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    • The week's television highlights as poetry

      Writing television listings – hey, it's a bit like writing poetry, isn't it? Well, no, obviously it absolutely isn't, in any way, shape or form, but bear with me because I'm trying to go somewhere with this, and if you're not prepared to suspend your disbelief (and your critical judgement) for 10 minutes this is going to prove excruciatingly embarrassing for both of us.

      So then. Surely there's no doubt that writing accurate listings is something of an art form. Squeezing a precise description of a potentially complex programme into a single sentence is a rigorous test of anyone's prose skills, and the end result is often more functional than emotive - a mere explanation of events rather than a flavoursome portrayal. How, for instance, could anyone hope to convey the unique tear-jerking magic of This is My Moment (ITV1, Sat, 7pm) in just 12 words, without hand signals?

      The answer is this: television listings writers really ought to turn to poetry. Or, to be more specific, they should write their listings in the form of haiku. Yes, haiku - the wistful, 17-syllable Japanese art form that's as delicate as a bone china teacup and almost twice as beautiful. What better device to evoke the mood of a broadcast than a five-seven-five formation stanza?

      And so, with this in mind, and in the spirit of wild experimentation, this week, in place of the usual guttersnipe sneering, I bring you art. I bring you poetry. Ladies and gentlemen - I bring you the week's television highlights, as viewed through the winsome lens of haiku.

      Don't snigger. They'll be doing this next week in the Radio Times. Just you wait and see.

      The National Lottery: Winning Lines
      (BBC1, Sat, 8.35pm)
      Applause detonates
      as bubblegum balls fall in line;
      you have won fuck all

      The Weakest Link (BBC2, Mon, 5.15pm)
      Disgraced, her target
      eats ginger malevolence
      Now, the walk of shame

      Ally McBeal
      (E4, Sun, 8pm)
      Sugar pop high-jinks
      fouled by haunting appearance
      of skeletal lead

      Midsomer Murders
      (ITV1, Sun, 8pm)
      Bergerac returns
      but this time round there is no
      Charlie Hungerford

      Kilroy (BBC1, Mon-Fri, 9am)
      Anguish spluttered
      into antichrist's mike: next it's
      Garden Invaders

      TOTP 2 (BBC2, Wed, 6pm)
      Spangled archive fun
      sneered at pornographically
      by DJ Steve Wright

      A Touch Of Frost (ITV1, Wed, 8pm)
      Didn't the force once
      exclude dwarves like Frost? They did?
      No wonder he's cross!

      The X Files
      (Sky One, Mon, 10pm)
      The truth's STILL out there?
      Stuff your UFO's: we don't
      give a flying one

      ITN News (ITV1, various times)
      Dermot Murnaghan -
      crazy name, crazy guy? No:
      I'm sure he's quite sane

      The Bill (UK Gold, every day, every 15 seconds)
      Officer arrests
      actor running amok with
      criminal accent

      Changing Rooms (UK Style, Thu, 9pm)
      Here's a makeover -
      brand new title, free of charge:
      Brighten Your Prole Hole

      Top Gear (BBC2, Thu, 8.30pm)
      Cars and penises:
      if I can tell them apart,
      why can't everyone?

      Real Sex (C5, Thu, 11.15pm)
      Don't pass the Kleenex:
      you'd get more aroused in a
      helicopter crash

      (ITV1, Thu, 7pm)
      Who watches this farm?
      Resolutely undiscussed:
      mud and soap don't mix

      (BBC1, Mon, 5.25pm)
      Gruesome news reports
      quickly made palatable
      thanks to pleasant shirt

      So there you go. We've laughed, we've cried, but most of all we've come away with a far better sense of how it feels to sit down and watch these shows, haven't we? Try writing some of your own. Right now. Send them to haiku@tvgohome.com and I'll print the finest examples in a forthcoming column. Together, we can change the face of TV listings.

      guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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  • Video (48sec), Channel 4 may have finally found a way to breathe new life into Big Brother. Turn the cameras off, surround the place by flesh-eating zombies, and watch as the contestants are picked off one-by-one.

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