Dear Technical Support,
I recently bought one of your new digital TV sets from a bloke in a van. At first I was very pleased with it but now I am beginning to think it has a virus.
I installed the twenty minute trial version of Norton Safe View, as recommended in the instructions. It scanned my TV Times and assured me that no dangerous or malicious programs were due to be transmitted that day. I installed the ballet filter and the party political broadcast blocker and settled down to watch my favourite quiz show.
Two minutes later I was interrupted by a pop-up reminding me to pay my TV licence. I pressed the 'cheque in the post' button. The TV then demanded that I register my set. After that I was prompted to install Microsoft Genuine Advantage, which would permanently disable my set if I hadn't paid them any money recently. I refused, but the demand just reappeared, telling me that it would benefit me greatly to have my TV destroyed if it proved to be unprofitable to Microsoft. In the end I did what it asked.
After all that I thought I needed a little treat, so I visited one of the porn channels. Norton Safe View immediately warned me that the channel was dangerous, said that my two hour trial had expired, and informed me that I was in deadly danger of venereal disease and genital warts unless I bought a year's subscription. At that point the TV crashed, which is science talk for 'went all funny'.
When I re-booted my set, which is science talk for 'turned it back on', I couldn't get anything but cooking programs. No matter what channel I selected, I found myself being grinned at by a pair of fat, hairy idiots making fatuous remarks about mums knowing best and talking in silly voices about pies from the olden days.
Since then I've had no better luck. Tonight I watched a bald greengrocer and an earnest cafe owner called Kanga Roux Junior telling some cooks why their food wasn't very nice. One of them cooked a wrong dinner and had to go home. Another made an okay dinner and the bald grocer told him it was almost as good as a Big Mac, and that if the cameras weren't on he'd have snaffled up the lot to save on his lunch allowance. Kanga Roux told him solemnly that his food was upside down and the sauce was a bit damp.
Outside they filmed the sent home cook to see if he would cry. He said he'd given it one hundred and ten percent, which was the whole problem in my opinion. It was ten percent too much and the extra would have fallen off the edge of the plate. The judges can tell things like that just by looking on the floor.
Later a woman came in and made faces at the cooks while they each had a go at chopping up a dead fish and making it into food. Sometimes the greengrocer made faces too, and sometimes he looked meaningfully at the woman, as if they had just witnessed an explanation of why soldiers have to go and fight a war in Afghanistan.
At the weekend I saw James Martin, lead singer with Coldplay, ask a visiting TV soap actress whether she'd like him to cook her favourite meal or something she really hated. I had my suspicions about which she would choose but I had to wait until later in the program to find out.
Come to think of it, just forget this letter. Without the virus I'd never have known cooking programs could be so interesting.