I HAVE a parlour game that I play with a close friend called “TV or Torture”. Many of you will share its tensions. The game is simple – you are invited to imagine your worst television experience, something akin to torture or that would provoke intense personal suffering.

For example, being strung upside down by a Mexican drugs cartel and forced to watch The One Show or being led naked into a field of nettles to sit through celebrity First Dates. The trick is for telly trivia and torture to co-exist, and for the telly show to seem even more excruciating than the torture. Waterboarding in Guantanamo Bay or the new Piers Morgan Show. You choose?

The rise and rise of celebrity television in all its form has simplified the game. It is now far too easy to think of the dire telly part of the conundrum, the torture remains infinitely more rich and freely imaginative.

This week the BBC has made the game easier still. A season of commemorative programmes to celebrate the forthcoming Queen’s jubilee has been unveiled. Many are predictably fawning shows that are in themselves a form of cultural torture.

The National Wales:

BBC commissioners have ordered up special jubilee editions of their most ­familiar and unchallenging shows ­including Bargain Hunt and The One Show and a series of effortlessly predictable event shows such as coverage of The Trooping the Colour and Lighting Up the Jubilee, in which 1500 beacons will be lit across the UK and the Commonwealth. Imagine an Olympic torch relay in honour of the Queen, which in the distant passed would almost certainly have featured ­Jimmy Savile or Rolf Harris, or both. ­Neither are available this time round.

No matter how much you avoid television over the next few months, and no matter how resistant you are to the idea of an unelected monarch, these are shows will be trailed and teased as if they are the very life blood of our culture.

Like so much commemorative ­television – originality and innovation are usually the first victims. The BBC has a formidable commissioning culture across drama, documentary, and hybrid factual, but they were never intellectually tested with this one.

It is not so much television by ­committee but television by protocol.

Broadcasters go weak-kneed when they negotiate with Buckingham Palace.

The National Wales: Buckingham Palace was bombed on Friday 13th September 1940. Picture by Lucien Smith

There is a code of self-censorship, staying away from uncomfortable ­subjects then the deadening meetings with ­courtiers and unelected palace ­panjandrums who act as a protective fence around the Queen.

So, be prepared, the platinum jubilee season is born of obligation rather than creativity and as a consequence will fall far short of the eclectic tastes of modern licence fee payers.

If you hoped for balanced debate or mild critical context you would be ­hopelessly wrong. This will be torture, pure and unadulterated.

In a year marked by a major family split that saw Meghan Markle and the errant Prince Harry chose celebrity Hollywood and the land of Netflix output deals over the stuffy protocols of the palace, ­family tensions will be airbrushed from the screen. So too the crippling embarrassment of Prince Andrew’s year as a party of interest in a sex trafficking court case will be conveniently ignored too.

“Quite right” the genuflectors will say as they mumble on about a lifetime of hard work, a decent woman, a recent ­widow, and due respect for her sense of duty. All very well but what of those gold standards values that the BBC lives by – like balance, objectivity and dare I ­whisper it impartiality?

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For the BBC’s senior management, who have spent the year trying to align its staff with the evasive concept of impartiality, the jubilee season is a failed opportunity.

Rather than test the very concept of ­impartiality, the BBC starts from the premise that the royal family are a ­settled and incontestable cornerstone of society and even a measly hour of airtime that offers a different perspective is a step too far.

Charlotte Moore, the BBC’s chief ­content officer, offered up a now familiar and highly questionable promise, namely: “The BBC will bring the people of the UK together with something for everyone.” Ironically, her words came as Northern Ireland stood on the precipice of ­voting for a republican political party and ­Scotland was gearing up for a second tilt at independence.

Scotland is largely absent from the season. The fleeting presence we have is largely through established presenters. Carol Kirkwood will anchor the ­Scottish leg of the beacons and Kirsty Young (below) ­returns to front up televised coverage of the Trooping of the Colour and a night of musical tributes entitled “Platinum Party at the Palace”.

The National Wales: Kirsty Young

Bringing the country together is a BBC shibboleth but it is never clear which country they actually mean. The last time a royal event came even remotely close to achieving this ambiguous aim was the Funeral of Princess Diana, when her brother’s excoriating attack on the House of Windsor teetered on the brink of popular dissolution.

Coverage of the royal family is ­increasingly testing for the BBC and the platinum jubilee may well be the final farewell to cap-doffing television. It is unthinkable that Prince Charles or any of his offspring will command the same bewildering respect in the future.

Ironically, across its more general ­output cracks are already appearing. Only last month one of the Beeb’s regiments of royal correspondents, Jonny Dymond, criticised the bungled tour of the ­Caribbean satirising the “white-saviour parody, with Kate and William fleetingly making contact with the outstretched fingers of Jamaican children, pushing through a wire fence”. It stopped far short of treachery but would not have escaped from the lips of the Dickensian creep and royal courtier Nicholas Witchell.

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The collapse of the royal family’s ­status in the Caribbean signals the tattered ­remnants of colonial power, that not even the most gifted seamstress from The Great British Sewing Bee can stitch together.

Many will argue that this is a season of celebration not analysis or even cultural reflection, but it would have strengthened the BBC’s claims to impartiality if there had been a state of the commonwealth essay, which any one of a hundred black professionals from Clive Myrie to Nitin Sawhney could have handled with candid respect.

A common strategy of modern ­television is to brand extend already ­popular shows, those that mutually meet the needs of both the audience and the schedulers. So pride of place is a gentle colossus of the BBC schedule The Repair Shop a ­wonderful blend of family heirlooms and social history.

Set in its own rural precinct with an army of experts it never fails to touch emotional buttons and is one of the most enduring factual formats around.

I sincerely hope that the forthcoming jubilee cover-version does not surrender its fascinating emotional reach, to parade a conveyer belt of Windsor family tat and old porcelain from the Coronation.

The platinum jubilee has upped the stakes for the TV is Torture game. There is not much to recommend, and I ­envisage the Tower of London as the blade of a sharpened axe swings from the meaty arms of a Beefeater. It is either that or watching Nicholas Witchell doing a piece to camera from the festooned edges of Pall Mall.

Let the sharpened blade fall. Life is too short to tug the forelock.

This column originally featured in our sister title, The National, in Scotland.