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Star Psychic

August 17, 2007

Sally 

ITV have an uncanny knack of churning out shoe-string budget works of low quality. In fact it’s such a reliable occurrence that I’m beginning to think its down to skill rather than error. I mean, it actually takes some ability to be so consistently bad. There’s an art to it. It’s what’s known as ‘bad art’.

In this particular shoe-string budget-work-of-low-quality, a bunch of so-called celebrities meet Sally Morgan who is wider than she is tall. As if this freakery alone were not enough, she claims to be a psychic. In fact she reckons she’s one of the best psychics in the world, though clearly not one of the more modest best psychics in the world.

“It’s an incredible ability to have”, she chirped. “In fact I’m in awe of myself!” Strewth.

The only thing I was in awe of throughout this entire fucking sham was how she manages to even walk: Although she is only about 4 ft something, her vast rump is an epic mess of sweaty overhanging nastiness. In my opinion, her only supernatural skill is the balancing act she puts on. Anyway, the roly-poly Morgan met money-faced rake Victoria Hervey in the first of her ‘challenges’ of this episode. Her challenge on this occasion clearly being to regurgitate memorized facts she’d earlier googled about Hervey’s family. This is the reasonable assumption to make because the nuggets of information she reeled off were not necessarily shrouded in mystery, or even secrets. What a wet start.

Next, she met a group of Free-Runners and proceeded to give them the old cold-reading treatment. Well, whoopee-shit. It was at this point in the proceedings that it became apparent how much of a muppet Sally Morgan is, as she addressed each of them in the kind of condescending tone in which people speak to young children or their pets and, by Christ, her posterior is huge. I genuinely expect it to burst into a grim shower of blood and shit at some time in the near future.

After those less-than-impressive scenes, the chunky little lass was off to meet Phil Tufnell. Before this occurred, she was shown a photograph of Tuffers to see what she could ‘pick up’ and reacted to his picture in a way that suggested she had no idea who he was and as though she had never before laid eyes upon him. Slightly surprising, but fair enough. Again though, the facts she spewed forth were underwhelming and could easily have been acquired through ten minutes worth of research.

The next celebrities featured were Goldie Lookin’ Chain. Well, Eggsy and Maggot anyway (apparently the only members of the band willing to appear on this type of shit). And surprise, surprise – she had no clue who they were or what they looked like before being shown their mugshots. Now I come to think of it, didn’t she claim she had no prior knowledge of Victoria Hervey’s existence too? A pattern is emerging here.

I found it difficult to concentrate during this part though, on account of being distracted by the realisation that Maggot, who resembles an abused dog, is turning into a strange kind of working class luvvie. A bad career move, given the nature of GLC’s music.

The final celebrity meeting was with zonked-out Bez (whom Morgan had no knowledge of) and his girlfriend. By this point, any ‘psychic’ revelations were redundant and it all just sounded like this; blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Then it was mentioned that Bez and his slightly irritating missus are acquainted with that irrelevant dimbo, Lily Allen. “Lily Allen the singer? Oh wow!” exclaimed Morgan. So let’s review this a moment – she’s never heard of Victoria Hervey, Phil Tufnell, Goldie Lookin’ Chain or Bez, but she IS aware of Lily Allen. What’s going on? Was this woman born last week or something? Well, I’m prepared to put my cards on the table now and declare my belief that Sally Morgan is a LIAR. I’ve got a nose for lies y’see, and she stinks like a big piece of rotten meat. She would probably claim she’d never heard of Jesus if it made her look clever later on – “I’m getting a cross, and some kind of prickly headwear. Does that mean anything to you?”

As well as being cheap, tacky, one-dimensional television, this programme couldn’t even muster enough honesty to include any of the obvious inaccuracies which are bound to have occurred in Morgan’s various ‘readings’ during this whole charade. Imagine the horror of being the poor cock whose job it was to sit in a darkened edit-suite somewhere, trawling through hours upon hours of dud footage in the heroic attempt to find five minutes of usable material for each celebrity’s sequence. I’d like to see this shyster do a few rounds in the psychological arena with someone with real brain-skills, such as Derren Brown. She’d get mentally pummelled in, and consequently be exposed for the charlatan and the liar that she patently is. The bulbous-buttocked moron.

