Some thoughts on celebrities from my sick bed.
This past couple of weeks have not been a good time for me. The onset of the winter months always seems to send me into something of a slight downer and one of the side effects of having long holidays is that you have to do a long stint at work without a break.
Last week I picked up a vomiting bug from Liz that came from her grandson Harry via her daughter Tania and finally to me. I only had one day off work but I felt so tired that I booked off my night shifts. I thought great, some time off to write and do those Floating In Space updates I keep talking about and relax a little. As it happens I was really tired and in hindsight I see I was sickening for a nasty flu bug which forced me to throw in a couple of sick days at work the week after.
Lying in bed sneezing and wrapped up in my dressing gown I took in some serious amounts of daytime TV and of course numerous whisky lemsips which as all men know is the only sure fire way to sort out a raging death’s door bout of man flu.
I spent a lot of time watching things like I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. The show with its group of so-called celebrities (I recognised three of them) stranded in the Australian Jungle is vaguely entertaining, although more due to hosts Ant and Dec than anything else.
That’s when I realised that the twenty first century is the time of the non-celebrity celebrity. Yes, those famous but unknown people like Kim Kardasian whose pictures are to be found all over social media as they seek to extend their fifteen minutes of fame into sixteen, seventeen and even twenty minutes. To me, it is one of the mysteries of the twenty-first century. Who is Kim Kardashian? What does she do? Why is she famous?
It seems to me that these non-celebrity celebrities are the root cause of a crisis affecting U.K. TV. The fact is that there are just not enough celebrities to go round!
Many TV shows have been hit by the celebrity crisis especially I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. The new series recently aired in the U.K. with only two or three celebrities and numerous unknown persons. I have always considered myself something of a TV buff, in fact I’d even consider myself to be a major TV couch potato but then, one genre that has never interested me is the TV reality genre. The Only Way is Essex and other similar TV shows are to me, just a reason to switch off TV but the crazy thing is this, they are easy to make, cheap and some people somewhere must be watching them. Also, consider this, these reality shows are the direct breeding ground for today’s non celebrity celebs! So how can the celeb crisis be resolved?
Easy, we can just use the new non celebrity celebs and pass them off as real celebs! I don’t know if I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here passes as a reality show, I suppose it does in a way but the current series stars three celebrities I actually recognise. Carol Vorderman, the former numbers and letters lady from countdown is one. Larry Lamb is another, an actor I’ve seen in various TV shows. I don’t actually watch Eastenders but I believe he has a part in that. The third one is Martin Roberts, the guy from a daytime property show I have occasionally watched when nothing else worthwhile is on. There is also some guy from Emmerdale (don’t watch it) some comedian (never heard of him) a girl from Gogglebox (what?) a footballer (hate football) and, well some other people I don’t know. Wonder if the producers have ever tried to get people of the calibre of Tom Cruise or Tom Hanks? I did notice Hanks on a UK TV talk show the other week so surely that’s not such a remote possibility. Maybe if Hanks decided to make a sequel to the movie Castaway it would be a good publicity stunt to appear on I’m a celebrity? (Gosh, I should have been in PR!)
The Chase and Tipping Point all have produced celebrity versions of their shows and the lack of celebs has affected those programmes too. Tipping point had TV presenter Jenni Falconer (who?) and Dancing on Ice judge Jason Gardiner (?) on board. Not exactly in the Tom Cruise bracket but, hey ho. The Chase secured the services of TV presenter Matt Allwright, singer Stacey Solomon, newsreader Louise Minchin and actor Keith Allen to take on the Chaser to win money for charity. At least they also had Bradley Walsh who must count as a ‘proper’ celeb.
Another quiz show with celebrities is 8 out of 10 Cats. Their line-up is a regular one with Jimmy Carr hosting and comedians Sean Lock and Jon Richardson as team captains. A great move for the show was to combine it with Countdown, the channel 4 quiz show and so the show has become 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown! The introduction of this format along with Rachel Riley, the letters and numbers host from ‘proper’ countdown, has made for a really funny TV show but now it’s time to go one step further. Yes, you’ve guessed it. 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown Does I’m a Celebrity- Get me out of here!
Yes, I think it’s time to dust off that TV producer’s chair for me; I’ve finally solved the celebrity crisis!