Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Reality TV

As a general rule of thumb I’m not an enormous fan of reality TV. Most of the shows are filled with vacuous imbeciles who clearly have a thoroughly overblown opinion of themselves. The worst part is that large sections of the general public lap these people up and celebrate them as if they’re actually worth celebrating. I just don’t get it. That’s more a comment on society than the contestants themselves, of course.

However, the one reality show I genuinely enjoy watching is I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. Something about the format makes it infinitely better than the other festivals of reality shit that pour out of the telebox on a regular basis. Maybe it’s the consistently amusing quips of Ant & Dec that keep it moving along so brilliantly. Perhaps it’s the variety of familiar faces on offer that maintains interest. Or maybe it’s just the fact that it’s set in a jungle in a tropical location. I don’t know. What I do know is that I’m A Celeb offers up a far more entertaining slice of television than all of the other reality shows put together.

Let’s look at the facts: these are people probably accustomed to living in a fair degree of comfort, and here they are co-existing in some genuinely testing conditions with cameras pointing at them constantly. Bad performances in tasks deprive them of a decent meal, jungle creepy crawlies the size of a small dog wander through camp 24/7 and they’re sleeping on makeshift camp beds out in the open in a fucking jungle! I mean just look at the X-Factor – if some deluded fuckwit gets up and attempts Bryan Adams instead of Westlife, Louis Walsh will gush over them for performing outside their comfort zone. Seriously?! Throw the fucker in the jungle, make them eat rice and beans and shit in a bucket for three weeks, then we’ll see if they’re outside their ruddy comfort zone!

Even z-list celebrities who are only famous because they were once tag-teamed by a group of footballers gradually earn your respect on I’m A Celeb. It’s hard not to feel an ounce of admiration for someone willing to selflessly devour a marsupial’s anus just to provide meals for their fellow campers. Would you even do that for your mates, let alone a bunch of strangers you’ve only recently been thrown into a jungle with? Equally, if one of the contestants is a genuine cretin (cough, McKeith, cough), it’s impossible for them to hide it in such circumstances. People’s true colours will inevitably shine through in such testing conditions, for better or for worse.

As such, Big Brother, X-Factor, Britain’s Got Talent and The Only Way Is Essex can all go swivel if you ask me. Nothing more than sickly exercises in self-aggrandisement and disgustingly undeserved backslapping. Strictly Come Dancing can stay if it likes. It all seems very good natured and doesn’t do anyone any harm. Plus the female dancers are all very pretty. But I’m A Celeb continues to rule in my eyes. I’ll leave you with a brief list of facts to have been thrown up by the latest series:

1) Gillian McKeith has single-handedly earned her children at least a year’s worth of bullying. Cheers mum.

2) The combination of this year’s I’m A Celeb and Google Images has probably guaranteed at least an extra 10 million people have now seen Kayla Collins’ vagina.

3) Dom Joly should be referred to forever more as “The Voice Of The Nation”.

4) Stacey Solomon proves that all can be forgiven if you go on I’m A Celeb after X-Factor.

5) She also proves that hyperventilation needn’t interrupt speech.

6) Gillian McKeith is just one year older than Nigella Lawson. I’m not saying I’m particularly attracted to Lawson, but it makes me think I’d rather eat what she’s eating than what Gillian says we should eat.

7) I still don’t bother voting for anyone.

8) Having dated both Kara Tointen and Caroline Flack, it’s safe to assume that Joe Swash practises mind control.