Posts Tagged ‘Entertainment’

My Life As An Animal: Pigs

April 20, 2009

My Life As An Animal BBC Three

My Life As An Animal is a show in which two seemingly intelligent people, untainted by mental illness, agree with BBC Three Producers that they will live with pigs for a week. They do this either because they’re so desperate to be on television that they’ll happily smear themselves in wet, gluggy manure to get there or (less likely) they’ve been badly advised on what the content of the show will be.

The format can be broken down like this:

  • Two Members of the Public meet Terry Nutkins
  • He tells them what pigs do.
  • They watch pigs snuffling about all day and doing very little.
  • MotPs are thrown into the pig pen where they live for a week.
  • They make friends or enemies with pigs, snuffle a lot and eat pig-feed.
  • They watch pigs get killed in the now-compulsory abattoir shot.
  • The end.

So – a sublime journey. How deeply will the human psyche be probed? What valuable information will we gleaned as we make adults scamper about on all fours, sleeping in straw and making grunting noises?

The contestants, Richard and Lyndsey, began by being ordered into clothes from a wheelbarrow that had been smeared with pig urine and poo. ‘It smells!’ they cry, stating the profoundly obvious. And they continue to state the obvious throughout the show.

– ‘This is literally a pigsty’
– ‘They smell’
– ‘They keep banging into me’
– ‘Urgh, it smells round here’
– ‘Oooh, it really stinks’

Richard – the first contestant – appeared to enjoy the process. He learned that ear-sucking on a waxy lughole is the very tenderest of intimate expressions among piggies, and he set to work nibbling ears like a pro. Soon enough he was kipping among them like he was one of their own, having grown worryingly close within a matter of hours.

Lyndsey, a Radio Five Live DJ, had a harder time living as a pig for a week. There were tears and tantrums during the early part of her stay when she realisd she’d be sleeping among them. She wanted her own sty, she complained – not realising that would obliterate the whole point of this stupid outing. Later, when a piggy nipped her on the lower leg she roared like a baby and demanded she get to go home. But then, persuaded by the crew, she got back into it and spent the rest of the day running around haystacks. The soppy cow.

Aside from that, ‘having totally immersed themselves in their pig-lives’, they watched pigs do sex and then snuff it in a slaughterhouse. They swapped places so that Lyndsey could see she’d actually got the better end of the deal as she sampled the non-organic pen. But still it was impossible to work out what we’re meant to have learned. Something about farming techniques? Something about human nature?

Whatever it was, it completely escaped me. The suspicion is this is another outing in which the title and concept are all, and that the actual content of the show doesn’t actually matter.

Did it not occur to anyone that the idea is completely and morbidly pointless? ‘It’s a new low!’ they seem to be shouting over in BBC Three-land. ‘Let’s celebrate it! Here – smear yourself in some shit!’

Watching the show, when the contestants complained – particularly Lyndsey who took to punching her stymates on the snout – you wanted to grab them by their lapels and dash their heads against the nearest trough, screaming at them that, as they’ve decided to live like pigs, they should stop complaining (in human) about how much they hate it. And what’s more, if they were going to do this bullshit experiment properly, they should be stark bollock naked. And the only human contact should come from the farmer. And if it was unwelcome contact they wouldn’t be able to complain beyond a terrifying, shrill squeal.

But then you realise that hidden camera footage of an obese farmer boning a mute, naked media type in a cold field wouldn’t make great television – but then, neither does this shit.

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The Apprentice Lookalike Fun – Week 4

April 17, 2009

the apprentice 2009 paula

This week’s loser, ‘fashion conscious’ Paula Jones – ‘an academic with a love for interior design’ – is the absolute doppelganger of ‘fiery British actress’ Alex Kingston – ’ Elizabeth Corday on NBC medical drama ER.’

And for those of you who don’t agree with me (everyone), I’ve done a mock-up of what Paula Jones might look like playing three of Alex Kingston’s major roles.

paula the apprentice 2009

(From left to right:  sexy Nurse Elizabeth Corday, sexy wench Moll Flanders and sexy warrioress Boudicca.)

I guess you could say we’ve seen both the ‘Fortunes and Misfortunes’ of young Paula over the weeks.

