It’s taken me a few days to write this. When you don’t like a programme it’s easy just to sit down and fire out a few words of abuse and have everyone clapping and whooping. When you do like it, it’s harder, because you’re watching it for enjoyment not sport. And I not only like IACGMOOH I fucking love it. Where else can you see a woman who used to be married to a footballer singing songs from ‘Grease’ covered in maggots? And not only where but why?
Of all the big live event TV shows it is the only one I watch religiously. I have seen nearly every episode except for that year when they had David Gest which I missed altogether. I find it infuriating that it takes a year to come round. That it only broadcasts for an hour a night. And that they don’t hand over the live late shift to the programme as they used to. I tolerate watching young soap opera acting idiots I have no knowledge of nor interest in babbling on about their careers in their sweat stained khaki waistcoats with red trim.
I endure the cheap and revolting sponsored idents from Iceland, all of which add so much tinsel and noise and forced fun that it becomes a piece of piss to denigrate the alleged food in the midst of the party. Night by night they offer crinkled deep fried versions of posh party food which looks like it’s been swept up from the floors of leper colony’s showers or shovelled from the cages of over-fed Great Danes. I even manage to zone out from the endless rat-a-tat-tat of the programme’s theme tune. A noise which rivals ITV football’s ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ clip for the most annoying evidence that the channel uses too MUCH signifying music on their programmes.
I enjoy watching the surreal vision of slightly famous people confronted by odious tasks actually having a go at it:An X Factor contestant having so much green gunk squirted into her face it begins to look like a bukkake orgy at Shrek’s swamp.
I am numb to these irritations because they are what you have to go through to get to the good bit. A little like the spiritual journey the contestants can go on. And here lies the reason I love it so much. For me I’m A Celebrity transcends mere entertainment and actually works on a Zen-like level. I know the look on your face now because I’ve seen it in the flesh every time I’ve said this enthusiastically to people over the last six years. The look is a mixture of ‘what the fuck is he on about? Is he on drugs again?’ with a slight frown of concern for my mental well being.
Before you just toss this idea off into the bin marked ‘Bollocks’ hear me out. Consider the process. A celebrity who is most likely past their sell by date would like to attain a level of fame they have enjoyed before. This is their ego telling them this. However to achieve that success they have to win the show. To win the show they have to dismantle their ego and have a great deal of humility in going through a series of unpleasant tasks.
The more you are prepared to strip away the ego and present some down to earth humility, i.e. lose the pretensions of fame and celebrity, the more the public vote for the you. So in the end the people who have shown the most personality in the face of hardship, who have got down and dirty for the rest of their team, who have smiled when all around them cringed usually win the programme. Having destroyed their ego through hardship they achieve success and once again find fame and attention.
Only by letting go of their ego are they allowed to achieve success their ego wants them to have.
Some people watch it because they want to see what celebrities are really like, I enjoy watching the surreal vision of slightly famous people confronted by odious tasks actually having a go at it: a Royal Butler up to his arm in rats. A Royal Reporter in a coffin of creepy crawlies. An X Factor contestant having so much green gunk squirted into her face it begins to look like a bukkake orgy at Shrek’s swamp.
And what of the other contestants? Gillian McKeith is the most pathetic, selfish, deluded person they have ever had on it. Nigel Havers is suffering from a lack of adult company, or at least a lack of anyone who cares who he is.
The programme allows you to change your prejudices. I like Chris Biggins but I had an irrational hatred of him before he arrived. The moment he stepped onto the set a few years back he went straight into a glass box full of nightmare horrors and just gave it a fucking good go. I was impressed and instantly had him down as a winner. Which he did indeed become. His highlight was in acting out loads of fake wanking hand movements and gyrating cock poses during a game of charades not, as he admitted, as part of his go but just to get them to shout out loads of rude words on TV.
I like Jordan. I think she’s fucking ace on IACGMOOH. She’s like a WWE baddie who ends up as good as John Cena because no matter how often the public challenge her she will step up to it again and again until she got bored of it.
This year I was especially pleased to see that I know all but two of the contestants. Of the two I had never heard of before, the diddy pop star Aggro, is so tiny or flexible that he walked through a tunnel all the others crawled through. And like the fish lipped Playboy teen-model I’d never heard of, he is neither offensive nor up himself.
And what of the other contestants? Gillian McKeith is the most pathetic, selfish, deluded person they have ever had on it. Nigel Havers is suffering from a lack of adult company, or at least a lack of anyone who cares who he is. It must be really difficult to be 59, be able to dine in London’s finest restaurants with minor royals, but find oneself surrounded by people who sort of know who he is but aren’t sure. We had a look on IMDB and Nigel’s been in Coronation Street recently. And my 9-year-old son says he was in an episode of a Dr Who spin off. Apart from that it’s decades since he was in anything noteworthy.
Lembit Opik isn’t so much a name as a shit hand at Scrabble. He looks like a man who is used to wearing a tight vest. Were the smirks that flashed from Shaun Ryder to Nigel Havers to Linford Christie whilst they asked him about his ‘celebrity marriage’ indications that they were questioning his sexuality or sanity?
From now on Shaun will also be known as the man who wolfed down the bush tucker and walked away smiling. The Bush Tucker Trial is no longer the threat it was, it sits powerless like Tiger Woods after his wife knacked him.
Stacey from X Factor sounds like Maureen Lipman doing an impersonation of Janet Street Porter and looks like a street cartoonist’s impression of Cleopatra. Stacy is proof that everyday people are far stranger than those that have affected strangeness to further their mystique.
Shaun Ryder is a charismatic ne’er do well who smiles like a naughty boy. The most unlikely pop star of his generation he is not only a great vocalist but a quite unique front man and he is my tip to win. With maybe a little opposition posed by Stacey and Britt Ekland. From now on Shaun will also be known as the man who wolfed down the bush tucker and walked away smiling. The Bush Tucker Trial is no longer the threat it was, it sits powerless now like Tiger Woods after his wife knacked him or Mike Tyson after the doubt set in or Man United when Rooney said he fancied walking away.
Ant and Dec seem a bit off the pace this year, choosing the wrong punch lines to the obvious jokes they set up and yet to really crack into some decent ad-libbing. They seem stunned by the incompetence of Gillian McKeith as if they’re not sure whether she’s senile, putting it on or just too poor to warrant winding up.
So that’s it, last night I was able to ease my withdrawal symptoms with a splash of The Apprentice. Tonight I will settle back down to yet more compulsive viewing. Someone throw Shaun a crocodile’s dick.
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