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The Friday Night Project

August 13, 2007

Turds 

You must have been there; having a quiet Friday night in, only to find that channel four have insulted the core of your very being by leaving you in the crippled hands of The Friday Night Project. Then let me guess what you did next – you put a hurting on your own loved ones with a series of swiftly applied karate chops out of the pure frustration of it all. But it’s ok, it’s not your fault. TV made you do it. Really – you were imagining that you were pounding the life out of Justin Lee ‘Mad as a Lorry’ Collins or shaking the last vapours of ill-deserved breath out of Alan Carr’s deviant little lungs by way of a good neck-wringing. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Besides finding your front room occupied by thousands of wasps, very little is more likely to make you leave the house than finding this on your fucking telly. Sometimes changing the channel just isn’t enough. The fact that we’re expected to lap this kind of crap up is guaranteed to ruin the rest of your evening should you dwell on it for long enough. Mark my words, I would rather have my daily mealtimes restricted to licking the filthy sleep out of a tramps eyes than be the kind of person who laughs at this muck.

Seemingly, it’s not enough that we’re subjected to TFNP of a weekend, it’s then repeated on Wednesday nights. On the episode that drove me to write this, Big Brother animal Charley was playing up her agro image for laughs, or that’s what was supposed to be happening. Actually she was just being herself: A prize twat. That sums this shit up; bottom of the barrel twats, churning out bottom of the barrel sketches and ‘gags’, in a thoroughly bottom of the barrel manner. All broadcast in a prime slot on a Friday night. But why even allow the thoroughly ugly and pointless Charley any further opportunity to pursue her dream of becoming a celebrity? I thought it was a unanimous view that she is worse than cancer and should be cast into the bowels of Hades like a no-good pile of festering, badly soiled tampons.

A regular feature of the show seems to involve the dual cretins dressing up as women to reconstruct some of the TV highlights of the week. This is rendered in a way that is so void of intellect that it makes the Driller Killer’s preferred method of execution look subtle. Men dressed as women. How outrageously forward-thinking. The concept itself as a comedic tool was a genuinely amusing enough sight to behold not so many years ago. That was until those equally witless Little Britain knob-ends Walliams and Lucas got hold of it and ruined it for everyone for ever. So anyway, Toadstool head Collins dresses up as a woman and the idiot audience think it’s hysterical, presumably because he wears a beard. Carr puts on a dress and suddenly you’re witnessing the sickest thing this side of a paedophile’s wet dream. In fact even a necrophilia-dabbling paedophile would wake up blowing chunks had such a sight crept in and corrupted his sexual thoughts.

Really it’s as simple as this; Collins is no better than an old perv, constantly trying to cop a feel of any attractive lady-guests who happen to be invited onto the show, and who also, incidentally, spends more time changing the highlights in his hair in a day than real men spend churning out big fat creamy dumps in a fortnight. And as for that Carr thing, he should just grow the fuck up. He’s about 45 isn’t he? Anyway, where did these two wrong-cocks spring from and what are they doing inside my television? Get them out.

Katie & Peter: The Baby Diaries

July 24, 2007

Sick and wrong 

Ok, before I get started I want to make it quite clear that even upon writing this article, I haven’t put myself through a whole episode of this series of self-indulgent hyper-cack, but then why would I? Just noticing that it exists is enough of an excuse to vent my spleen. And let’s face it, who needs to watch it? The content is irrelevant, if not self explanatory; It’s that fat-nosed, pregnant attention-whore Jordan lolling pointlessly about with her gargling elf of a husband poncing excitedly by her side like a neutered and bloated spaniel wagging his little trouser tail.

I confess however, that I watched a whole mind-shafting 15 minutes before coming to my senses and doing myself the favour of tuning out. In that I time I witnessed Katie Andre Jordan Price wobbling about to some music like a slaggish bouncy castle with her unborn child being ragged about inside. To complete this horror sequence, the outlandishly squat creature known as ‘Peter’ was frantically frotting himself against her baby-bearing frame like a randy adolescent at a school disco. No wonder her other fuck-trophy Harvey was born with his optic nerves detached after spending the best part of a year being rattled about like a galstone in a pig’s bladder.

