Posts Tagged ‘Piers Morgan’

Piers Morgan’s Life Stories: Katie Price

March 11, 2009

piers morgan katie price jordan

ITV is many things to many people, but mainly it’s just rubbish. ITV doesn’t give the world much these days, apart from the anomaly of Harry Hill and the occasional Al Murray moment. It’s the gaping hole in the middle of the schedule – a vortex where decent television simply doesn’t occur. It’s television for children and the elderly – bright, flashy and filled with hollow applause. If you find your brain actively engaged by ITV’s output, it’s a sure sign of mental decline.

Piers Morgan’s new show could only be an ITV product, with the third button being the key channel specialising in the kind of glossy dross he tends towards since being kicked out of publishing and having entered the light entertainment arena. When he was at The Mirror, Morgan was a forgivable prick – always managing to rustle up a twinge of sympathy because, for all his myriad flaws, at least he wasn’t the Editor of The Sun. But even in his early days he was caked in the slime of smug self-assurance and seemed to have smarm running through his innards like sap.

His Sunday evening Life Stories vehicle is way beyond the bland rubbish you might expect it to be. In fact, it’s so tedious and vacant, you could be forgiven for thinking your television’s vanished and been replaced with a vague space. You’d actually be better off staring at the wall.

Following on from last week’s episode in which we re-learned that Richard Branson is very rich and smiles a lot, on Sunday evening we were landed with a Katie Price sucker-punch. The show opened, as it does every episode, with Piers talking to camera (or someone just off-camera, to give it an air of reality) about how he wouldn’t avoid any issues and would ask the right questions in order to get us some really meaty answers. Katie, in turn, promised that she would give her all and reply honestly to anything Morgan could throw at her. It was as if, for a second, they actually believed they were about to make some proper television rather than get themselves messy in the overlit, sycophancy-session that followed.

The first topic for discussion was Katie’s apparent schizophrenia and the fact that she ‘misses Jordan’. She made it seem as though the identity she created purely to allow her to build her fortune – using tabloid tittilation and flesh-flashing – had substance. To blur the boundaries between Katie and Jordan even further, ingeniously merging the two personalities, she was then encouraged to show off her jewellery for the cameras like a blinged up material girl. But ultimately it was left unclear, the actual difference between the two. Was it the change of hair colour that signalled the change? Or the graduation from the showbiz pages in the tabloids to the OK and Hello spreads?

We moved on, the question unanswered. They discussed her husband Peter as openly as they could, with the poor sod sitting mere yards away in the audience, wilting bashfully. Throughout the show, Katie talked about Andre as though he’s the randy stalker she fellates out of pity.

‘I can’t have sex seven days a week’, she informed us. ‘so when he gets it, he gets it’. She talked about their shared, sacred moments of intimacy in the functional way you might ask a neighbour to feed the dog while you’re in Cromer for a week’s holiday. In the most non-erotic description of marital relations you’re ever likely to hear, she discussed their first moment of passion and how she stormed his hotel room after the I’m a Celebrity wrap party. He answered the door wearing only a towel, insisting he’d just got out of the shower and hadn’t expected her. ‘I give him a blow job in the toilet’ she declared, smiling at her killer punchline, to the joy of the audience and the sympathetic mugging of Morgan.

The show was interspersed with VT in which members of Katie’s family discussed her rise to fame. Piers’ voiceover could be heard over the top using phrases like ‘Britain’s first couple’ and ‘unlikely modern role model’ – unqualified assertions that slipped by unchallenged, reaffirming brand Katie and making the viewer implicit in the bullshit-flow. To give us a little bit of humanity, Katie’s mum, brother and sister spoke semi-candidly about her implants and how her investment in the chest-bulgers was born out of insecurity – but this wasn’t explored.

Another area that wasn’t dwelled upon was a bizarre and remarkably awkward sequence in which we seemed to hear something about sexual abuse. It was so strange I had to rewind and check I’d heard right. When talking about her first, apparently unsavoury modelling shoots she said ‘worse things have happened to me’. Then, when Morgan asked what she meant, she expanded with the gnomic: ‘in a park’. She then began to yelp a little before composing herself and saying ‘just some weirdo in a park’, alluding to sexual abuse with the scantest details, garnering sympathy from the audience for something they probably weren’t even sure they’d heard right. Watching this weird little sequence felt grubby for multiple reasons, none of which I can quite place.

