Fuzzy logic behind TV numberplates

Look, it doesn’t really matter but it’s been gnawing away at me for a little while, so I thought I would share just in case can someone tell me. So what exactly is going on with car numberplates on the telly?

Now I can see that, when a celeb of the moment, minor royal or reviled Big Brother contestant is speeding away from the hottest nightspot in town, there might be a need for caution.

There are some funny people out there. No, I will go further, there are some sad, deranged and dangerous people out there and if I was in the public eye I would be reluctant to have my car numberplate flashed in front of millions of eyes.

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Next thing you know, there’ll be a crazed fan in the boot, a serious scratch down the side of the expensive paintwork, or worse.

And when there are crimes under investigation, or identities to be protected, by all means make with the fuzzy technology that reminds everyone to go and get their eyes checked.

But it seems to me that everyone who appears on telly these days – and be honest, that’s just about everyone in the country who can be bothered – reckons that they should be afforded special treatment.

In evidence I submit Four In A Bed, one of my guilty TV pleasures. I watch it on catch-up, of course, because during the late afternoon when it is broadcast I am occupied by other calls on my time, like earning a living.

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But if you’ve never seen the show, it’s like Come Dine With Me for B&Bs – the proprietors of four disparate establishments, deliberately chucked together to ensure the most entertaining fallout, spend a night at each place in turn, bitch about cobwebs, check the sink traps for hair, moan about the quality of the breakfast sausages and then work out what they’re prepared to pay. The winner is the joint that gets the highest percentage of its standard rate, and all involved get stacks of free publicity for their businesses.

Which is, I think, my point. These people are happy to go on the TV to try and drum up a bit of extra business, and I’ve no problem with that.

But we know who they are, we know where they live, and if we were really interested in matching them up with their motor it wouldn’t take us long – we know the model, we know the colour, it’s probably in the car park unless someone has popped off to the cash and carry. So why, in the set up shots as the B&B brigade head to their next destination, are the numberplates all fuzzy?

And why does someone have to sit in the back seat when we’re expected to believe that there are only two of them in the car, chatting away? No, that’s a subject for another day – for now, it’s the numberplate issue that is really beginning to nark me.

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