Next, David Gest’s stupid apocalyptic fizzog appeared on screen to add an eerie supernatural effect to an already bizarre programme. I’m not sure quite what service he was offering, as I wasn’t paying the required attention. All I noticed was that his darkly robed body was looking like a priest’s fevered nightmare.

Finally, I saw the dozy tit-beast almost reduced to a pant-shitting due to what she descibed as her ‘needle-phobia’ during a visit to her G.P. Maybe having been breached by the Andre-needle once to often has provoked this reaction, or maybe she was afraid that one false move by the spike-weilding quack would have her tits wilting like a tramp’s cheap, flimsy, dirty, stinking, cum-spattered lilo that’s been snagged on a skanky bit of bone in a butcher’s doorway.

Among these sequences there was plenty of equally meaningless footage which was so damaging to the intellect I was afraid my frontal lobe may begin to bleed at any time. I can honestly say that having a big dump leaves me feeling more entertained than viewing the activities of this pair of village idiots.

Their careers seem to consist of fly-on-the-wall type glimpses into the day-to-day workings of their own careers. Careers which incidentally, would not exist without such public attention upon the supposed ‘careers’ in the first place. So really, the careers don’t even actually exist. If it wasn’t so annoyingly ridiculous it would be genius. I cannot begin to grasp the point of the programme from a viewers perspective and struggle to imagine anyone out there actually caring about these substance-free parasites, or what happens to them. What do folk gain from watching shit such as this? I doubt viewers are tuning in because they can’t wait to hear what Peter Andre says next. And if you’re a sad loner watching in the hope of getting an eyeful of some good ol’ jug action then you’ll be disappointed. It’s not even good for a wank unless you’re keen on shuffling one out over a fully-clothed, sprog-hauling, has-been cock-charmer.

Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps

July 5, 2007

Two Pints of Piss 

Too pointless for laughter and a sackful of shit

In the absence of Tycoon, I realised that I would have to turn my attention elsewhere this week, and as I was drifting aimlessly through the channels late last night, I came upon an easy target. Not just an easy target mind, but an insipid, zombified beast wearily waiting to be put to sleep forever. And while, unfortunately, it is not yet within my power to do so, I was nevertheless struck with the irresistable urge to clobber such a pathetically inept and flailing subject on it’s sickbed. No, I am not referring to Make Your Play or indeed Glitterball, though you would be forgiven for thinking so. No, I’m talking about Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps.

Canned laughter aside, there are no indications whatsoever that this is indeed intended for the purposes of humourous relief. In fact, any claims at all that this is funny are just out and out lies and anyone who even so much as smirks at the situation-based japes therein should be punched in the face for days, mercilessly relieved of their scalp, tossed into a volcano and shot at on their way down. Especially since those who enjoy its witless attributes are clearly chavvy types anyway. This is not intended as a purely throwaway remark either. It’s bland, shallow and utterly void of redemption, as well as being as much a reprehensible enemy of intelligence as anything else, anywhere on this knackered planet. As such, it is not just a programme for chavs, it is a fucking chav.

Taking into consideration that I have yet to encounter another human being who speaks well of this awful show, I am somewhat bamboozled as to the reasoning behind BBC 3’s incessant airing of it. As soon as it strikes midnight, it’s there. Multiple episodes, back to back, five nights a week. Lord above, how many series of this cascade of rancid camel shit have been commissioned? Someone, somewhere, needs a rare old twatting.

Ralf Little has long since bypassed his own sell-by date and must no longer be allowed to surf his own faded projection of success. Granted, he was quite funny in The Royle Family, but time has passed and now he’s just an offensive stain. I don’t even know the names of the rest of the cast but quite frankly I pity the joyless wankbags. I find comfort in assuming they’re all two strokes short of a climax.

I realise that this is not the only British sitcom guilty of bringing comical emptiness to the masses, (My family, My Hero, anything with Nicholas Lyndhurst post Only Fools And Horses) but Two Pints of Lager should voluntarily die for the sins of all the others as far as I’m concerned, minus any kind of resurrection.

