Emotions in R+J [with help from Spark Notes’ web site]

I was asked by a former student to see if I could find something on the title below so went to sparknotes.com and found some information. Then, I added in my own introduction and amended the last paragraph into a conclusion. Here is the final thoughts for you. It is a combination of web site and my thoughts, so do not plagiarize this [or else a fail in the CA as your tutor just has to Google a sentence here and there]. Use this only as an aid to your studies. Love, hate, loyalty, emotions; all are contained within for you to revamp in your own inimitable style. 

 

Explore the ways emotions are presented in Act 3 Scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet, a play sharing positive and negative emotions, centres on the themes of love and hate. Two families live in Verona that are set against each other by a bitter rivalry that has existed for generations, so much so that the current heads of the families do not know when it first began. This “ancient grudge” [Chorus] is one that will lead them to ultimate destruction and the loss of their loved ones, in the form of Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet, who fall in love, get married in secret and then find they cannot live together as man and wife. Classified as a tragedy in Shakespeare’s canon of literature, this play sees love destroyed by hate and revulsion.

In Act 3 Scene 5, the audience sees tenderness and affection, a longing to be together after their first night of passion as a married couple. But Romeo has killed Tybalt and has been exiled by the Prince and he prepares to lower himself from Juliet’s window to begin his exile. Juliet tries to convince Romeo that the birdcalls they hear are from “the nightingale,” a night bird, rather than from the lark, a morning bird.

Overcome by love, Romeo responds that he will stay with Juliet, and that he does not care whether the Prince’s men kill him. Faced with this, Juliet declares that the bird they heard was the lark; that it is dawn and he must flee. The Nurse enters to warn Juliet that Lady Capulet is approaching. Romeo and Juliet tearfully part. Romeo climbs out the window. Standing in the orchard below her window, Romeo promises Juliet that they will see one another again, but Juliet responds that he appears pale, as one dead in the bottom of a tomb. Romeo answers that, to him, she appears the same way, and that it is only sorrow that makes them both look pale. Romeo hurries away as Juliet pulls in the ladder and begs fate to bring him back to her quickly.

Unaware that her daughter is married to Romeo, Lady Capulet enters the room and mistakes Juliet’s tears as continued grief for Tybalt. Lady Capulet tells Juliet of her deep desire to see “the villain Romeo” dead (3.5.80). In a complicated bit of punning every bit as impressive as the sexual punning of Mercutio and Romeo, Juliet leads her mother to believe that she also wishes Romeo’s death, when in fact she is firmly stating her love for him. Lady Capulet tells Juliet about Capulet’s plan for her to marry Paris on Thursday, explaining that he wishes to make her happy.

Juliet is appalled. She rejects the match, saying “I will not marry yet; and when I do, I swear / It shall be Romeo—whom you know I hate— / Rather than Paris” (3.5.121–123). Capulet enters the chamber. When he learns of Juliet’s determination to defy him he becomes enraged and threatens to disown Juliet if she refuses to obey him. When Juliet entreats her mother to intercede, her mother denies her help.

After Capulet and Lady Capulet storm away, Juliet asks her nurse how she might escape her predicament. The Nurse advises her to go through with the marriage to Paris—he is a better match, she says, and Romeo is as good as dead and though disgusted by her nurse’s disloyalty, Juliet pretends to agree, and tells her nurse that she is going to make confession at Friar Lawrence’s. Juliet hurries to the friar, vowing that she will never again trust the Nurse’s counsel. If the friar is unable to help her, Juliet comments to herself, she still has the power to take her own life.

As Romeo bids farewell to Juliet as she stands at her window. Here, the lovers experience visions that blatantly foreshadow the end of the play. This is to be the last moment they spend alive in each other’s company. When Juliet next sees Romeo he will be dead, and as she looks out of her window she seems to see him dead already, adding: “O God, I have an ill-divining soul! Methinks I see thee, now thou art so low, as one dead in the bottom of a tomb. (3.5.54–57).