After superficial discussion of her disabled son, reality television and wealth, the conversation was wrapped up. The promise of depth and insight went sadly unfulfilled. But there was no room for disappoinment. If you’d tuned in to a show like this and found anything profound within, you’d have the mental faculties of a child or an infantile pensioner.

So I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting.

The Dark Side Of Fame: Jason Donovan

September 23, 2008

I hadn’t seen this before – anything featuring the anus-mouthed Piers Morgan tends to make me run a mile – but it’s quite interesting viewing if you like your celebrities squirmy.

The premise of the show is as follows…

Aided by faked photographs of people being pissed on, Piers Bumhole-Cakehole rattles the cage of an ex-A lister, in the process trying to get to the bottom of their vices, foibles and disastrously bad habits. So far the roster’s been made up of Pamela Anderson (past crimes = being scatty and getting her genitals out), Jason Donovan (being a coke head, coke-casualty and casual homophobe) and Jim Davidson (no explanation really needed).

Add the host, and you have the attendance list for the worst hypothetical dinner party imaginable.

I missed Jim Davidson’s and saw about five minutes of Pamela Anderson’s (ooer) so readers will have to let me know how they went. Someone already commented here that Morgan told Davidson he couldn’t help but find him funny, which is nauseating.

Jason Donovan’s was quite interesting though – and not so much because of coked up tales from Kate Moss’s 21st, but more for the critical appraisal the viewer could cast over Donovan’s appearance. Jason appears to have follicallly receded, as we chaps tend to do. But instead of conceding defeat, he’s circumnavigated the problem by attaching blond wings to the side of his head. I was fooled for the first ten minutes by this ingenious head-apparatus, but soon the trick wore off.

Donovan’s also developed the wild staring eyes of a just-released Guantanamo Bay inmate. This was probably caused by long, long nights on the blow, watching knackered out, knock-off copies of Neighbours on VHS.

I enjoyed the gravitas Morgan’s voice attached to such intense life events as:

  • Our boy Jase turning down a second contract to do Joseph for another year.
  • Donovan having a mental seizure in the Viper Room whilst on drugs.
  • Going for a grungey look which was at odds with his clean cut image.

It’s pure tabloid TV. Like a News Of The World article, paid for by the BBC.

Donovan’s take on the trial that tarnished his image – where he challenged the now defunct Face magazine’s assertions that he’s gay – was suitably weary. He must have agonised over it enough – and it sure did make him look a boob.

I think the defining moment came when Donovan was quizzed about how and when he started taking drugs…(and I’m paraphrasing here)

‘That was probably back in my Neighbours days’
‘Really?’
‘Yeah, probably smoking a bit of weed up a mountain somewhere, you know?’
‘So Scott Robinson was taking drugs?!’
‘Yeah – but I’m sure there are bigger stories than that to be written about – than some kid from Melbourne smoking weed’

I’m sure there are, Jase.

I’m sure there are.

Who Dares… Sings

July 14, 2008

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.

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…

The Friday Question: Top Gear?

May 30, 2008

Jeremy Clarkson

So, Jeremy Clarkson’s in the news again – his big mouth’s only gone and admitted to driving at 186 miles per hour. Admitted apropos of nothing, I ought to add, which really makes it an idle boast.

In the past he’s referred to cars as ‘gay’, accused people from the Hyundai company of eating dogs, is rabidly anti-American and mocks the Germans. Furthermore, he says he has a ‘disregard for the environment’, wears tight blue jeans and has a silly curly haircut despite being old.

In his defence, he is pro-smoking and once punched Piers Morgan in the face. The latter makes me feel both impressed and envious. You also can’t deny the man has a way with words, whether you agree with him or not.

So, the Friday question is all about the man with the jowls.

Is Clarkson alright? Or is he a twat?

Be nice to hear your 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.