Already, I have devoted a near-regrettable amount of my own precious life-span to this unworthy subject, and if I dedicate any more then I’m in danger of becoming a fool to myself.

Tycoon (Week 2)

June 27, 2007

Peter the Beanstalk 

This week, the disputably humanoid Peter Jones and his motley crue of shameless arse-kissers carry on where they left off last week in attempting to turn their mainly shoddy business ideas into something so astoundingly brilliant that they will knock baby-faced beanstalk Peter Jones’ socks off.

Something tells me it ain’t gonna happen. Ever. Well, not for most of the so-called entrepreneurs on this programme anyway. Among those expected to fail miserably are camp Tom (and his teen newspaper) and Elizabeth – that snotty-faced bint whose feeble brainwaves have materialised themselves in the form of fruity vodka smoothies, while the chances of success for the others still hang in the balance.

If you need a recap as to who the rest of the contenders are, then here you go: Eco-bag man Justin, whose invention is simply a bag to keep plastic shopping bags in,  former glamour model Lauren, with her hair extension business, (who, by the way, is quite attractive but resembles a waxwork dummy) and toy-fancier Ian, who came up with the remote-controlled-crash-proof-indoor helicopter concept, which is just what the world has been waiting for, clearly.

Also in the running are Cathy and Helen and their gardening for women thing (Sod), which isn’t just for women anymore, it’s now for everyone, though what it is that they are specifically offering still evades me.

The six competitors have so far been trying to market their respective products, attempting to sell as much of their wares to whoever will take them as they can, with the goal obviously being to make as much money as possible.

In this episode, Jones has supplied each set of entrepreneurs with their own individual targets to try to complete in time for the next meeting, where they will be scrutinised, resulting in the weakest of the six businesses being shut down. The meeting also being the point at which each business gets to double any money they have made, as Jones had arranged to personally equal any profit gained. As it turned out, only Sod and Helicopter boy had made anything substantial anyway, Sod making around £3,500 and ‘Copter boy with approximately £4,000. None of the others made any profit at all, aside from bag man Justin who had raised the princely sum of £80.
Before this meeting however, Peter Jones had set up a press launch to see how the soulless drones manage to cope with the media. The most memorable point of which seemed to feature camp Tom, who, after managing to get several top newspapers interested in the possibility of adopting his free student rag as a weekly supplement, delivered such a life-draining presentation that all interest swiftly died on it’s arse, leaving the wilted boy pondering the many errors of his approach as well as his product.

The next best thing in this sequence was hearing Elizabeth, who looks like Gillian McKeith’s slightly less evil twin, claim that her drink is “as refreshing as a cup of tea would be if you were in the desert”. Now I don’t know about you, but the last thing I would want if I was traipsing through a desert would be a hot drink of any description.

Sod hardly featured at all in this episode for some reason, and neither did the eagerly anticipated Paul McKenna. In fact McKenna only got one scene in which he semi- successfully brainwashed Eco-bag man into becoming a good speaker. To be fair it did seem to work, but fortunately it wore off later; halfway through a presentation to Peter Jones.

Elizabeth, who cried last week, cried again this time. Partly because she really can’t hack it and partly because she didn’t get to meet McKenna. I noticed from the trailer at the end of the show that she weeps again next week too. So that’s something to look forward to. If only she were not so nauseating and contemptible, I really would feel a bit sorry for her.

When it came to crunch time after the meeting, Jones narrowed the worst of the bunch down to two, waxy Lauren and paperboy Tom. Lauren, who so far seems quite sound, despite her plastic dimensions, got Peter well and truly riled when she revealed some sensitive information about her business over the phone to a stranger. She was blabbing, it turns out, to Sir Phillip Green, who was pretending to be a journalist. This was something Jones had arranged in a bid to get Green interested in her business. Jones considered the blunder to be catastrophic though, as for all she knew she was sharing compromising details with a potential rival. Aside from being almost entirely pointless, drippy Tom found himself on the chopping board for hiring an ex-editor of OK! magazine to basically create his product for him. A product by the way, which went from originally being a newspaper to becoming yet another celebrity gossip mag.
In the end, Lauren was saved and it was Tom who got his marching orders, which is probably for the best, as everything he said sounded like a double entendre, which I found unnecessarily disturbing.

