Who Dares… Sings


I’m watching television with some friends. Not really concentrating, just something to stare at while we smoke.  On comes ‘Who Dares… Sings.’  Already, I’m firing up my hate-cylinders. It almost feels too easy, more like an execution then a superior sneer at some bottom of the barrel programming.
As it starts, it’s all Saturday night studio and Woolworth’s glamour. The airbrushed presenters lead the crowd in two verses of some random pop song for no reason at all. The words even flash up on screen, making the television into some kind of live karaoke machine. On comes Michelle – she’ll be singing against Kathy. Michelle starts a bit shakily but gets into the swing of it. The crowd are doing that weird clap-along-for-the-sake-of-it thing that prime time herds seem to love. Kathy does her tune, both girls gush about how they thought the other should have gone through and how well the other did.  Kathy wins, everybody cheers Michelle, she sits down happy that she got her fifteen minutes.
Something is deeply wrong here. Although it ticks all the right hate checkpoints, I just can’t sneer at it. There’s something deeply refreshing about it. Nobody judges the singers, everybody’s happy to participate… it’s a competition yet it’s not the end of the world if they lose. Somehow, everybody has a bit of a singalong and goes home happy without stabbing anybody in the back. After all, it’s only television, right?
Later on, we’re watching America’s Got Talent. A group of girls have traveled half way across the country to rap at an audience for thirty seconds. Instantly, the crowd start booing. They literally get about twenty seconds before they’re made to stop. As Piers Morgan gets ready to sneer, his brain wiring up the most humiliating, most witty put down he can muster, I glimpse his face and see how he can’t wait to tell these people how rubbish they are and how mundane their performance was. I look into his puckered face and see myself in his sneer. That feeling – ready and waiting to tear them down for daring to not appeal to his cultural sensibilities, for wasting his time – and I’m a little bit more than uncomfortable.
That night, I had a dream. Me and Piers, tied together while Ben Shephard and Denise Van Outen laughed at our pitiful, hate-filled existence. It wasn’t a sneer, it was a genuine belly-laugh, like there was a joke we couldn’t fathom. Michelle looked at us like we were recently-kicked puppies.

It’s probably symbolic of something.

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44 Responses to “Who Dares… Sings”

  1. Swineshead Says:

    Saturday nights are for fighting – you should get out and about m’lad.

  2. ugeine Says:

    Northampton nightlife is best sampled once a month, that way you have time to pick the glass out of your face.

  3. Napoleon Says:

    Saturday nights ARE alright for fighting, even in Northampton.

    Anyway, I didn’t watch this rubbish. I watched that stuff about the Carry On films. The two dramas were interesting – I’d say the bloke playing Kenneth Williams in the first drama was better at doing Kenneth Williams than the second bloke doing Kenneth Williams was in the second drama about Kenneth Williams.

    I think I’ve made that clear.

  4. ugeine Says:

    I’ve never thrown a punch in my life, no word of a lie.

  5. Who Says:

    The bloke playing Kenneth Williams in the first drama was better doing Kenneth Williams than Kenneth Williams would have been playing Kenneth Williams in either the first or second drama.

    Even clearer.

  6. Clarys Says:

    Isn’t “Who Dares…Sings” a carbon copy of that Shane Richie programmes on Sky? Which I don’t even have, but get to see the advert for it ALOT, thanks to lovely Freeview.

  7. Napoleon Says:

    Who – Kenneth Williams would have made a worse Kenneth Williams in the two dramas featuring Kenneth Williams than the first bloke who played Kenneth Williams, but not the second bloke that played Kenneth Williams in the other drama about Kenneth Williams? Is that what you’re saying?

  8. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    Who’s this ugeine interloper then eh?

  9. Napoleon Says:

    One of Swineshead’s new friends, Wagonwheel. Isn’t it George? Isn’t that who it is? Is it?

  10. Swineshead Says:

    The man who played Kenneth Williams played someone else recently – just to add fuel to this ongoing discussion.

    I watched Rec on Saturday night, the best zombie film I have seen in MONTHS AND MONTHS.