NewsGush: Bookies on Boyle

April 17, 2009

Now, I don’t watch ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent because it’s a pile of shit. It’s also got a judging panel made up of three arseholes and is fronted by Ant & Dec. Frankly, if I tried to watch that rot, my telly wouldn’t survive the thrashing I’d inevitably mete out to it from a mixture of frustration, despair, ruinous fury and good, old-fashioned common sense.

But some people do watch it, and the majority of them are going mental about Susan Boyle in the clip above. She’s turning into an ‘internet sensation’ with her Youtube clip being watched at a frightening rate. Bookies have shortened her odds on winning the thing, and Guardian journalists are getting in a tizzy about her initially being judged on her appearance.

So – apparently people who look like normal folk can sing!

Who’d have thought?

What a patronising and worryingly profitable shit-bonanza Cowell’s running.

The Friday Question: Speak Up!

April 17, 2009

Image by BP Perry

Public speaking. Everyone’s got their own way of getting through it.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll bark very loudly at your audience until they walk out in disgust, unprepared to listen to any more ill-mannered gibberish delivered by a human foghorn with hideous teeth, a bald head and an appalling attitude to the opposite sex.

If, on the other hand, you’re anything like WWM’s very own virtual reality punchbag Dave, a heavily-photoshopped image of Princess Leia will no doubt pop into your head halfway through your speech, making you pull down your trousers and start jizzing at your horrified guests, thus causing them to run away screaming.

Like I say, we all have our own ways of dealing with these things.

But what about those times when shouting loudly or soaking your audience in Star Wars-induced jism just don’t cut the public-speaking mustard? What about those times when you’ve found y’self stumbling and fumbling and, ultimately, failing to deliver that vital speech?

Did you fuck it up at a bought-and-paid-for after dinner event? Or fall flat on your arse in front of your work colleagues? Or did you stand before the whole school and deliver a speech of such magnificent ineptitude that it earned you the derision of every man, woman and child from that day until you skulked, a broken and bitter creature, out of the school gates for the very last time?

You didn’t end up doing a shit on the stage, did you?

To celebrate BBC2’s new series The Speaker, we at WWM want to hear YOUR public speaking horror stories.

We want to know what you did, where you did it, and what happened as a result of your dribbling inability to talk out loud for a few minutes.

Are you prepared to put yourself to shame and prove you can’t deliver the goods as well as an egg-headed child on a TV speech-delivering show?

We bet you are.

Our first speaker of the day is …

The Apprentice: Who Will Win? Week 4

April 16, 2009
Hint: It's definitely not this one
Hint: It’s definitely not this one

To prevent the unthinkable scenario in which I have to keep rereading your comments to see which contestant you individually flip-flopped onto the preceding week, we’re going with last announced favourite. So let’s look at where we stand.

Phillip
Napoleon and fourstar are joined by Exelsior and Mel in their championing of make-up wearing, hair-straightening, brief-wearing metrosexual Phillip. They’ll no doubt be fretting somewhat over his aggressive manner and his way with a make up bag.

Noorul
Ugeine and Nick of the T are both backing the teacher and will have been dispirited by his bumbling silence in week 4 – in a management performance that was possibly too subtle for any of us to understand.

Debra
Lord Milky and myopiniononstuff (aka Dave) are still in the running with the Essex giantess with the enormous mouth. An anonymous week for Debra who escaped the finger by being edited out of the mix. ‘Debra’s a cow’ Clarry added, some time ago.

Kate
Sue De Nymh’s choice is still in the running – but wiley Sue has thrown me a curveball by cunningly voting twice for two different members of the cast. I have to allow it through as I didn’t notice when it happened. Will it matter come the final judgement? We’ll have to wait and see.

Yasmina
Your host Swines is still in the running despite a disastrous performance from Yasmina on the show and outside of it, where women seem to be rallying one another into explaining that Yasmina’s ‘not all that’. Which they have every right to do. ELM joins me in my championing of the headstrong betrayer.

Kimberly
Ruudboy joins the mix and follows Kimberly, the roughest, toughest and creamiest puffin to ever cross the Atlantic. Will she ever live that quote down?

