These days, TV is all about interactivity. Text voting, live phone-ins, studio audiences. So, in the hope that tonight will feature another revolting eating task, I’m going to be munching my way through a ramekin full of Mr Porky’s Scratchings as I watch. I’ve even picked out the hairiest ones to eat first, you know - the ones that are like chewing those disposable toothbrushes you can get from the men’s toilets in cheap pubs. I did also ask my neighbours to scream hysterically through the letterbox every time Helen appears on screen, but they seem to be busy practicing their bongos. But that’s East London living for you.
Today’s instalment starts with some bad news - Brian Conley has left on medical grounds. The conspiracy theorist in me wonders whether he’s holed up at the Versace Hotel with Lucy Spraggan, writing wryly amusing songs about hangovers. The rest of the camp is complaining about the fact that they’ve been handcuffed in pairs, and can’t move more than four feet from each other. This is the same basic premise as the early 90s sci-fi B-movie Wedlock, but without the head explosions if one of them goes out of range. Sadly. Hugo moans that the tethers are “the most annoying thing in the world” which suggests that he’s never had to listen to one of his own VTs. Limahl seems less concerned, since he’s lying in a darkened room in his underpants, looking a lot like that near-dead victim in
As always, the main part of the show focuses on the Bushtucker Trial which, unsurprisingly, stars Helen. The viewing audience has clearly decided that she’s the one they want to break. That, or they’re hoping that she’ll get so agitated she’ll pop right out of that flimsy bikini top. This time around, she has to undertake the challenge with the rest of her campmates cheering her on. David compares it to “having a child on sports day.” Just as I’m wondering whether that would get the sack all slimey, he clarifies his remark. Blame it on the poor syntax – he meant cheering on a child at their sports day, not crowning halfway through the egg and spoon race. With the support of her fellow celebrities, Helen doesn’t do too badly, even though she has to stick her hand into more dark, disgusting places than Christopher Timothy. In the end, she gets five stars out of a possible twelve, and then optimistically says “If I was a viewer, I’d like to see David do a trial.” Sadly, that’s not really how psychology works. Meanwhile, David tells us he’s looking forward to Helen’s trial tomorrow.
After the break, David decides to wind everyone up by telling them that they’re going to be shackled together for another week, when in fact the note he’s been given says that they’re free to disconnect themselves. Now that they’re all unshackled, Hugo’s fretting about how untidy the camp is. He’s probably spent most of his life coming home to a spotless apartment, but here in the camp he’s got to do more than stick thirty quid under the teapot and hide his jewellery.
Rosemary, who is probably less famous than the guy who does the trial dry-runs, comes to the Bush Telegraph and enthuses “How lucky am I to be in here with all these amazing people?” So she’s either a big Kajagoogoo groupie, or she’s already gone Colonel Kurtz after three days in the jungle. David keeps her amused by teaching her a few boxing moves, which prompts Ashley to vie for some attention of her own. Demonstrating her own ‘special skill’, all that’s missing is a garter belt stuffed with single notes. She needed the distraction, since she spends most of her time wondering what the hell everyone else is talking about. In particular, she’s finding it hard to understand Eric, Helen and Linda.
suggest that it’s because she’s American, but I’d argue that anyone with ears would struggle to get by. Half the time, it sounds like feeding time in an aviary – even Marlee Matlin would begging for ear-muffs after 48 hours in there.
Linda, Helen, Hugo, Rosemary, Nadine and David head off to compete in another afternoon trial that involves each of them being locked in a box with a load of magnets and electrics. David convinces them that their boxes are filled with ‘hornet cockroaches.’ It doesn’t take long for Nadine to scream “I’m a centipede, get me out of here.” Or, at least, that’s what it sounded like. As David claims yet another victory, the others are punished with a surprise electrocution, and poor Rosemary looks as though she thinks she’s having a stroke. David tells us that
came second, adding “He was hot on my tail.” Now there’s some bonus footage we won’t be seeing on ITV1.
The rest of the group is back in the camp, bitching about Hugo’s arrogance. Eric is not a fan, largely because he thinks Hugo was “born with a golden spoon up his arse” and has never heard of piles. Which is odd, because you’d assume that those two things would go hand-in-hand. You try spending time with cutlery stuck up your clacker and see if you don’t develop a nasty bunch of Emma Freuds.
Dinner time, and Rosemary attempts to fillet a bag-full of crocodile legs as Linda complains “Can’t we eat something that didn’t look like it was living once?” The panicking producers have got a helicopter on stand-by, ready to airlift in a hundredweight of Turkey Twizzlers into camp if it all kicks off. Hugo throws another childish strop and snaps at Rosemary, who soon kicks him into touch. He has another little cry and blames it on the smoke. By the time Ant and Dec enter the camp to announce who’s facing the last audience-voted trial, it’s clear that Hugo’s petulance has cost him dearly. On the upside, for the first time Helen gets to go a whole day without smudging her lip-gloss.