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 really, really won’t.