Posts Tagged ‘ITV2’

Celebrity Juice

March 31, 2009

celebrity juice keith lemon fearne cotton holly willoughby ITV2

ITV’s not exactly ruled the panel show show format over the years and the odds are they’re not about to start with ITV2’s Celebrity Juice, hosted by Keith Lemon.

Keith Lemon is, of course, the man who used to don a neck-brace and play the giddy goat on the disconcertingly popular Bo Selecta, with its cavalcade of non-impersonations and irritating catchphrases. Since being dropped by Channel 4,  Leigh Francis (for it is he) has taken on the persona of Keith – a ginger moustache, casual dress and bleached hair combining with a pronounced Yorkshire accent to manifest this new character. And it’s a character based on nought.

It’s not a hilarious stereotype, it’s not a grotesque amplification of a known type and it’s not something so new and surreal that it makes you question the very fabric of comedy – it’s simply a man from Leeds, in a costume, dicking about. If some people find that funny, then good luck to them, but after five minutes of Celebrity Juice surely the joke wears thin even for those defective enough to have found it funny in the first place?

He says things like ‘bang tidy’ and makes jokes about tits and arses and cocks, but the only people laughing at the right points are the panel. The studio audience simply applaud for the full 25 minutes. Their applause doesn’t let up at any point throughout the show. Occasionally it may be overshadowed by ominous whooping at an ear-splitting volume, out of whack with the speech onstage, but the applause just goes on and on and pitilessly on so that your mind’s not allowed to rest. It’s a barrage of cretinous hand-clapping that upsets, unsettles and unnerves, and it lasts right up until the bitter end.

The regular team leaders are Holly Willoughby and Fearne Cotton. Holly and Fearne, the unthinking man’s crumpet. Holly & Fearne, pedestrian totty for the asinine bumbrains of this great nation. Holly and Fearne, corroding your eyeballs as they laugh at Keith Lemon’s jokes, playing along with his gags because they’ve been misinformed by their terrible agents that it might boost their profile – making it seem that they can laugh at themselves. They think they’re playing Ulrika to Lemon’s Vic Reeves – but haven’t registered that the chemistry is non-existent and that none of the players have any of the wit, likeability or humour of any of the Shooting Stars crew.

Speaking of Shooting Stars, Celebrity Juice is, at the core of it, a blatant attempt to thieve that format and hot-foot it over the channel-divide. But everything’s wrong. Where Shooting Stars would have, say, a musician, a page 3 girl, a 70s celebrity and a Radio 1 DJ, Celebrity Juice puts Rufus Hound on one team and Dick ‘n’ Dom on the other. And one of the Loose Women. Thomas Turgoose was also there in the episode I watched, but he’s exempt from criticism because he’s only nine years old.

With Fearne and Holly to head up the ranks, neither of whom have ever been paid for being funny, where the hell is the good stuff meant to come from? Shooting Stars had charismatic Ulrika, comedian Vegas, comedian Lamarr and intellectual Self to throw around the banter with the likes of John Peel and Jarvis Cocker, but this kind of talent is completely absent from Juice – Shooting Star’s runty, limping sibling.

Where are the bon mots? Wither the witticisms? When am I supposed to laugh?

The jokes aren’t erupting out of Hound’s mouth. Dick ‘n’ Dom look lost. The Loose Woman just shrieks and poor old Turgoose looks like he’s walked into the wrong studio. As a whole, the thing’s a gag-free stream of shouting, split-second clips and badly conceptualised stunts.

At the end, as a way of signing off, the losing team gets ‘gunged’ by the winning team, in a worrying flashback to the grim old days of Noel’s House Party. And when I got to that point, I have to admit I stifled a laugh at something onscreen.

A small, sinister snicker creeped out of the side of my gob and lingered as I rewound to watch the moment again and again. Lurching forward, Lemon slipped on some slime and fell on his arse, all the way over his tit. But it wasn’t the slapstick of the moment or the intentioned comedy of a clown that had me ho-ho-ho-ing. I was chuckling under my breath at the fact that his coxix-jarring somersault actually looked really, really fucking painful. Just desserts for the agonising infliction that wasted the preceding twenty-five minutes I’d say.