  11. John Q Wagonwheel Says:


  12. Swineshead Says:

    It’s George who usually comments on here – I know him from the interwebs only as we used to collide on the infernal Everyonesconnected – a website where british people went to have a go at pentecostal Americans.

  13. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    Well that’s alright then.

  14. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    Why couldn’t he call himself george then. EH? EH?

  15. Swineshead Says:

    No idea. Let’s kick him in the shins.

  16. Napoleon Says:

    The bloke what played the second Kenneth Williams, or the bloke what played the first Kenneth Williams? If it was the second bloke what played Kenneth Williams in the second of the Carry On night’s two Kenneth Williams drams, then he’s been playing Brian Clough for a film recently. If it’s the first Kenneth Williams from the first Kenneth Williams drama, then I don’t know what he’s been up to as I only know him from this Kenneth Williams drama where he played Kenneth Williams.

  17. Swineshead Says:

    I think it’s the Clough one. What’s for tea tonight?

  18. Napoleon Says:

    I think I might get some fish ‘n’ chips.

  19. ugeine Says:

    I don’t like the name Goerge, it reminds me of a ginger public school boy. Don’t know why I used it in the first place, really.

    Can all you savy media heads help me out a little? I’ve just moved out and am trying to sort out TV & internet and all that jazz. Virgin’s offering 10mb and basic tv for 16.oo a month, though with all their crap with the BPI in the news lately I’d rather not sign up, and Sky is offering 2MB and tv for 21 a month. Is 2mb too little? Are Virgin not really going to shut you down for donwloading? Should I just not bother, get the net and freeview instead? Help!!

  20. Napoleon Says:

    I’m on Virgin. They’re alright. The V+ thing’s good when it works.

  21. ugeine Says:

    So you haven’t had the KGB kick down your door and shoot you in the back of your head while you sleep for downloading albums?

  22. Napoleon Says:

    I don’t download albums, Ugeine, so I’m not sure about Virgin’s secret police tactics. Swineshead steals music off of the internet and he’s on Virgin, so maybe he can help.

  23. ugeine Says:

    Fair doos, you upstanding citizen you. SH, any thoughts?

  24. Swineshead Says:

    I’m on Virgin, 85 quid a month, TV, Phone (unlimited calls anywhere), Broadband at 10meg and sky sports / cinema. If you can afford it, it’s worth it. The difference in Broadband speed is more than noticable, I reckon. And you get V+ which is the future.

  25. Swineshead Says:

    As for downloading music / video, don’t worry about it. They only really care if you’re seeding rather than leeching, so I hear. So you can get stuff – just don’t give it away.

  26. Mikey Says:

    2 mb is adequate. Whilst not amazingly fast, it is broadband and I take it is ADSL rather than cable. Swines would be cable.

  27. ugeine Says:

    Fair enough. That sounds good enough, I’m not the kind of person who uploads stuff (I’m unethical even among pirates) so I might have to give them a ring.

  28. Napoleon Says:

    Ugeine – I’m not a fine upstanding citizen, don’t you worry. Most of my film viewing’s done on online upload sites, and I only don’t download music because I get a lot for free, and I don’t have an MP3 player. I also tend to just watch what I come across on YouTube as opposed to listening to records on a computer. The fact I’ve just called them ‘records’ indicates the Jurrassic era I’m currently living in when it comes to music.

    Have you got that XL telly package on your Virgin, Swineshead? I watched four series of Peep Show this weekend, all for nowt. That’s a good service.

  29. Napoleon Says:

    No? Well fuck you then.

  30. Swineshead Says:

    I’ve got the Very Impressive Package thing. Is that XL? It’s the most expensive one, I’ll tell you that much. But it all works out as I never leave my flat any more what with them having every episode of Peep Show available for free and all that. And Sky Sports.

    I’m also addicted to Arsenal TV which involves Lofty off Eastenders talking shit with Shovel (the bongo player) from M People for hours and hours. Occasionally Charlie George pops in, all senile, and insults a caller.