Peter Jones lacks both the straight-talking manner and killer lines delivered by Alan Sugar which contribute to The Apprentice being such an entertaining show, but this is still pretty watchable, especially as it seems to be livening up a bit now with some bitching creeping in between the contestants. I will say this though, I’m already absolutely sick of hearing the word ‘tycoon’ and it’s only the second episode. Last week the word was uttered so frequently that it completely wore out it’s own sense of meaning.

Tycoon

June 20, 2007

Cash-bastard 

From the off, Tycoon unashamedly dresses itself up in The Apprentice’s still-warm clothing and embarks on an intro of sweeping cityscape shots, accompanied by exactly the kind of music you’d expect a show like this to have; a kind of power-percussion number with strings, culminating in a contrived attempt to present the show with some poise and sophistication early on. Then we see that gangly cash-bastard Peter Jones’s bonce getting out of a car and we are immediately reminded of Dragon’s Den, and then the picture is complete. It’s Dragon’s Den meets The Apprentice. On ITV. And it does seem slightly odd that this has ended up on ITV as it is so clearly a mish-mash of successful Beeb output.

ITV obviously want some of the action, but unfortunately, the action has already passed through the Beeb’s system, and all ITV can do is kneel down and drink the pissy wastes of the BBC’s success. Anyway, Peter Jones, who is either an expressionless cyborg or a friendly terminator, has selected six wannabe’s to pander before him to vie for the title of ‘the tycoon’.

Each candidate has been handed £10,000 by the lanky streak o’ piss himself, and they must dazzle him with their array of entrepreneurial skills in attempting to pitch a business plan and subsequently launch a product plucked from each of their own personal greed-fuelled daydreams.

When Jonesy is sufficiently aroused, he will then choose one of the grovelling muppets to donate yet more money to.

The contenders are as follows: A pair of green fingered ladies who have some kind of gardening ploy up their sleeves, only I can’t quite remember what exactly (I wish I’d paid more attention), some posh tart who dreams of mixing fruit and vodka together to make piss weak alco-pop-cum-smoothy drinks, and a real wet weekend of a man who used to be a bodyguard for the Sultan of Brunei no less, and a creation he calls the ‘Eco-bag’. Not sure of it’s exact function though (I wish I’d paid more attention and drunk less wine).

Also in the running are: A woman desperate to see her extra super-special hair extensions (apparently they’re better somehow) hit the shelves, a ridiculous camp little fellow who wants to launch his own free student newspaper and some dullard and his harebrained remote-controlled indoor helicopter concept – the helicopter will be crash proof so he claims and ideal for living rooms etc, although I can’t believe that it never occurred to anyone that everything else in the room would have to be fucking crash proof as well. Bizarre.

So, here is my interpretation of what happened next – The two gardeners wanted to call their business ‘Garden Girlies’. Peter said no. They changed their name to ‘Sod’, and surprisingly, Peter loved it, though personally, I prefer ‘Buggery’, or maybe even ‘Rape’ (that was not a confession). Posh tart ended up inventing a drink that already exists and floundered like a legless ape in trying to come up with a name for it. Her original idea was ‘Vopples’, an ingenius play on the words vodka and apples. That was rejected though as Jonesy pointed out that it wouldn’t work with the other flavours she planned on making. She then came up with a plethera of equally awful suggestions such as ‘Frusion’ before settling on ‘Fruka’, which was also rejected when Jonesy pointed out that saying “Do you want a Fruka?” sounds like “Do you want to fuck her?”. Fair point.

The camp paper boy failed to acknowledge that there was any competition for his impending student rag despite the fact that the pie-fingered Piers Morgan had already released a similar product, entitled ‘First News’ (I think). Paper boy later completely ballsed up during his pitch by presenting Jonesy with a mock-up of his newspaper, essentially a single sheet of A3 paper with the ‘news’ printed on each side. Jonesy was not amused and despatched a rather amusing bollocking the way of the boy.