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Ghosthunting with … Paul O’Grady and Friends

September 11, 2008

Well, I’ve already watched Ghosthunting with …the Dingles, McFly, Girls Aloud and the cast of I’m A Celebrity. So what the hell, I thought. I may as well complete the set.

All the famous people in Liverpool know each other apparantly. So Paul O’Grady’s ‘friends’ consisted of Natasha Hamilton from Atomic Mutton and on-screen Brookside couple Philip Olivier (Tinhead from Brookside) and Jennifer Ellison (Tinhead’s girlfriend Emily from Brookside, small, blonde, gets her tits out for lads’ mags).

This time they set off for Palermo on the Italian island of Sicily to find the ghosts. And – as usual – the amateur ghosthunters were accompanied by presenter/exec producer Yvette Fielding in her Scooby-Doo taxi.

Yvette Fielding is one of those hard-faced northern women who, in past decades, would have been photographed in black and white, her beefy forearms wrapped around a mangle and surrounded by jam-faced children in wellingtons. These days she has her own production company, faking hauntings for gullible idiots like me. I guess that’s progress of sorts.

Sitting in the back of the taxi watching everything on the TV monitors and commenting on proceedings was body-language expert and Mr Potato-head look-alike Dr Geoffrey Beattie. Like Cybil Fawlty, Geoffrey’s specialised subject is stating the bleedin’ obvious.

So Geoff helpfully informed us, ‘We can expect a lot of fear responses, people vocalising their fears and indicating as much with their body language and so on.’ How else might they indicate their fear Geoffrey? Through the medium of contemporary dance, perhaps? I obviously missed that scene in The Exorcist where Father Karras leaps around Regan’s bedroom in some hotpants with the arse cut out, to the accompaniment of white-noise and bongo drums.

As usual, they visited various ‘haunted’ sites around Palermo and Yvette primed them by whispering a spooky ghost story and then tossing them into the pitch black corridors with just their little handicams and their own screams for company.

Pram-face Natasha turned out to be fairly level-headed. It was Ellison who was the pain in the arse. Left alone in the dark of a 14th century oubliette (a hole they chucked people into) she was fine. But as soon as she had an audience she was shrieking like a scouse banshee. Never have we been more in need of Harry Enfield’s scouse gits to turn up and tell her to ‘caaalm down’.

I guess that’s why I enjoy these shows though. Some damsels in distress. Some young alpha-males trying to walk with a modicum of dignity across a haunted ballroom, without shrieking like a girl and shitting themselves – my own favoured option in similar circumstances, and Yvette bullying everyone in the name of psychic research and bigger ratings.

‘I’m just going to leave you here in this dark room with that ghost I told you about. On your own. For a week. With three mental patients, some victorian dollies and this bucket of LSD. See how you go. Alright?’

The climax of the show was in the Capuchin catacombs in Palermo where, as is tradition, people were mummified and left standing in the open. So we were treated to the gruesome spectacle of hundreds of bodies lining the walls in various states of decay.

At this point it struck me for the first time that these were real people and the fun of the whole thing started to wear off. To their credit, O’Grady and friends obviously felt the same way and they showed a lot of genuine compassion for the corpses – particularly a little three-year-old girl who had been entombed in a glass coffin and was almost perfectly preserved. It was truly grotesque and the only real horror was how anyone could film this as cheap entertainment and expect us to go along with it.

Yvette’s evil plan to freak the shit out of them had obviously backfired. She tried to get a seance going and talk the whole thing up. But O’Grady wasn’t playing. Even wee Jennifer wasn’t playing. None of them were playing. Quite fucking right. Good on the Scousers.

I’m a sucker for all this ghost stuff. And so long as you take it as pure entertainment rather than anything remotely scientific, and so long as they have engaging guests, it’s an enjoyable show. Just don’t show us the bodies Yvette. That’s not scary. It’s just sick. Come back when you’ve learned to tell the difference.

