International Writers Magazine: Lifestyles
NOT a celebrity - get me out of here!
Love Island, Celebrity Big Brother, Im a Celebrity, Get
Me Out of Here these are just some of the wonderful delights
served up by British TV in a bid to draw in the viewers without
having to tax production budgets or brain cells too much. The
celebrities who appear on these reality shows are
usually C list people trying to revive their flagging
careers. Many of them were once famous for something, but we cant
quite remember what for and others are famous for... well, just
Go into any high
street shop and the shelves will be bending over with magazines that
groan under the weight of the faces of these C-listers on their covers.
What they had for breakfast, their latest sexploits, when they last
went to the toilet: world-shattering news about nothing in particular.
Of course the message is you too could and should live like them
if you had half a brain that is, a humungous ego and a desire to sell
your soul to the media.
The public loves it. The magazines and tacky tabloids sell by the cartload
and viewing figures for the programmes sometimes hit the roof. It has
such an appeal that it has often become difficult to differentiate between
this type of reality-show stuff and whatever else passes for news or
entertainment in the media. Even some of the news programmes have now
adopted the format of an upbeat breakfast-time TV chat show, with celebrity
guests and uninformed opinion on topics. The next stage in this magnificent
evolutionary process will of course involve some celebrity presenting
the show, with a bit of stripping, singing and dancing thrown in. Too
much gloom, doom and analysis is of course bad for the soul (and those
A certain happy-hearted fizz to it all is a must and the commercials
are part of the act. Indeed the commercials are seemingly dictating
the act. What better fizz is there than Pepsi and Coke! They are the
ultimate in emptiness with their Just-Do-It mentality. Their advertisements
represent a triumph of blandness over meaning. About as much substance
as the air bubbles in a can. Just do what? I dont know. Who cares?
Lets have a cola and settle down for chat show news,
celebrity I-love-myself island, or Im a celebrity
but no one remembers why. The viewers arent really sure
why they like such shows (or those colas) but they do.
Mind numbing blandness and emptiness sell. And the media executives
know it. So its goodbye to lofty ideals such as diversity of thought
and informed analysis, it was nice knowing you. You were always under
threat and in danger of being swept aside by those forces that appealed
to our narrower and baser instincts. Such forces now sometimes seem
In Britain, we dont really need God anymore, but still yearn to
believe in something and worship it through some TV programme or the
sickly, sweet pages of a glossy magazine. Ive seen the future
and its not a pretty sight. Look out: coming to a satellite TV
station everywhere in the world soon Im a has-been
celebrity with half a brain cell trying to revive my flagging career
on some low-budget, second-rate programme. This will be followed
the next day by seething journalists writing a columns bemoaning
the loss of a vibrant media and the narrowing of cultural concerns.
Come to think of it, the articles will probably be very similar to this
© Colin Todhunter December 2006
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