By JAMES DELINGPOLE
Doom Goblin Greta Thunberg’s first big TV show has proved to be a massive turn off for viewers.
The BBC was so confident of the Doom Goblin’s pulling power that it commissioned three one-hour-long episodes of its documentary series Greta Thunberg: A Year to Change The World.
The series follows the pigtailed climate puppet from her native Sweden to the US, Chile, Spain, the UK and Switzerland as she spends a year bunking off school while ‘exploring the science of global warming and challenging world leaders on the growing crisis.’
But even though the BBC gave it its best shot — the primetime 9pm slot, a guest appearance from Sir David Attenborough, villainous cameos by former President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, dramatic footage of calving glaciers and allegedly endangered coral reefs, plus endless shots of Thunberg looking anguished and impassioned — the show has tanked.
According to the ratings figures from Overnights.TV the show on the BBC’s flagship channel BBC1 lost 55 percent of its audience from the previous slot. It averaged 1.08 m viewers with a 6.30 percent share of the total audience. This compares most unfavourably with the show in the same slot the week before, Masterchef, which averaged 3.56 million viewers with an 18.9 percent audience share.
One possibility for its failure is that audiences are suffering from a severe case of Greta fatigue. Another is that viewers aren’t nearly as interested in climate doom as politicians, green activists or the BBC think they ought to be.
At the beginning, in one of several awkward, stilted pieces to camera, Thunberg says:
I don’t want you to listen to me. I want you to listen to the science.