WWM DVD EXTRA:
This show is a spin-off from the popular Most Haunted franchise which is worth it alone, just for bringing us this priceless clip of famously exposed fraud psychic Derek Acorah.

Whisper it softly to yourself three times before you go to bed tonight, ‘Mary loves Dick …’

Britain’s Got Talent Live Final

June 3, 2008

Well, it’s over… after months of drawn out untalented humiliation this beefed up Opportunity Knocks has finally ended it’s 2008 run – just in time for the football and Big Brother to start. The auditions were, as usual, the only truly entertaining section as hoardes of delusional regionalists proudly offered themselves up to be mocked, booed and buzzed by a baying crowd of cackling misanthropes.

The semi-finals was an easy weeding of those who were only put through to be hate figures (a tone-deaf singing magic act, a senile keyboardist who covered Star Wars to make it more spacey) and those who showed a genuine talent. After months of audition they rushed these semi-finals through in a week, clearly aware that audience figures drop like flies once the tedious process of adulation and voting begins.

Piers Morgan, Amanda Holden and the ubiquitous Simon Cowell were our judges. Much has already been said about their questionable right to judge talent – particularly in Amanda’s case – so we shall skip right ahead to Saturday which was the final. These were the finalists:

The Cheeky Monkeys: The kind of kids potential parents fear having. These are all grinning, all dancing spangly visions of hell rolled into one cutesie dance act. High kicking and backflipping to the Grease soundtrack, they summed up all that is grotesque and perverse about parents forcing their kids into entertaining people. In 20 years time they’ll be like Quiz Kid Donnie Smith, cruising bars to find cheap smack.

Andrew Muir: the requisite cute boy singer gurned like Ruprecht from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels whilst murdering John Lennon’s Imagine, although a shorter version because, y’know, those songs about peace really are too long. Amanda thought it was great “like David Gray” whilst Simon and Piers chastised him for his choice of song. “It wasn’t my choice”, protested Andrew “I had no say in my choice of song” but his complaints were quickly hushed up.

Kate and Gin: a dog dancing act featuring a shut-in social pariah and her overly trained dog. It’s acts like this that make you truly weep inside – admirable only in the way that it must have taken her hours to do, the act however was neither entertaining nor satisfying. Just a little sad.

Nemesis: a street dance group that started impressively and steadily slid downhill the more routines they did. Much was made of them not having a rehearsal studio and using the Milton Keynes bus station instead. While they were admittedly impressive, they’re still basically an act that looked like it rehearsed in a bus station. Piers Morgan praised them for being outstanding examples of modern youth as the media was portraying them unfairly these days – a statement so hypocritical that it could only come from the former editor of a tabloid.

Strike: a martial arts act of which Amanda said “turned martial arts into entertainment”. Huh? What the fuck do the Shaolin Monks and Jackie Chan do then? They were impressive due to the fact that I can’t do high kicks, but it was like watching extras in a Jason Statham movie get it wrong. Amanda loved their ripped abs, though, and much was made of their ability to take their shirts off to sound effects.

Andrew Johnston: the sort of act that it seems unfair to include in these competitions because he’s so naturally talented. No matter how much work the other contestants put into their acts, few will be able to match the natural ability of this falsetto 12 year old. Unfortunately, his remarkable talent wasn’t enough for the producers and we were subjected to such overemoting about him being bullied at school for his voice that by the end you wanted to swipe the little fucker’s pocket money yourself.

George Sampson: another child entry, this time a teenage breakdancer who’d failed to make the grade last year but scraped through this time around. His routine was an admittedly very impressive sequence of fluid motion that only went wrong at the end when a poorly thought through section under a shower of water made it look like he was in remake of Flashdance.

Faryl Smith: a 12 year old singer who, much like Andrew Johnston, kind of made a mockery of the whole competition by being so preposterously naturally talented that everyone else paled in comparison. Simon was so besotted with her that you could actually see the pound signs flashing up in his eyes.