Clearly, it is in the confrontation with her parents after Romeo’s departure, where Juliet shows her full maturity. She dominates the conversation with her mother, who cannot keep up with Juliet’s intelligence, her decision to break from the counsel of her disloyal nurse is another step in her development and having a nurse is a mark of childhood, so by abandoning her nurse and upholding her loyalty toward her husband, Juliet steps fully out of girlhood and into womanhood. As such, the emotions of love, hatred, loyalty and emotional growth are covered in one very powerful and emotional scene. 

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QUESTION FOR YOU…

Here is a question for you – could you do this in 25 minutes and write 2-3 sides of an exam booklet [2 sides A4 paper]?

Write an entry for your blog describing your favourite time of year and explaining why you like it.

Have a go and see, but time yourself to 25 minutes…good practice for you. 

Radio Scripts

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Radio Scripts

2 years ago, the exam board slipped a task in that no teacher had ever taught before in terms of how to write one. It was not a requirement and as a result, marks went down as students guessed what to do next in the exam.

It was a lesson in expecting the unexpected, but just in case, here is an example of a section B piece of writing.

Do you think you could do this in 35 minutes? It was worth the most marks in the 2012 exam!

Exam Tips #1

On June 3rd at 9am you sit the GCSE exam. There are a number of things to consider. Copy and paste what follows:

1. The exam lasts 2 hours 15 minutes so manage your time well. 

2. Spend the first 15 minutes reading all 3 inserts given to you. 

3. In that time, label each paragraph with numbers, so you can write “in paragraph 3…….” and so on. 

4. Spend no more than 60 minutes on Section A – so many students spend too much time on this and only have 30 minutes to do Section B, leading them to fail to get the magical C grade. 

5. Perhaps [and it has been said elsewhere], do Section B first, but time manage that one – no more than 60 minutes on each section. 

6. Use a watch if you have one and roll it up on the desk in front of you [mobiles not allowed to even be on, let alone on silent, so turn em off!]

7. Arrive 15 minutes early – sort of obvious really, but the people invigilating the exam, and I may be one of them, can say no to you entering once the exam has begun. I WILL. A year of work gone down the drain just because you cannot get up on time would be a great pity.

8. Section A is marked on your reading ability, NOT your writing ability. Time to panic about spelling, punctuation and Grammar usage, is Section B. Your marker will be looking for the correct use of commas, semi colons, colons, full stops, capital letter etc. If you are one of these people who write capitals in the middle of words, you have from now to then to eradicate that from your writing. . 

9. Each section [A+B] is worth 40 marks, so time management is of the essence. Get it wrong and you mess up your chances of passing well. 

10. Enjoy the exam! It sounds odd I know, but although this is a test, part of it asks you to be creative [Section B] so you might as well have some fun when creating the 2 writing tasks at the end. 

 

And, in late August, when you get your grades, post them here please. And if someone says to you the words “good luck” then look them in the eye and reply with “luck is for the ill prepared and I am prepared for this.” If you are not, you will need all the luck in the world. 

Examples of answers will follow when I have them for you all. 

RJ

Imaginative Writing

Imagine if you was asked to write something totally unique – what would you write? When you take your GCSE exam in June this year [June 3rd] you may asked to do something totally unique in section B of the exam. 

Here is an example of something I ‘stumbled’ on just now. I did not get half way through before the tears hit. As one with a family of 2 little ones, I am all too aware of the content of this piece of writing. Read and see what I mean. 

***

A Letter To My Former Family

A Gonzalez

 

I will never forget the last time I saw you. Maybe because I always hated going for car rides and that day you left me at the shelter I thought at first we were headed to the dreaded vet — who I hadn’t seen in three years anyway but still remembered — but no, that day we took a far worse trip together. That day, you took me to the shelter.

You couldn’t even look me in the eye or answer my cries in the backseat of your car like you used to when you’d take me to the vet.

“Shhh, sweetie,” you’d say when I howled inside my carrier back then. 

This day, you had nothing to say. We drove across town in silence, you didn’t even have the radio on. I wasn’t sure what I’d done or why you wouldn’t even speak to me. I’ve been a good girl. I always use my box and I try not to knock things off the table I’m not supposed to be on and I even try not to scratch your couch but it would have been really nice if you would have bought me my own scratching post so I wouldn’t have to.

