Posts Tagged ‘Mark Frith’

Celebrity Big Brother 2009

January 5, 2009

Channel 4 refer to this new series as ‘the long-awaited return of Celebrity Big Brother’, which is a bit like hearing someone blowing their own imaginary trumpet. Like everyone else who watched the launch show, I did so because there was nothing else on the TV in the post Christmas airwave-breakdown, apart from rubbish like Stuart Little, the rubbish QI Christmas special (for the sixth time) and repeats of Top Gear.

But there it was, as though the rampant xenophobia of the Jade-mistake had never happened. The actual launch show was preceded by a documentary – if you could call it that, rather than a series of repetitive clips you’ve seen before hundreds of times – called Why I Love Celebrity Big Brother. This waste-of-an-hour featured huge names like the bloke who edits the entertainment pages of Star magazine, Mark Frith (who is everywhere at the moment, presumably not having anyone who loves him another to invite him over for Christmas) and Dom Joly. The Dom Joly who has nothing to do with Big Brother and hasn’t really done anything in 15 years. Apart from the QI Christmas special.

And so it was that on the second day of the first month, it was revealed unto the people throughout the launch show that everyone they had been told would probably be on the programme was, indeed, on the programme. And they did weep.

The only real surprise among the crowd was Ulrika who we’d all probably considered above this. Only slightly – but still slightly above it. Latoya Jackson’s presence was less of a shock as her brother had probably already briefed her on how the only problems she might encounter might be the mind-numbingly long periods of time she’d have to spend talking to people she’d never heard of and couldn’t understand on top of the potential for occasional racist outbursts from fellow contestants.

We all knew Verne Troy was going to appear. Even if we hadn’t been aware, nothing is really too much of a surprise any more with this knackered vehicle. It’s nice seeing him buzzing about on his scooter and trying to avoid all the helpful hands the contestants fling in his direction out of a mixture of PR-awareness and a genuine will to assist, but the tone was sullied the moment after he’d entered the house when the camera cut back, as it does so bafflingly frequently, for a link and Davina pronounced him to be ‘so cute’. And thus began the patronising tone he’s set to find himself smeared in right up to his exit interview at the hands of the bird-faced crone.

So, who else? Coolio is being Coolio – that is a faded pop star who still believes he’s relevant, amiably but somewhat tragically. Then there’s some large scouse lady off some show I’ve never seen who continually lectures Latoya Jackson on male repression, seemingly unaware of the Jackson’s history of abuse – despite the fact she keeps telling her about it. We have a confused Terry Christian – too much of a good bloke to be doing this in my eyes. We have Lucy Pinder, who is a topless model with a right wing brain and a corrosively dull voice. (And massive tits, eh lads?)

The list goes on, with Mutya, ex of Sugababes in the mix and clearly having been badly advised into a moronic career choice. Then there’s Tommy Sheridan, the socialist Scot, either feeding his ego or… actually, probably just feeding his ego.

Ben from A1 is the no-mark this year, as inoffensive as kitchen roll and with about as much to say for himself.  And finally there’s a girl from Liberty X, who’s just a little bit dizzy, just a little bit orange and just a little bit boring.

So whether you couldn’t care less about the whole palaver or, conversely, if you’re tied up by being equally bemused and entertained by the fact that Coolio (you remember – from the 90s) is flirting with Ulrika (that Y shaped weathergirl, also from the 90s), the fact is it’s on for another 21 days, so steel yourselves or dust off your blinkers.

Advertisements

Most Annoying People: 2008

December 29, 2008

You could be forgiven for thinking we’re cynical bastards on this site. You’d be right, to an extent. But, unlike Most Annoying People: 2008, we like to think we target the most distasteful stuff we can find on TV and have something of a cause. We’ve lost the way in the past from time to time, but essentially we’ve stuck to our guns on the stuff we despise.

The aforementioned show, on the other hand, lists 100 of the most well known people in the country and systematically strips the vinegar-piss out of them indiscriminately. It’s the neverending story of the year and in it Richard Bacon connects the featured prey with withering introductions and strange audio skits whilst talking heads give their verdict on the celebrities who’ve received the words press over the course of the year.

The Talking Heads themselves are an odd bunch. You have your usual, well-recognised cultural commentators – like Mark Frith (or whatever he’s called) – the ex editor of Heat. You have a bevy of known stand ups, less well known stand ups and other ex-Blue Peter presenters. And you also have the stars of the show. A handful of the alleged most annoying who are included in the list pop up to give their side of the story and later, confusingly, appear to comment on fellow celebrity annoyances.

The show eats itself, pukes itself up, then gathers its puke and shoves it under your nose twenty minutes later due to a lack of material. It renders you completely frazzled.

What compounds the confusion is the fact that some of them may not have annoyed you in the slightest. Speaking subjectively, Fern Britton hasn’t got my goat in the slightest this year. I couldn’t care less if she’s been passively hypocritical regarding some Ryvita. I’m not sure I’ve seen any trace of Pete Doherty in the press. Last I heard, he’d moved to the countryside and got fat. That’s not annoying. It’s advisable.

So you’ll be sitting there saying to yourself ‘Huh! Piers Morgan, eh? What a moron’ and then it’ll flick to Alistair Darling who, for my money, isn’t annoying at all. I can’t see why he’s been included. The only reason the show really gave was a painfully extended pisstake regarding his eyebrows.

This is BBC3 fare and, by their standards, is surprisingly watchable. All the same, 100 is a very high figure to try and reach, so it’s no wonder some examples fall flat. The overriding problem is that the figures who are mocked are only so high profile because the media plasters them over front pages and screens instead of real news. We wouldn’t hear about Winehouse’s terrible choice of beau if it wasn’t for the press making it the top story. Naomi playing the race card after bluffing on a jet is so far off my radar that it’s incapable of annoying me.

Who exactly is this stuff annoying, apart from around 50 talking heads in a handful of studios in London, Sun readers, Grazia readers and morons?

I’m afraid I don’t have the answer.