Escala: a quartet of high-class Nuts Magazine hotties who play string instruments in a really high-class hot way. They were the favourites to win on account of their incredible hotness and the fact that they were really good at what they do. Simon went a tad too far, claiming that they “turned classical music on its head” while simultaneously forgetting that Live and Let Die isn’t actually a classical track and that Vanessa Mae had ever existed.

Signature: an Indian Jay and Silent Bob whose Michael Jackson-themed dance routines were actually very charming and quite funny…

And the winner is… Simon Cowell!

Let’s face it – who really cares who gets to perform in front of Prince Charles when Cowell’s income for the next few years is at stake? Luckily he’ll be ok with Faryl Smith and Escala as his bread and butter, so watch out for albums from them in time for Christmas.

The real winner was George Sampson, the teenage breakdancer – and his victory was sweet and appreciated – the 14 year old being genuinely overwhelmed and very flattered with the honour. None of the bookies’ favourites made it into the top three, which makes you wonder if, with ITV’s reputation, they didn’t just decide it themselves.

Sampson’s career won’t last long because Cowell can’t push his single in 24 countries simultaneously, but he was a sweet kid and as deserving a winner as any of them I suppose.

And so the Cowell juggernaut thunders on – next week America’s Got Talent starts on ITV2 and the endless pursuit for fleeting fame continues…

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.

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.

American Idol

March 30, 2007

After watching a single episode of American Idol on T4 I have discovered a previously unrealised sympathy for Islamic Fundamentalists and those merchants of doom who wish to see the fall of Western society. Seriously, I get it now. If tried to live a life of devotion to God and abide by the laws of a higher power then the gurning, squirming, trivial, capitalistic, moronic fucktards that populate this bastion of distraction culture would be my first target. Forget financial institutions and government buildings as these no longer carry any sway, instead wander into a blindingly lit TV studio that contains the apex of the countries karaoke singers and you could guarantee the further wrath of the illiterate 30million people who vote weekly in this sham of a competition.

Of course this isn’t American Idol like the Americans get to see it – with voting and all the excitement of a live broadcast – no, this is the UK highlight version, chopped of all interactivity and completed by the flickering lo-res quality of an untreated NTSC signal. In place of the legally obliged advert break every two minutes, we get the budget constraints of Cat Deeley doing filler links. Poor Cat Deeley – when we was told she’d be doing the US version of Pop Idol she must have been so excited, only to discover that she was being hidden away in a tiny studio with only a camera and a weight loss issue to keep her company.

“The main studio is just behind me” she gushes enthusiastically “you could not be any closer to the action if you tried.” Well actually Cat, you could. You could be in the main studio and involved in the actual production instead of trying to pretend that they even know you’re here as you try to create the illusion that anything you’re doing is in any way live. You could be co-hosting with US megastar Ryan Seacrest – destined to be the face of Just For Men the moment he hits 40 – instead of being a contractual obligation that Simon Cowell tacked on to ensure his resale rights were protected.

Like Tony Blair before her, Cat Deeley has hit the American shores in search of adulation and employment; primped and preened to within an inch of recognition she has instead found herself to be nothing more than a surgically placed arsehole waiting to be screwed again. That’s why her eyes are so dead while she struggles to enthuse about a culture that has rejected her. It’s sad, really.

The patronisation of the British edition continues with hastily shot UK-centric questions to the Ritalin restricted contestants – “The Beatles / Rolling Stones / Coldplay are the best British band of all time” they chirrup with scary uniformity, reaching out to their fans in the UK. “I looooove Lulu” one identikit teen coos, seemingly unaware that claiming long-term adulation of the mentor you first met last week hardly makes you a big fan.

The contestants are the same shambolic collection of high-school enthusiasts, morally and culturally retarded to the point where an excited “woo hoo” is their only form of communication. They represent each cliche from each section of youth society – look there’s the sweet geek, there’s the handsome surfer, there’s the fat black girl with a voice of gold, there’s the ditzy prom queen, there’s the retarded monkey boy who face-fucks the judges, there’s the juggling nazi sympathiser who just wants to entertain… they are identical in their slavish devotion to the idea of fame, in their willingness to do whatever they are told to do to achieve a fleeting sense of purpose before being casually discarded to the land of the alcholism and the sudden realisation that they are worth nothing in this world.