You pulled my carrier out of the car and I knew before you even opened the door to the shelter that this place was bad. It was very, very bad. My heightened sense of smell tipped me off no sooner than you’d taken a few steps toward the shelter but I know you could smell it too, because I swear for a moment you stopped and almost turned around. I thought maybe you’d made a wrong turn and taken us to the wrong place because surely you wouldn’t leave me, your loyal friend, in a place like this.

You’d turn around, put me back in the car, drive us back home and we’d all have a good laugh later about that time you accidentally drove us to the shelter when you meant to take me to the pet store to pick out new toys.

I know this might sound weird to you, my human, but I could feel the pain and loneliness of every single animal who had ever died in that building before we even walked in. There are baby kittens and puppies who never knew the love of a human to call their own but also — and worse — the longing of cats and dogs who once knew the joy of a family, of sharing their lives with a beloved human until they ended up in that bad, bad building for whatever reason. I’d like to think you felt that pain too, and that’s what stopped you just before you opened the door but for whatever reason, you kept going.

“This can’t be happening,” I said to myself, sitting quietly in my carrier in the lobby as you talked to another human about “paperwork” (whatever that is). I think you told them you are moving. Or you are allergic to me even though I have slept on your pillow next to you for the last 5 years and you never once even sneezed. Or you have a new boyfriend and he doesn’t like me. I really don’t remember, I was too busy trying to close my eyes and make myself wake up from what had to be a bad dream.

The cat next to me in the lobby was desperately clawing at the latch of his carrier trying to get out and I thought maybe, just maybe, if I show you what a good girl I am, you’d change your mind and take me back home. So I didn’t say anything. I tucked my front paws under myself and tried to make myself invisible, thinking if they can’t see me, they’ll think you’re crazy and laugh when you say “I need you to take my cat” because obviously there was no cat in the carrier you brought in.

I shifted on my haunches in the cold, hard carrier — you didn’t even put a towel down for me this last time I ever saw you. I remembered resting in this very carrier since I was a kitten, sometimes taking a nap there while you were at work when it felt like an eternity as I waited for you to come home.

And then they took me away. You didn’t even say goodbye. I looked at your face hoping to see something that told me this was your only option, that for whatever reason, you thought this was the right thing to do but it still hurt your heart to leave me here in this place that smells of death the moment you walk in the door. But you turned away and then you were gone.

This is the bad part.

Let me tell you about the shelter, human. There are good humans and there are bad humans. And a lot of noise. Oh the noise. I used to get annoyed when you’d stay up late watching TV or bang around in the kitchen when I was trying to take a nap but there is nothing like the noise of the shelter. Again, I closed my eyes tight and tried to wake up from this nightmare and find myself on your couch with you petting my head saying “shhh, there there, you’re just having a bad dream.” But no, you never came and I never woke up from this.

All the animals know this is not a good place. The dogs never shut up, they howl and bark and scream all hours of the day and night. The people who work at the shelter and the volunteers try to take them out for walks and play with them so they quiet down a little but there are so many dogs and so few humans, the dogs end up really frustrated and making all kinds of noise most of the time.

The cats, too. They cry. They growl. They make sounds I have never heard another cat make ever and I always considered myself a pretty vocal cat. These aren’t normal sounds, we are all scared and some of us just cry and cry hoping someone will come pull us out of that cage and bring us home.

Still, I mostly sat quietly in my tiny little metal cage and thought if I can just be a good girl, maybe you will come back for me.

Sometimes, humans sneak us good stuff, and those same humans are the ones who volunteer to come spend time with us when they can. There are just so many of us that even the best volunteers can’t spend time with all of us but they sure do try. They’re really good about being gentle, even with the cats who are extra scared in the shelter. Most of us are extra scared.

There are a few good doctors, too, and some humans who work there are nice. But mostly it feels like there are a lot of humans in gloves always poking and prodding and writing stuff about us on clipboards.

