wonder why they’re bothering – it’s almost as if they’ve just got a list of potential media outlets to target but don’t actually read them so don’t know that TMINE’s raison d’être is to tell people about shows before they arrive in the UK.

Anyway, for about three days now, they’ve been trying to deliver a free thing to me and today, it’s arrived. As is par for the course, they wouldn’t tell me what they were trying to deliver BECAUSE THAT WOULD SPOIL THE AWESOME SURPRISE! They wouldn’t even tell me it was about Imposters, although since…

  1. They originally wanted to deliver yesterday
  2. They announced the acquisition yesterday

…it wasn’t a hard guess.

Inside, is a piece of card explaining all about Imposters, even though I’ve already reviewed three episodes of it. There’s also my Imposters name generator! Gosh – I’m Rio Badger, apparently.

But the main gift designed to sway me is a shiny tin full of customised Biscuiteers biscuits.


Rob's passport


Which is all very lovely and someone’s obviously gone to a lot of effort – albeit because it’s part of their job and someone’s paying them to do it (aka “capitalism as we know it”).

But (and I don’t mean to sound churlish or to in any way discourage Press Offices everywhere from sending me free things), I’ve spent a bit of time toing and froing with the Press Office discussing delivery schedules, addresses, et al, for something that’s absolutely useless to me. Because if they’d only asked, I could have told them that we’re both vegan and in my wife’s case, that’s because she’s allergic to dairy products – so not only do we not want to eat it, if we do, one of us will actually experience physical harm.


I guess that’s a reasonable metaphor for the show, actually.


  • I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.