Daily Archives: December 2, 2010

I’m a Celebrity: Get me a shrink. Psychological tips from the jungle

Hey hey, even sitting down I'm taller.

I do think Ant’n’Dec (one word) are comedy gold. Ok, perhaps just the silver lining on I’m a Celebrity. Although this comment does come with a caution: I’m a woman incarcerated at home with small children, so lately my standards have slipped. I’m not painting any town red right now; watching it dry would be enough of a delight (just Farrow & Ball though. I have me pride). Root canal with an arthritic Dentist? Ooh, lovely day out.

I usually record I’m a Celeb and fast-forward past the slow-swallowing of Crocodile Cock Biscuits and onto Ant’n’Dec’s cheeky links. I EVEN know which one is which: Dec is the one with the big, intellectual forehead and Ant is the one who makes the other one look taller. Oh, hang on…

In any case, forgiving their sometime oafish side (‘How drunk were we, Dec, hey, hey’), they are the only hosts I can think of who look as if they are actually having fun — moreover, that television presenting may not altogether define them and their sense of themselves. Tomorrow’s News Headline: ‘Ant’n’Dec Are Actual Man Dolls, size as seen on TV. No, they seem alright.

In any case, for Gordon Ramsay — and any other delusional, potential-jungle-’narstie’ contestants currently experiencing their careers already going Down Under — I have some really quite patronising tips below for you, in case you do attempt to revive your nose-diving fortunes by yes, nose-diving into next year’s programme. I understand these may have been pointed out before in spades, but NOT ONE OF YOU Z-CELEBS SEEM TO TAKE ANY NOTICE. Shouting, sorry.

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The Apprentice: Your (brain’s been) fired

You might think I'm going to be sweary on You're Fired but I'm effing well not.

Yes! I am Mystic Meg. I knew Laura would be the next Apprentice to stare down the wrong end of that hairy pointing finger (like there is a right end?) Mind you, everyone else knew it too. Alvin Stardust or whatever his name is, the urbane guy who pops up on You’re Fired to witter on about selling techniques – he knew it. Dara O’briain knew it. You knew it. The only person who didn’t know it was old heart-shaped face, Laura herself, who moments before getting the chuck smiled confidently, crinkling those slitty cat’s eyes and said, ‘I can’t wait to hear the result!’ Pride always goes before a fall on The Apprentice, except, oddly for Sultan Sugar, who continues as full of himself and his salt of the earth homilies as ever.

Anyway, as predicted by a wise person (ahem) in an earlier post, Laura went because she was a whinger. Shugs hates whingers. And bullshitters, cautious types, grafters, idlers and everyone really. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about. I’m not even here to talk about Laura; I’ve already forgotten her. What I want to talk about is the bizarre sausage factory of You’re Fired: the way they all, without exception, turn up on that show completely changed from their former individual selves into the same single anodyne tailor’s dummy. One minute they’re on The Apprentice, swearing and shouting and sweating and bitching and crucially having no self-awareness what. So. Ever. Then they turn up on You’re Fired, chock-full of humility and wry self-mocking humour and ‘I’ve learned so much from the experience.’ Well hie me to the vomitorium and pass me the boring bucket will you?

Looks-wise they are glossy and neat, all in exactly the same Hello! style which suggests there is just one harassed make-over person working that show who’d rather be styling the Crown Princess Victoria Ingrid. Then they’re all calm and smiley, slow to anger and quick to praise. This is particularly irritating when you’ve excitedly anticipated a right old earful of moan and bile.

I know they’re media-trained to within an inch of their lives to prepare for going on You’re Fried. (Yes, I have mis-typed it but I rather like it.) The Evil Amstrad Robots must zap the Apprentices’ poor little brain-washed heads with these rules before they’re allowed to shake Dara’s bear-like paw:

  • No proper bitching about anyone. Not even about Stuart Baggs. You want to look nice, don’t you?
  • Admit all your mistakes, perhaps add a few that weren’t your fault. You want to look humble, don’t you?
  • Say how much you gained from the experience, several times. You want to look mature, don’t you?
  • Say anything negative about Tsar Shugs and off with your head. You want to live, don’t you?
  • Don’t get cross, resentful, bitter or sulky. You don’t want to look as childish as you appeared on the last task, do you?
  • Don’t reveal anything about the film-making process, eg comment about how you were edited. You don’t want to have your hands cut off, do you?
  • Don’t say anything of any interest on pain of death. You don’t want to look interesting, okay?

I was going to say that occasionally someone slips through and says something noteworthy, but I can’t think of anyone. Not even Katie Whatsit who was a bee-atch and shagged some other Apprentice. Not even Michael Sophocles. The promise they show in the programme proper is always a mirage by the time they get to You’re Fried. Okay, there was one chap who had a bitter and very interesting exchange with his father in the audience, but Adrian Chiles pretended it hadn’t happened and moved swiftly onto the montage of his funniest bits instead. Then the chap was quietly clapped in irons and dispatched to Brentwood for re-programming.

The thing I don’t understand is why they have to be so shiny and boring. It would such good telly if they were allowed to say what they really thought.

Posted by Qwerty                    (more Apprentice here)

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Four in a Bed: Bare knuckle pillow fights

This is a new variant on Three in a Bed, a show where B&B owners go visit each other and reveal themselves to be throughly unpleasant individuals, which I wrote about variously here and here.

I pointed out that, although there are some good people running terrific bed and breakfasts in existence, there are also a bunch of psychologically not- right folk being proudly passive-aggressive towards their guests over poached eggs and laminated ‘Notices’ telling you where to put your shower curtain.

I also said that the voting system in the programme was hugely unfair, because couples going first and second saw how the others scored. It also needed an amusing, wry voiceover à la Dave Lamb.

I should be a telly consultant. Or perhaps not. Because Channel Four have now brought out the weeknightly Four in a Bed at the 5.30pm slot, which as you may have guessed, includes an extra couple. There is also a different, slightly fairer, voting system and a better voiceover. And it’s still a bloody nightmare. The lot on this week are shockers. Sniffing drains. Horribly, unpleasantly competitive. Endless whinging about the temperature of plates, the state of the eggs, sugar on raspberries, the list goes on and on.

Message to you stupid people: you can run your own guesthouses any way you like, and customers can choose to return or not. That’s capitalism in action. But if you go to someone else’s place, have some bloody manners, be a little gracious, behave with decency, humility and the emotional intelligence of a creature higher on the evolutionary scale than a slug.

And hosting B&B owners – your guests will sometimes *be* nitpicking fools. Ignore them politely and they will be gone soon. No need for such puerile bad manners.

Why any of these people put themselves in front of cameras to reveal themselves to be such nasty, bitchy, manipulative rotters I cannot imagine. Gobsmacking lack of self-awareness? Vastly inflated and delusional self belief? The only person I actually warmed to was Lou, partner of Paul, whose bed and breakfast is in Bridlington.

But no one watches these shows to rate B&Bs you say, and you may be right. If you enjoy watching humanity at its shallow worst, this is the programme for you.

It’s hotels or camping for me from now on. I dare not risk running into any of this lot.

Posted by Inkface

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