I would talk to the cats in cages around me late at night when no one but the cleaning crew and maybe a spare vet were wandering around the shelter and they would tell me about their humans, about their homes, about where they came from and how they ended up here. I told them my story too, I said I just didn’t know why my human left me here, but I wish I knew what I did wrong because I never meant to make my human mad.

Some of the cats have been here before. Some lived on the streets all their lives. Some really didn’t like humans and those were always the cats to go first. They went into the “Room,” the place in the back where if you go, you never come back.

In this shelter, the humans take the dogs to the Room first. They pile a bunch of dogs in cages onto a cart and then they come into the cat room and pick us out one by one to go too. You’d think you’re going on some fantastic trip by the way the humans try to talk you into not freaking out but we all know better. You go into the “Room,” you’re not coming out.

An old cat in the cage next to me told me what happens there.

Once, when he was young like me, he was in the shelter and the humans came to take him away into the Room. It felt like forever from the time they loaded him into a cage on the cart and pushed him down a long hallway.

Then you smell it. Death. This room is death. Even the humans pushing you into it don’t like it. There are thousands of animal souls floating around out there crying out, all day, every day, just crying. But no one can ever come to get them because they are gone. They can’t rest, they just wander that long hallway looking for their humans.

The old cat said the humans brought him into the room, scribbled a few things on his “paperwork” (I still don’t understand what that is) and then just as they were holding him down while another human waved a giant needle at him, some other human walked in and took him out.

He said a rescuer heard he was going into the Room and wanted to save him. The shelter humans put him into a box and sent him off to a great place where he spent a few years enjoying the love of a human home until he ended up right back here. Like me, he wasn’t sure how that happened but he knew if he went into the “Room” again, no one was going to come bust him out this time.

“Whatever you do, don’t go into the Room,” he told me.

So I tried real hard to find another human. The other cats told me that’s what you have to do, lest you end up in the dreaded Room. Every time a stranger came by my cage, I would purr and smile and rub my chin on their hand hoping they would take me home. I especially loved the volunteers. They would tell other humans the nicest things about me; how sweet I was, how cute I was, how gentle I was. I wished one of them could take me home but I knew they already had a lot of cats at home.

Day after day, I continued this but no one ever took me home. Day after day, my friends in the cages all around me either went home or — worse — went to the Room, never to be seen again.

New cats came, and those of us who had been here awhile would tell them the stories we were told in the hopes that no matter how scared we all were, maybe if we had each other and knew what to expect, we might all be OK.

And then it happened. I got sick. I felt terrible; my eyes burned, my nose was stuffed, I kept spraying toxic green snot on my cage walls. My friend the old cat had long gone to the Room and never came back when he started sneezing. I knew I was next. Would you know, my human, that I still held out hope that you’d come back to get me? Maybe you’d hear I was sick and you’d feel bad and change your mind and come get me.

You never did.

I knew that morning by the way the shelter vet looked at me that it was my turn to go to the Room. He narrowed his eyes, scribbled a bunch of stuff on a piece of paper and would barely touch me. I felt so awful at that point I hardly cared. Fine, bring this Room then, it’s surely better than a lifetime of this.

The other cats — even the ones I called my friend — would barely speak to me that night. It was almost like if they talked to me, then they might have to go to the Room too. It was so quiet in the shelter that night. I barely heard the loud dogs and the sad cats. I could barely even open my eyes then, so I just slept and waited for the shelter humans to come and take me away to the Room.

And then, the strangest thing happened. To this day I don’t even know how it happened but just when I thought this is it and at least I won’t have to keep carrying on in a tiny cage trying to find a home, a human came to get me.

It wasn’t you, my human. It was a human I’d never met before, but next thing I knew the shelter humans were boxing me up and bringing me out to this human.

She opened my box, looked down on me — MAN I had to look horrible with my eyes practically glued shut and snot pouring from my nose — and said in the softest voice “It’s OK, sweetheart, you’re safe now.”

