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Does the producer watch?

It's not a bad test of any creative output

I once talked to the producer of The Benny Hill Show about the difference between a good TV programme and a bad one. And his answer is a pretty good barometer of any creative output, from films and Netflix box sets through to 30-second ad spots or branded social content.

The simple rule is this: Do you think the producer watches?

Put another way, do the people who made the show like the show?

Or, are they making it for other people to watch?

Even when viewed through the lens of 1970s television, the content of The Benny Hill Show was indefensible, all dodgy innuendo, cultural stereotypes and lazy sexism. It was massively popular, both in the UK and around the world, even given the obvious caveat that there was no internet, only three TV channels and you had to get up off the sofa and walk across the room to change channels.

But the producer of The Benny Hill Show loved The Benny Hill Show.

He laughed when Benny slapped the little old bald bloke on the head for the 1,000th time and fell about when Bob Todd did his deadpan bloodhound schtick straight to camera. 

This has got little to do with quality or taste, but is about authenticity, or at least a version of it.

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