We have more TV channels than ever and yet have less to actually watch that is in anyway interesting. Television is now a constant cycle of reality competitions and adverts. With the odd shite soap opera thrown into the mix. Nothing else. Ever. Every time I switch on ITV or BBC Im confronted by a pack of kids dancing to some 1980s Michael Jackson hit while juggling kitchen knives, or a roller-skating would-be opera singer belting out an aria from Samson & Delilah as he goes over a ramp, or some Granny cranking out Hendrixs Purple Haze on a Stylophone, or the bloke who played Arthur Fowler trying to break the world Hula Hoop record while balancing a bucket of jellied eels on his head and singing a selection of songs from Oliver! One ends, another begins. Theres no break. The X Factor. Strictly Come Dancing. Britains Got Talent. Dancing on ice. For the past few weeks the media have been slavering hornily over Britains got talent hopeful Susan Boyle. A forty-eight year old virgin from Scotland with wild hair and a big voice. SuBo as the press have dubbed her looks to be a bit wobbly on the personality front. The newspapers describe her issues generically as learning difficulties. She may have, she may not. Its all part of the mystique. She failed to win the final and now shes broken down under the pressure. Apparently. Interviews, TV appearances and the obligatory demands for her celebrity hymen from Mick Hucknall have all taken their toll. The press are gleefully reporting that SuBos been admitted to the Priory after a screaming match with the police in some West End hotel. The storys writing itself. Its like shooting fish in a barrel. Surely its only a matter of time before Max Clifford steps into the fray like a knight in shining armour and really stirs things up and generates some serious cash for all concerned. Not for SuBos singing mind you, no thatll be a nice cherry on top once the notorietys kicked in. A secondary cash cow to be milked post the salacious tales about her freak outs and the shag and tell stories. Bloody hell, I had some graft on that night! It was like trying to snap a leather belt! says Justin, 21, from boy band Gonad of his first night between the sweaty sheets with SuBo. With this in mind, and with television at such a low ebb, dont you feel that we need more people with fragile personalities and psychological problems put before the cameras for our amusement? Theres some TV mileage in it. I want to see youngsters with ADHD spinning plates live on The X Factor and then screaming obscenities aggressively at Simon Cowell when they smash, Downes kids playing the spoons along to ‘Rock DJ’ bringing tears to the Bambi-like eyes of love-cheat Amanda Holden. Well, uze certainly rocked my DJ! sobs the Brummie bed-hopper and former Blind Date contestant. It would create a moral chiaroscuro. An ethical hinterland of light and shade. We could cry at their plucky courage as they overcome adversity to bring their talent to the world or laugh ourselves incontinent at their latest freak show antics. Its a winner whichever way you look at it. We could turn them into stars. Like SuBo. Then let’s see what happens when the pressures applied. Lets turn that screw until they splinter. Splash them on the front pages. Besiege them with Paparazzi. Make their private lives intolerable by snooping and probing and never letting them rest. You wanted this and we gave it to you, now its time to earn your corn. So fucking dance, you weirdo freak! The public demand to know everything! Give us dirt, now! With any luck, SuBo will crack before our eyes. While singing live on TV before the shivering nation. Now that would be good entertainment. Breaking into a four-letter rant midway through the bridge of Bright Eyes. Feckin heil! Gi me sam bastard bass, yiz cants! Do you think they have webcams in the Priory? I bet SuBos singing even now. And swearing. And slapping herself around the head a bit like Dustin Hoffman in Rainman. We made SuBo, we have a right to see it. Pay per view anyone? Would you watch?
This week Big Brother 10 starts. Entertainment for shift workers and insomniacs. So that they can peep voyeuristically at someone else sleep. And fart. And scratch their arse. And occasionally have an argument about shredded wheat and pubes on the soap. The reality format is cheap entertainment. In every sense. No scripts needed, loads of flashing lights, a few explosions, a bit of thumbs up/thumbs down texting-in by the viewer, throw in some rib-tickling humiliation of a few extreme personalities by some endearing chuckle-tastic celebrity like former smack-rat Davina McCall or the hilarious Ant and Dec, stir in a huge dollop of hype and watch the advertising revenue roll in. Its TV that makes itself without effort or creativity. But, that said, Im worried about the future of ITV3, Dave and UK Gold. I mean, where will the much-loved repeats of tomorrow come from? Can you see yourself sitting down decades from hence to watch old editions of Fame Academy? Will anyone buy the box set of Celebrity Love Island in ten years time?
Anyway, Im off. Im going to run a search on Google and Youtube. SuBo, Priory, Webcam, cherry-pop. You never know your luck.