After trying to sell their products, ‘Sod’ came out on top making just over a thousand pounds in profit, while Eco-bag man made £35. As far as I could tell no-one else made a bean. And for some strange reason, old lankypants decided to give the extra money (£20,000) to indoor helicopter boy, so he could swan off abroad to drum up some interest or some such nonsense. To be honest, by this time I had drunk far too much wine and was – am – a bit worse for wear.

Right at the end, Peter met the posh mother Fruka at the end of a pier and told her that he felt a bit like closing her business down. He should have just pushed her in the water though because she began to weep and beg and claimed to posses the ability to move mountains, at which point Peter got scared and walked away.

He really is a funny one, Peter Jones. There’s something other-worldly about the man. I could easily be convinced that he is just a puppet at the mercy of miniature creatures who control him by pulling levers in his brain. When he’s not being driven about in the back of a car wearing various pastel shades, he’s doing other amusing things like explaining how he lost a fortune in his 20’s, consequently having to “sleep on a floor”.

Still, can’t wait ’til next week when Paul McKenna tries to motivate the desperate fools with optimistic words and thoughts.

Britain’s Got Talent

June 13, 2007

Talent? 

The last piece I wrote was about that brainless talent competition, Let Me Entertain You. Bearing in mind that it’s now a year old, it occurred to me whilst watching ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent that the basic concept of the aformentioned show has been ‘alf inched by the latter and completely ponced up, with typical X-factor style feelgood editing between acts and a complete over-emphasis on the making and breaking of idiots’ dreams. Obviously there are bound to be certain similarities beteween them as they are both variety shows but the core element of Let Me Entertain You – the idea that audience members are able to get rid of acts they don’t like by pressing a button has been commandeered by Britain’s Got Talent – only this time the button-pressing responsibility lies with the three judges – Piers Morgan, Amanda Holden and Simon Cowell. In case the prospect of watching these three bollock-heads might not be off-putting enough, the whole bloody shambolic affair is hosted by everyone’s favourite pair of unctuous arse-munchers; Ant and Dec.

I’m going to overlook Ant and Dec on this occasion though, because they just do their usual thing and are once again just, well, Ant and Dec really. Love ’em or hate ’em.

As for Morgan and Holden, I can’t really work out what they are doing there. I suppose Holden’s role is simply to look pretty and be the ‘nice’ one. Quite what makes her an authority on what qualifies as talent though, I don’t know. In this respect the same can be said for Piers Morgan, but his presence on this show is slightly harder to suss. So far his only outstanding feature seems to be the ability to make small children cry and to be a kind of buttock-headed stepping stone in the middle ground between Amanda Holden’s wet approach and Cowell’s tiresome ‘Mr Nasty’ routine.

The other similarity between this tack-fest and Let Me Entertain You is that some of the same acts featured on the latter have also appeared on the aforementioned. Among these are the two sickening Sound Of Music girls mentioned in my last piece, and a bloke who jumps through hoops festooned with blades. Now call me morbid, but all I want to see when a person jumps through such a hoop of doom is for said hoop-jumper to be either severely injured or just plain minced.

As you’d expect, there is the usual parade of freakery on display here, with performers and their precious performances ranging from fucking disgraceful, to bloody awful, to just plain shit, or painfully bland, with a handful of acts each episode who are geniunely pretty talented. Britain’s Got Talent is for various reasons (which I have figured out but can’t be arsed to go into) a lot more relaxed than the X-factor and is consequently allowing crap acts to slip through the heats for sentimentality’s sake. To be honest though, this whole thing just feels like I’m watching the Cowell enjoy a working holiday.

So far I have seen some dick-wipe getting a standing ovation for his thoughtful and sophisticated performance of making a hand puppet in the form of a monkey gyrate to the child-seducing rhythms of Michael Jackson’s music, a knife throwing act almost ending in bloodshed after the trembling blade man unintentionally almost perforated his reckless lady-assistant with a series of poorly aimed shots, a pig that couldn’t play the piano and a boy whose only talent was to cup his ears with his hands and manipulate the suction between them to create a kind of muffled squelching sound.