To give Cowell and his gaggle of opinion-goons their credit, the show is a perfect success. They are vain, money-driven people looking for easy-led, mid-talent lackeys who they can sculpt into carbon copies of a successful format and run into the ground in their endless pursuit of more profits. The format of the show is representative of the shallow contestants, the shallow contestants are pitiful incarnations of the creators and in the end the whole thing will eat itself in one big orgy of pointless self-indulgence.

Unless the terrorists get to it first.

Haunted Homes

March 14, 2007

Mia Dolan

How I managed to stay perched on my sofa throughout this cavalcade of pure TERROR I will never know. Shock after shock after pant-wetting shock streamed across the cathode ray as me and the missus clawed at cushions, barely hanging on to our sanity as the next world revealed to us the unrelenting horror of the spirit domain.

Not really, gang. It was utter shit.

Mia Dolan is apaprently the bestselling author of a book called ‘The Gift’. Whether that’s related to the overrated film ‘The Gift’, I’m not sure and can’t be halfway-arsed to research, but let’s assume she’s not. She is also the frontwoman for ITV2’s Haunted Homes. This is another of those shows ITV2, LivingTV and all those other nothing-television channels knock out from their no-budget production orifice when desperate to fill their schedules with something other than static, despite the fact that static would actually be far more challenging television.

The formula for this one (and I should know, I’ve sat through the tedium of two of them for some reason) is as follows:

An ex childrens’ TV presenter who clearly didn’t make the grade walks around, shedding charisma as he goes, stating the bleeding obvious at the opening, ending and between scenes. He tells us nothing of worth and only serves to annoy every viewer with his attempt at gravitas and stupid leather jacket.

He links to Mia who is sitting in a council house with two members of the idiot public, in the dark, with one of those special cameras they used in the Blair Witch. They need one of those cameras because they are sitting in the dark. They are waiting for a ghost, in the dark. Grown adults, sitting in the dark. Waiting for a ghost. And me, sitting at home, watching some grown adults, sitting in the dark, waiting for a ghost. This is a stupid, vacuous world we live in.

The night vision, I think, is meant to have the effect of making everything eery. It actually just makes Mia look even weirder, if that’s at all possible, like some mutant car crash in which Gillian Taylforth and Vanessa Feltz have merged with Pat Butcher’s arse. It also serves to make Joe Public (who generally sits there either crying or giggling) look uglier than they were in the light.
Ineveitably a member of the crew will knock over a baking tray down in the kitchen or drop a Dime bar in the bog and everyone will freak out.
‘What the [beep] was that?’ the ‘contestant’ will scream.
‘It’s just the spirit world communicating with me’ Mia will sagely inform them, nodding certainly.

You just feel like barging in there, turning the fucking lights on and kicking the shit out of everyone present.

After the event, Mia sits around with her terrified prey in a winnebago. They constantly refer to this ‘winnebago’ as a safe house. ‘We’ll talk through what we saw in the Winnebago’ Mia says. ‘Let’s go over now to the Winnebago’ to study the findings’ says the kids’ TV presenter. IT’S A CARAVAN.

After this it’s downhill all the way (if that’s possible). A molish sceptic wanders in there, also in the dark, and tells them they’re imagining it (unbelievably, he’s getting paid for that) and then Mia goes in to the property with some candles and starts an ‘ancient incantation’ to exorcise the spirit. At least, that’s what she claims. What she actually does is blather on in her husky Jackiey Goodie tones in what is meant to be Latin. I studied Latin, and she is speaking the language, but she appears to just be repeating the word ‘Omnibum’ over and overagain, which wouldn’t get you very far in the forum. I’m not sure if it’d uproot a malevolent spirit or not, but it certainly made me shift over to the other side.