Ben
Probably already regretting his pick, Scantregard opted for Ben – and who can argue with his choice of the quarrelsome little shit? Not me, I don’t get involved in these things.

Out!

Paula
So – it turns out Sue De Nymh‘s tricky double-hander proved pointless, as her second choice went last night! Bad luck, Sue!
Cheats never prosper.

Maj
Last week beardy Maj went, leaving Vones and Badger Madge out in the cold. Come back in you crazy guys, and take another pick!

Not yet picked

This leaves us with:

  • Howard
  • James
  • Mona

unpicked and languishing without any backing.

Newcomers, feel free to back one. The rest of you are going to have to stick to your guns until your choice gets fired. And I’ll be able to work out if you’re trying to confuse me as I’ve now got a list of who’s picked who, including Who, following Sue‘s dirty tricks. That’s right – A LIST.

Stop being so bloody juvenile!

Very clever, Breeks. Disallowed Sugar, Nick or Margaret because they’re stupid choices she’s now backing The BBC. Piqued also chipped in with his backing for Alan Sugar – another brilliant master of satire.

More confusingly, Ugeine is opting for Scrappy Doo to win The Apprentice.

Too many cartoons can ruin a nubile mind.

Just A Thought: EastEnders Update

April 15, 2009

So Phil’s fallen out with his mother and Danielle’s deaded up and Stacey’s been talking to a hole – and that’s supposed to be a cemetery in Telford, is it? Funny, because it looks suspiciously like the cemetery they buried wee-faced Jamie (Sonia’s squeeze) in back in the day.

And how are we to know that Danielle’s dad’s house in Telford is in Telford? For all we know it could be a shitty ‘60s semi in a London suburb. We’re not to know it’s actually Telford as there’s no sign saying ‘WELCOME TO TELFORD, THIS IS ACTUALLY TELFORD’.

And Phil’s overslept and missed Shirley the corpse’s cold meat buffet where Josie Laurence has got on fat Heather’s nerves by being with Minty, and isn’t Dawn looking lovely? What’s she doing with Garry?

And I don’t trust that 1940s granddaughter of Dot’s because she’s up to something, the shifty little bitch. I know Ricky’s boy Liam’s a bit thick but, as Pat says, he’s no liar and Dottie’s turning out to be a chip off the old block. A chip off Nick – and where’s he gone, eh?

And Archie’s evil schemes worked out well, didn’t they? What with buggering up Ronnie’s life – and hasn’t she got a lovely bone-structure? I would as long as the wife didn’t find out, like. He did well there, losing his wife and getting bundled into a van and I missed Friday’s and Monday’s episodes so I don’t know if he’s dead or not. Is he dead? Archie, I mean. If he is dead, what the hell was all that about? Talk about hidden agenda.

Meanwhile Janine’s feeling the strain after running over Danielle, don’t know why she’s so cut up, she didn’t bat an eyelid when she murdered Barry. And how come Pat still speaks to her because she knows Janine murdered Barry and you’d have thunk she’d never speak to the woman again, wouldn’t you? I mean, if my son-in-law had been killed up in Scotland by my step-daughter I wouldn’t give her the time of day never mind inviting her on a holiday to Paris that all went tits-up when it turned out she’d been stealing off of Peggy to fit up Jay.

Mind you, the way people treat each other on the square’s weird what with banning somebody from the pub / the shop / the curry house / the beauty parlour one minute and letting ‘em back in the next and … WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING STILL WATCHING THIS SHOW?

The Speaker

April 15, 2009

The Speaker BBC Jo Brand

We’re regularly told that the nation’s number one fear is the act of public speaking. People would rather die than make a speech before an audience – which seems a bit severe. It also beats spiders, confined spaces and heights in the phobia stakes, hands down. This is strange when you consider that speaking in public is something we’re biologically programmed to do. It’s like being frightened of walking down a lane, or becoming terrified when faced with the prospect of going for a poo.

Having said that, if you’d have seen the mess I made in the little boy’s room last night, you’d find yourself utterly terrified of visiting the bog.

Ultimately, there’s no denying it’s a nightmarish experience. All of my adult attempts at public speaking have, without exception, been disastrous. Clammy hands, stuttering delivery and mind-blanks combined and resulted in speeches that seemed, from inside my head at least, to be completely incoherent word-babbles serving no discernible purpose.

