Paul O’Grady: ‘There’s no originality on TV any more. Nobody comes up with good ideas’

Paul O’Grady has attacked TV bosses for failing to come up with original shows.

The presenter, comedian and chat show host said he was sick of copycat programmes.

Speaking backstage at the Television and Radio Industries Club (Tric) awards, where the star won an award for his documentary For The Love Of Dogs, Paul said there were too many cookery shows.

“It’s great drama that we want, not ‘take two eggs’,” he said. “The (Great British) Sewing Bee, I’d sooner poke my eye out with a needle than learn how to make a patchwork quilt, it’s the kind of thing you do in prison.

“There’s a huge profusion of dog programmes now. Nobody touched dogs until we went into Battersea (dogs home), now you turn the telly on, everyone’s got dogs.

“A lot of telly programmes are much of the same, I said when we did Battersea, ‘watch this… everyone will have a bloody dog’, and I was right.”

He said backstage: “If I do it (Alan) Titchmarsh copies it the next day.”

Paul said: “It annoys me because there’s no originality any more. Nobody comes up with good ideas. They all sort of follow, ‘well that was a successful programme, we’ll make a copy of it’.

“I don’t watch The X Factor, they’re pub singers…The Voice… the judges go ‘you’ve nailed that’ and you think you’ve nailed that, there are more bum notes than good notes. It’s all the same.”

He also criticised soaps for focusing too much on younger characters.

“You watch the soaps now, a lot of the older actors don’t get screen time. It’s all about the love affairs of younger actors,” he said.

“I’d sooner watch the older ones having a session in the pub because it’s funny, rather than a necking session in the back alley.”

Paul also hit out at Russia’s policies on homosexuality.

“I can’t believe we’re all going about our business normally while that’s going on there. I get really angry about it… It’s such a worry. And it’s Russia.

“Mind you, have you ever been to Russia?… You go outside of Moscow and you go back 500 years,” he said.

“You’ve got one television channel controlled by the state, no health service and no hot water. It’s appalling… People live in dire poverty. “

He added: “Russians are nice… the ordinary person, who has nothing to do with the oligarchs.”