Talking Heads

Two reactions to the same event:

When the news broke that Channel 4’s Alternative Christmas Message will be delivered this year by a Muslim woman in full niqab, it had the broadcaster’s fingerprints all over it. But that’s the point of Channel 4. Brilliant, provocative, borderline irresponsible – I wouldn’t have it any other way.

gushes Liz Hoggard in the Observer.

AA Gill begs to differ:

We haven’t lost all the traditions, quite, however. There’s still Channel 4’s alternative Christmas message to look forward to, as edgy and countercultural as Morecambe & Wise repeats. This year, it’s going to be delivered by a bird in a veil, presumably talking about the joy of breathing through polycotton and complaining about veiled threats from apostate blondes. Who cares? What I do increasingly mind, though, is Channel 4 continuing to behave like a 1970s student union, looking for ever more smirking and childishly offensive pranks to shock an audience that hasn’t been remotely surprised by Channel 4 for years. It’s not as if the Tristrams particularly care which bint in a burqa turns up, because they all look the same. And I hope she understands that they haven’t asked her on because they want to hear her views about anything, or care about her concerns. She’s simply there as a device to blow a raspberry at the Queen’s speech.