    Sorry for the delay, I’m having a day of confusing finances and am having to call my bank, a solicitor and all other kinds of shysters constantly.

  31. goodbyetoallfat Says:

    I caught this programme by mistake a couple of weeks ago and hated it. My opinion was much more ungracious than ugeine.

    To me it came across like filming a rank amateur pub karaoke night, and everyone being too drunk or too thick to notice that quality control was totally absent.

    I know other talent programmes can be cruel at times (America’s Got Talent and The X Factor) etc but at least they don’t let life’s caterwaulers think they are Frank Sinatra!

    I must be mean or something!

  32. Swineshead Says:

    Is Shovel in it? If not, I’m not interested in Who Dares Sings (unless it’s presented by Lofty)

  33. ugeine Says:

    I wasn’t trying to make myself out to be some kind of saint, goodbyetoallfat, I suppose I was trying to make the point that the old school variety format television programmes such as this one offer a refreshing antidote to the harsh, stony superficial reality TV judge.

    I don’t think the point of he who dares… was to convince the singers that they were brilliant, or talented, just that getting up on stage and having a sing is supposed to be a bit of fun rather then a complete waste of time, like Piers Morgan would have you believe.

  34. Napoleon Says:

    I’ve got that package too. It’s great. You can watch hours and hours of shows about how nature’s going to kill us all, and it’s all for free (except it isn’t free). You also get the music for nowt too, though so far I’ve only found three Aerosmith songs on there – the rest is that stuff about BMWs and bitches and jewellery that the kids listen to on mobile phones on buses. The little fucking bastards.

  35. Swineshead Says:

    The music on demand is shit. Unless you’re REALLY pissed. But if you’re that pissed you’re probably not going to look at it.

  36. Swineshead Says:

    The best thing about it is V+. Sometimes I’m recording something whilst recording another thing and I’m watching a third thing, then I get bored of the third thing and watch the beginning of one of the things I’m recording, get bored of it and watch the beginning of the other thing I’m recording, then get bored of that and watch all of Peep Show series 2.

  37. Napoleon Says:

    I still haven’t got round to watching the last in that series about Medieval thinking they broadcast months ago. THAT’S how cavalier you can be when you’ve got V+.

  38. Swineshead Says:

    I tend to have a look around Sky Movies every night and set loads of stuff to record that I’ll never watch. Last night I got through twenty minutes of V For Vendetta and gave up. If that’s not cavalier, I don’t know what it is that is cavalier.

  39. Napoleon Says:

    Recording An Inconvenient Truth two months ago and still not bothering to watch it, Swineshead? The earth’s dying, and yet there’s me, with my V+ box and Prince Rupert attitude, ignoring the very film that could change my ways and save this planet. Icebergs crash all around me, people in Africa are hotter than fried eggs, polar bears are stuffed, and yet the message Al Gore wants to across to irresponsible types like me languishes unwatched in a sea of episodes of Dan Cruickshank’s Architecture and something I recorded about Alcatraz.

    A truly marvellous invention.

  40. Swineshead Says:

    Weirdly I’ve got the same Inconvenient Truth problem – it’s been sitting there for months. Incovenient is an apt word, it’s taking up save-space.

  41. Napoleon Says:

    I’m thinking of deleting it and to hell with Planet Earth. Similarly, I’m tussling with the dilemma of whether to watch all those Cruickshank shows I recorded, or bin ’em and fill the machine up with more Gut My Obese Wife, My Dog’s A Fat Cunt, Armless Model Showdown and Legal Teenage Tits Go Under The Knife II.

  42. Swineshead Says:

    There’s that new show coming up where ex members of bands like Bucks Fizz and Cleopatra go under the knife. Can’t wait.

    I’m off now bye bye bye

  43. Napoleon Says:

    Up yours!

  44. extremelisteningmode Says:

    If mocking the fame-hungry afflicted is wrong, I don’t want to be right. PLUS you get to be really, really smug as you pontificate on how ironic it is that Piers Moron is judging a talent contest.

    Win-win mate.

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