So while there are plenty of morons on display here, the ritual humiliation that is a prerequisite for all Cowell productions just doesn’t cross over as effectively in this show. There is nothing, it seems, quite like seeing misguided cretins with no self-awareness publically destroy themselves while butchering a song.

In this respect it is not as amusing as the early rounds of the X-factor, but I have a feeling that the later rounds of BGT will not be quite so infuriating and intolerable either, meaning that instead of turning off when it starts getting serious (as most civilized folk do with the X-factor), the majority of viewers watching now will probably stick it out til the bitter end. (Myself not included, mind).

The winner of this orgy of tools gets ten grand and a slot at The Royal Variety Performance to mince about for Her Majesty’s pleasure, though if she’s been watching this bog-fodder, I imagine the Queen is already trying to think of ways to get out of having to attend. Personally, I’m not prepared to rule out her suicide at this point.

Let Me Entertain You

June 12, 2007

 Conley and the gang

If you need further proof, aside from Big Brother that is, that moronic dimwits are ten to the penny, then just sit down at half past six on a weekday and watch Let Me Entertain You. In fact, don’t. I’ve suffered so you don’t have to. If you’re not familiar with this shocking volcano of horseshit, then allow me to enlighten you – it’s basically a variety show hosted by Brian ‘arse-juice’ Conley, who freakishly doesn’t seem to have aged at all in the last 15 years. Conley kicks off each sorry episode by singing a song, usually one already completely overplayed such as ‘I’ve got you under my skin’ or some other such shit. Each act featured must keep the live studio audience entertained for three minutes. If they manage to do so, they win £1,000 and make it through to the final heats, covered in later episodes.

The catch is that each audience member has a button (Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? style) which they press when they’ve had enough. When 50% of the audience are sufficiently bored, the act is cut short and must leave the stage. The trouble is that audience members are suckers for talentless and thoroughly sickening little brats. When I say sickening, is a medley of songs from The Sound Of Music performed by two young sisters – in nun’s clothing, no less – sickening enough for you?

The guiltiest of this particular parade of idiots though are not so much those who appear onstage (at least they’re trying, bless ’em), but the ones who make up the majority of the audience, as whenever a half decent act takes the stage (on one occasion a group of breakdancers, for example) half the twats have pressed their buttons about 30 seconds or so through the performance, meaning that often the act are off the stage after a minute as the audience silently take the piss.

Other than small children, the only others who seem to flourish in such a harsh environment are karaoke-type parrots who mindlessly mimick their way through hideous ‘chart busters’.

Like all variety shows, tackiness is key and although this, the second series, clearly has a more substantial production budget than the first, it still feels inexcusably cheap. What’s worse, however is that this show emphasises the very worst aspects of the two sides of the coin. On the one hand is the quality of entertainment available and more importantly what people qualify as being entertainment in the first place. Jugglers, can-can dancers, dated magic acts and Christina Aguilera wannabes make up the bulk of the show’s content; forms of entertainment which are either well past their prime or just plain horrific. Secondly, the format of the show. Regardless of how good the acts will be, the very concept of the show only serves to highlight the tragic point we appear to have reached in our desperation to be adequately amused for three minutes.

It is now a celebrated fact that the general British public is an extremely fickle lot, whose attention span is so pathetically short that it is in danger of sliding out of existence altogether.

I suppose the success (if that’s what it is) of this show, lies within the concept of giving the public their very own chance to be a Simon Cowell for half an hour by crudely putting an abrupt end to those performances deemed crap. Like Cowell though, the studio audience have no idea what constitutes real talent and in the end, it simply comes down to personal preference. Add this aspect to the fact that the age of the average audience member is between 40 – 60, and it’s no wonder the less offensive and more middle-of-the-road acts are the ones emerging most successful. Let Me Entertain You truly is fodder for Britain’s X-Factor generation. A phenomena which seems to have practically taken over not just most of Britain’s youth culture, but seemingly three quarters of Britain in general – regardless of age. In fact the word culture is a misnomer in this sense, as that is seemingly exactly what is lacking.