As a child it was easier, or seemed to be, thanks to a heady mixture of youthful enthusiasm and childish arrogance. The fact that we were called upon to make speeches semi-regularly at my rural, all-boys grammar school must have helped, and you can’t help but feel that the primary reason most people suffer anxiety when asked to orate is a lack of practice. When called upon to address the public, most people will run a mile. So credit to the teenagers, all state-school kids, who signed up to The Speaker on the BBC – an attempt to find the best public speaker under the age of 16.

So far we’ve experienced the auditions round, in which entrant after entrant clammed up, fluffed lines or hit a mental blank. Those that were deemed good enough by a giant, a kindly aunt and a Quentin Blake illustration made it through to last night’s round, in which Deborah Meaden – that glorious spinster from the Den – wore an extremely-expensive looking hat. In addition to her millinery display, she had the youngsters stand on a soapbox at Hyde Park’s Speaker’s Corner, riffing on an object they’d pulled from a dustbin tombola she’d set up on the side of the makeshift stage. This resulted in an impassioned speech from Jordan, who aped his own piece from the preceding round and told the gathered crowd that embracing binoculars is the only way forward. Not only for a better tomorrow, but also for a better society (as a whole).

It was incredibly moving.

In case you’re thinking of catching up by watching tonight’s episode, having lost a couple more kids later on, we’re now left with the following youngsters:

Jordan
Appears to only have one speech to refer to in which he’ll make an impassioned plea for sanity so that we can move forward – collectively – not only for a better tomorrow, but also for a better society (as a whole).

Fahmida
Constantly looking slightly out of her depth, Fahmida is unintentionally amusing. Basing her findings on her extensive world-experience, she hates the notion of love, laughs in the face of romance and stomps on the very concept of companionship.

Duncan
Shouty Duncan’s foolproof method of engagement is to shout at the audience. His shouting technique is second-to-none and, were this a public shouting contest, it’d be game over for the other contestants. Duncan’s mother appears to indulge his shouty ways, so expect more shouting from shouty Duncan in the future.

Haroon
Graffiti-loving Haroon comes across as an educated Ali G and displays the kind of confidence when speaking to a crowd that can only come from some unfair evolutionary advantage. Either that or his brain’s been programmed for success by some mysterious, shadowy BBC agent.

Irene
Irene strikes me as the sort of girl who’s either grown up around adults who treated her as equals, or the type who stays in her bedroom all weekend watching sitcoms. Her attitude comes straight out of Smack The Pony or Green Wing, and for that she should be applauded.

Maria
Like Haroon, Maria totally lacks the negative self-awareness that should make public speaking an alarming prospect, making it possible for her to sail through each round with nary a glimmer of fear. Whatever it is that she and Haroon have pumping through their bloodstream that makes this possible should be bottled and sold.

Thomas
Old beyond his years, Thomas comes across as having the maturity and wisdom of a 40 year old man, stuck within the body of a 16 year old. When I was his age I was flailing around and shouting at policeman, pissed on cider, so it’s hard not to look at the lad without feeling a deep sense of shame.

Kay Kay
My pick to win it. When he takes the stage, Kay Kay is mesmerising. Like a black Boris Johnson, the self-professed mummy’s boy wins the crowd over with messy charm. He radiates the Churchillian ability to encapsulate Britishness, and I reckon he’ll win the thing. If he doesn’t, he should’ve.

This is a good watch.

If they offered a bigger prize than just the title – perhaps a meeting with The Queen or something similar to stick on their CV – and meddled with the format a little bit then The Speaker could quite easily become as well-regarded as that BBC behemoth, The Apprentice.

If only they’d lose the Snow Patrol from the soundtrack and stopped trying to play to the X Factor morons, they might mould a hit show from this concept.

The Apprentice Lookalike Fun – Week 3

April 10, 2009

Majid The Apprentice 2009 BBC

As if we ever doubted it, ‘reformed rebel and car hire firm owner’ Majid Nagra is the spitting image of ‘Street Fighter video game character and Russian wrestler’ Zangeif.

I guess you could say Wednesday night was a real ‘K.O.’ for the bearded one.