She touched my head like I was the prettiest thing she’d ever seen in her life even though I had green snot dripping from my nose and couldn’t have felt less pretty if I tried. I couldn’t even lift my head to look at her, that’s how bad I felt. I didn’t need to, I could feel her, her gentle hand reaching down and pulling me out of this hell I still couldn’t wake up from.

Even though I had no idea who she was, even though my own human had betrayed me, even though I spent the last few weeks watching cat after cat get dragged off to the Room to get killed, something told me when this human said I was safe, I could trust her.

It took a few weeks for me to shake my shelter cold but my new human was great about giving me medicine (ugh) and I even got to eat fried chicken because I was so stuffed up I wouldn’t eat cat food.

I live in a rescue house now, with a bunch of other cats, and a lot of them have shelter stories to tell too. When I first met them I was a little reluctant to make friends but they were really good about welcoming me and telling me how to manipulate our human into giving us treats (she is SUCH a sucker sometimes, ha!).

This human won’t keep me forever — she’s called a “foster” which is someone who gives animals like me a great place to stay so they have all the time they need to find their forever families — and that’s OK. I like this human a lot but truth be told our house is a little crazy sometimes with all these cats running around, it will be nice to find a family of my own. Hopefully with fewer cats. Don’t get me wrong, I like cats but this is a little nuts, it’s like there’s always a cat coming or going.

I’m sorry things didn’t work out with us, my human. I still don’t know what I did that made you decide to take me to that bad place but I’m not even mad.

Things are great here. We have lots of great toys and cat trees and scratching posts and we eat really good food that doesn’t upset my tummy like some of the stuff you used to feed me when you said you didn’t have time to get to the pet store.

I have foster brothers and sisters to play with when I want to but mostly I hang out in the hammock the human put in the window and watch the birds. I admit I look out that window sometimes and wonder what you’re doing, my human. Whatever it is, I hope you’re happy. I hope you don’t worry about me. I hope you don’t take another cat until you know for sure this time that it’s for life because I don’t want you bringing another cat to the shelter in a couple years like you did me when you decide the cat no longer fits into your life.

I write this in honour of all my shelter friends who went into the Room and never came back. My rescue human helped me write this on behalf of me and the many other cats here in our home who experienced exactly what I did through no fault of our own.

Half Caste

Those of us who have been doing Grace Nichols and Tatamkhulu Afrika’s poems will have heard me mention this in class. 

Halfe–Caste by John Agard

Excuse me
standing on one leg
I’m half-caste

Explain yuself
wha yu mean
when yu say half-caste
yu mean when picasso
mix red an green
is a half-caste canvas/
explain yuself
wha u mean
when yu say half-caste
yu mean when light an shadow
mix in de sky
is a half-caste weather/
well in dat case
england weather
nearly always half-caste
in fact some o dem cloud
half-caste till dem overcast
so spiteful dem dont want de sun pass
ah rass/
explain yuself
wha yu mean
when yu say half-caste
yu mean tchaikovsky
sit down at dah piano
an mix a black key
wid a white key
is a half-caste symphony/

Explain yuself
wha yu mean
Ah listening to yu wid de keen
half of mih ear
Ah looking at u wid de keen
half of mih eye
and when I’m introduced to yu
I’m sure you’ll understand
why I offer yu half-a-hand
an when I sleep at night
I close half-a-eye
consequently when I dream
I dream half-a-dream
an when moon begin to glow
I half-caste human being
cast half-a-shadow
but yu come back tomorrow
wid de whole of yu eye
an de whole of yu ear
and de whole of yu mind

an I will tell yu
de other half
of my story

John Agard

Macbeth ‘Power’ Essay [Draft]

How does one get an essay done from the entire play? The answer lies in taking key scenes, getting them into a Word document and then highlighting, in yellow, the relevant short quotes that fit the need of the essay when it is done. Once you have the highlighted quotes, you then delete the rest, leaving gaps between the quotes, so you can develop links between the words spoken by one character or another.

I did this and then put an essay together for you, to show you how it is done, but being the creative writer and thinker that I am, ended up with nearly 1300 words. I think it was 1296 words to be precise. So, I had to edit the file and take out relevant bits. What began by using 3 key scenes, then became an essay using 2 key scenes, leading to an essay of 840 words. Now technically, that is 15 words over the 10% limit AQA sets for Controlled Assessments, but if that happens to you, fear not.

