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Holyrood

No wonder Curriculum for Excellence has failed to dent the consciousness of the average Scot - they're more into fitba and serial killers.

STV high heidyins had come to tell the education and culture committee that, yes, there really was such a thing as Scottish television. Michelle McManus is bumping her gums for 250 broadcast hours a year, didn't they know?

Alan Clements, husband of Kirsty "Culture Show" Wark, defended STV's less highbrow programming. Digital TV had sparked a broadcasting revolution epitomised by the STV+1 channel. Now, if you really like episode 3,758 of Taggart, you can sit down and watch it all over again.

Swatting away suggestions that STV should be showing more Gaelic documentaries and other boring stuff, he enlightened the media-unsavvy committee about what the average Scottish couch potato really likes to watch: sport (provided it's football) and documentaries (provided they're leering reviews of a serial killer's back catalogue).

Born Fighting, an American senator's look at the role of the Scots-Irish in building the USA, sounded quite interesting, but with a title like that STV will invoke the wrath of celebrity-gazers who tune in for a fly-on- the-wall about Jordan's cagefighting ex.

After getting paid to talk about TV, everyone seemed a bit nonplussed about the more mundane job of sorting out Scottish education. STV filed out to be replaced by Education Secretary Mike Russell, who must have been delighted to face a committee showing all the inquisitorial rigour of a sedated sloth.

As the Cab Sec trotted out the usual platitudes and squeezed in his latest maxim of the month - "I have never met a headteacher who has asked me for control over the choice of central heating oil" - his questioners, even the usually spiky convener Karen Whitefield and Labour pal Ken Macintosh, could barely summon the energy to interrupt the script.

Had they finally been worn down by the Cab Sec's loquacious ways? Perhaps they were catching their breath before the electioneering onslaught to come. Or were they lost in blissful reverie over the prospect of a ScotsportBritain's Nastiest Murderers double bill?

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