Viewers of the UK TV show ‘This Morning’ watched as the wheel spun, eventually stopping. “It’s your energy bill!” shouted host Phillip Schofield. The caller expressed relief at his award, which would cover his bill costs for four months. “Oh my god, thank you,” said the winner.
The new game – started as energy bills soared in the UK and across Europe – sparked a wave of controversy, as critics called it “deaf of ears,” “unpleasantand “dystopian” as a cost-of-living crisis triggered by myriad other crises, including Russia’s war in Ukraine and the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, is pushing millions of households to the brink of the approach of winter.
“The British are trying to cope with the energy crisis,” host Olga Skabeeva told viewers of Russian public broadcaster Russia-1 this week, noting that the offer to pay the energy bills would probably be “more profitable “only prizes of up to 3,000 pounds. “I repeat, this is happening in Britain,” she said.
This could be a realistic scenario for many families in the UK as the government scrambles to contain the crisis. In October, millions of households were on track to pay around 80% more per year on their energy bills, the Associated Press reportednoting that people might pay around $4,100 a year for heat and electricity.
The new British Prime Minister, Liz Truss, has since announced a plan to combat these increases. Under the plan, bills would be capped at $2,875 per household per year for the next two years.
UK leader Liz Truss pledges to limit soaring household energy bills
“I’ll take care of the energy crisis,” Truss said sworn Thursday. “Today I will take action to ensure people are not faced with unaffordable energy bills and to secure our future energy supply.”
British TV critic Scott Bryan, whose tweet about the game show went viral, compared the scene to something out of ‘Black Mirror’ – a Netflix anthology series about the dark side of technology in modern society.
Bryan told the Washington Post on Thursday that the show sheds light on a problem that cripples many families and will get worse this winter.
“The has been a culture of presenting the cost of living crisis to the viewer as something that can be solved with a small price or by making a few lifestyle changes,” he said, adding that others TV channels had waded too much on the crisis.
Europe considers drastic measures to control prices as Russia’s energy war heats up
Bryan expressed concern that such coverage shifts the responsibility for tackling the rising cost of living to viewers at home rather than the UK government or energy giants.
“On the same day, a contributor to a similar show recommended putting tin foil behind a radiator to keep rooms warmer, just days after the energy price cap rose 80%” , Bryan said. “These tips and prices simply won’t make up for the increased costs.”