Here is the essay in its fullness……..enjoy and try to emulate this.

***

Explore the ways that power is presented in Macbeth, with reference to the power that Lady Macbeth has over her husband.

Power exists within all relationships and is usually portrayed in fiction as patriarchal, but what the Bard is famous for as a playwright, is subverting the accepted norm and bringing to the attention of the public new ideas relating to the power relationships that exist. His play, Macbeth, about the Scottish tyrant King who is affected by witchcraft and the inward desires of his own wife’s evil intentions, is a good example of this power that exists in such relationships, even regal ones.

In Act 1, Scene 5, after Macbeth has been visited by the three witches on the heath, he writes a letter to his wife back at his castle. When she receives it, the audience begin to see where the power lays in their relationship. When she says “Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be what thou art promised” she is expressing her desires to see her husband crowned King, but there is a problem; the present King, Duncan, is alive and well, so she begins to plot his demise. But as she does so she knows that her husband is a man who is “too full o’ the milk of human kindness” to undertake such a task as killing the King.

Shakespeare is using the language of kindness to describe Macbeth but follows this up with Lady Macbeth summoning evil spirits to aid her in her quest for her husband to become King. She says “come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe top-full of direst cruelty!” Never could words uttered by any character in fiction be any more powerful than these, for she is asking for evil spirits to appear before her and make her utterly evil in every way. She wants to kill the King and feel no remorse. She wants to direct and urge her husband in the act of murder and treason because of her lust for power.

When Macbeth returns to the castle and is unsure of the plan to take over the throne, it is Lady Macbeth who tells him to “bear welcome in your eye, your hand, your tongue: look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under’t” when the King arrives. She is telling Macbeth that he must appear to the King as friendly and unassuming; deceptive so as to gain power. What becomes evident is that power does corrupt, even if it is in the sense of the chance of power corrupting someone who is vulnerable to temptation.

Later, in Act 1 Scene 7, Macbeth doubts if he can murder the King. His soliloquy, spoken to the audience, leaves them in no doubt at all about his state of mind. He knows that he is the King’s “kinsman and his subject,” that he is related to the King as well as fond of him and this makes the act of murder harder for Macbeth to endure. He knows that Duncan “hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been so clear in his great office” and so, says that he “will proceed no further in this business.”

At this point, Macbeth is withering under the pressure of his wife’s plan, so she has to control him. She has to be the driving force in the relationship and asks “art thou afeard to be the same in thine own act and valour as thou art in desire?” This shows the difference between Lady Macbeth and her husband, for just as much as he is unwilling to commit murder, she would take her baby and “while it was smiling in [her] face, have pluck’d [her] nipple from his boneless gums, and dash’d the brains out” in order to summon up the will to kill the King.

Clearly, Lady Macbeth is being controlled and is also the controlling influence over Macbeth in this play. This is further worked out as she then tells him to “screw [his] courage to the sticking-place,” so that they [will] not fail.” At this point the audience hear and see that Macbeth has been persuaded to kill, which will ultimately bring about the downfall of himself and his wife, through tyrannical leadership and revenge from Macduff and the breaking of Lady Macbeth’s mind, leading to suicide.

What is evident throughout this play is the way that Shakespeare subverts the role of the woman, creating a woman who is manipulative of her husband, in complete control of him and someone who can drive him forward, through the depths of temptation to the most hideous act of all; murder. The act of regicide becomes the catalyst for the play to continue through the reign of Macbeth, the tyrant King, to his demise at the hands of Macduff and the subsequent crowning of the next King, Malcolm of Scotland. What Shakespeare has done here is merge history with tragedy; the tragic loss of power and control and the tragedy that awaits anyone in power, for as the saying goes, “power corrupts, but absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

840 words

This is how to get a high grade!

CA Title = Write about a television programme you either love or loathe.

This apparently was inspired by my earlier rant on here. Well done M.

