Thursday 24 February 2011 by Gary Stanton

One Show under scrutiny after empty sofa wins ratings battle


The One Show has come under fire from BBC chiefs after a ratings survey showed that a recently-deserted empty sofa drew more viewers than Matt Baker.

After an interruption to the normal schedule caused by a fire alarm, viewers switched over in their millions expecting riveting footage of the cast and crew being given the Joan of Arc treatment on a fifth story window ledge.

In the event, however, viewers watched as presenters Baker and Alex Jones calmly exited the studio to leave the sofa and a variety of scatter cushions to conducted an interview with a nervous-looking Tamsin Greig .

Shortly after the show, switchboards were jammed with delighted members of the public calling for the sofa to be given its own prime-time slot.

The sofa, which is part of the DFS Kalida range, boasts heat-resistant upholstery, and a free five-year warranty that covers accidental damage, including spillages.

Its laid back style is likely to appeal to a wide demographic and its relative cheapness would be a bonus to cash-strapped BBC bosses.

One Show fire alarm

The sudden popularity of the One Show sofa has seen fans set up a Facebook page in its honour and it has already received several marriage proposals.

The sofa, meanwhile, last night refused to speculate on how much it cost, saying only that, as an essentially static piece of lounge furniture, it represented excellent value for money in a tough economic climate:

“I’m really flattered by the attention to be honest. When Matt and Alex left the set I thought this is my big chance.”

“I’ve long been a fan of Tamsin’s work and she was a delightful guest to have on my face. Anyway – it wasn’t as if I was going anywhere in a hurry stuck on these four coasters and, due to my width, fire exits have always been a problem for me.”

One Show producer Andrew Fenner said, “We were delighted by its calmness under pressure. Often presenters flounder in situations such as these but this sofa really stepped up to mark.”

“The only minor hitch was when Tamsin lost a packet of cigarettes down the back of it and couldn’t find them for love nor money. That’s something we can work on. “

Last night executives at the BBC bowed to public pressure and named the sofa as its lead presenter where it will be joined by a leather recliner and an occasional table.

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