 

Just what, exactly, happens in someone’s life to make them want to appear on a “reality” television show, and demonstrate to the world, (well those that watch such “entertainment” anyway) just how annoying and petty you really are?

It was bad enough when members of the public offered themselves up for sacrifice to the audience, a baying pack of self-righteous thickos, but to the makers of such intellectually stimulating visual chewing gum, we needed more, we needed … Celebrities!

“I’m a Celebrity get me out of here” “burst”, like a cold sore, onto our screens 13 long (and miserable) years ago with the promise of a real jungle environment, squabbling celebrities and a pretty, bikini clad girl with big boobs spending plenty of time in the “natural” shower.

The format itself is quite clever; lower, quite literally, (but not nearly fast enough in my opinion) the celebs into the “hostile jungle environment”, for a week or two, make them compete for food by winning various tasks with the infamous “bush tucker trial” which invariably involves sticking a creepy crawly up your nose (or worse), and film the lot. The viewing public, up to a very scary 12 million of them, then vote out the biggest numpty (and there is serious competition on this front, believe me) by sending a text (texts cost a very reasonable £380 or something like that; how do they do it and scrape a profit?).

This carries on, somewhat nauseatingly, until there are only two people left. Then, guess what? That’s right, we all get a chance to “vote” again for the “King or Queen of the Jungle” (Queens have not, historically always been women) and should you hate your own money enough you can vote as many times as you like (at this point of my research I was moved to tears by the generosity of the TV company in allowing us, the humble viewer, to be able to demonstrate “how strongly” we feel). It is filmed in Murwillumbah, New South Wales, Australia, the perfect location in my opinion, as the show reflects rather beautifully, the country’s deserved reputation for both sporting fairness and culture.

To give the programme makers due credit, they show a degree of genius in being able to pick, every year, the most annoying person alive from the following categories:

An ex model or “Actress” (must own a Bikini), a “do you remember him or her” pop singer (think David Van Day and Sinitta), a nasty politician (who usually forgets to be nasty halfway through), a TV chef, (excellent for cooking rats and for making Kangaroo penis slightly more palatable), an American, (adds intellectual stimulus), a famous person’s wife/ husband (they obviously can’t afford the actual famous person), a very camp bloke (having misunderstood both the terms camping and Queen of the Jungle on the application form) a very fit bloke (possibly camp, but the women and some of the men love him anyway) a “famous” weather forecaster (to tell the other contestants it’s raining) an ex sportsman / woman from a sport that is no longer televised (ski Jumping, darts, horse dancing etc) and a person that we all assumed was dead!

The winners? Well, It is a bit like picking your favourite sexually transmitted disease really, but after the viewers are exposed to relentless subliminal voting instruction they have “chosen” the likes of Kerry Katona (2004), Christopher Biggins  (2007) and in 2005, Carol Thatcher! Carol Thatcher? Margaret Thatcher Lite? Nobody could possibly like her. Who next?  Attila the Hun’s Great Great Nephew? In Jim Royle’s fabulous parlance; Carol Thatcher my arse!

Perhaps the greatest winners are the show’s producers themselves. The hugely profitable format has been exported to over 60 countries with seven of them producing their own version (under strict licensing). Ich bin ein Star – Holt mich hier raus! and Iss Jungle Se Mujhe Bachao may be savored in Germany and India respectively although a viewer in the latter country has over 1600 channels at their disposal. Sixteen Hundred! Surely, there must be something better on?

The award for export however must go to the free thinking Dutch, who have made their own version, which will undoubtedly show far more (artistic) nudity, soft drug taking and “love ins”. The Dutch chose, no doubt in reverence to British culture, to keep the title English but translated it into the rather evocative and truly descriptive “Bozos in the Bush”.

So there we have it, a stunning success, one of our great exports, something to make us a truly great nation again. It must just be me that turns off after the “actress” in the bikini gets voted off!

Ant and Dec, the show’s  presenters, summed up the end of the last series with “we will be back next year, with another fantastic series, and we know you guys will be joining us”.

Well guess what “guys”?

I won’t.

I really, really won’t.