Well! I have a mixed bag of comments with regard to my previous post in which I asked You to decide if I watch BB9 this year. Sharon wasn’t really much help to be honest because she just echoed my own thoughts on the subject, Working Mum warned me about getting sucked into the twilight zone, Millennium Housewife suggested that I watch it and report back (so, when you think about it, it’s a truly selfless act if I do watch it), Kelly (I think) is a very definite “no” whilst Aims asked me if I wanted my brain to melt. Too late there I’m afraid, that went during the whole “Jordan and Peter Andre” debacle of I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here.
It’s true, I’m a sucker for reality television. Well, any television really. No, that’s not true. I don’t watch for the sake of watching and only spontaneously combust if I miss/fail to record about six programmes. I can take it or leave it. On the reality front it’s mainly Big Brother (Celebrity or otherwise) and the aforementioned IACGMOOH. I have no truck with any programme that involves Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber looking mock-terrifying on a throne and Denise Van Outen. Sir Alan Sugar’s Apprentice makes my teeth itch, Castaway makes me yearn to find a desert island of my own and, as for Celebrity Love Island or any programme that involves watching nubile young ladies and permatanned young men cavort round a beach has me reaching for the off button.
I have a theory. And I’m not justifying the fact that in a few hours I shall be watching the housemates arrive amidst flashing camera bulbs BUT……it’s a form of People Watching isn’t it? And I’m a great People Watcher. Some people (David, Lydia and Charlie) call it being nosy. But it’s not – it’s human nature. And it’s human nature to want to watch human nature if that makes any sense. Why do you think that all the body language experts and psycho-analysts line up to appear on the spin off BB shows? Not that I watched them, that’s taking it all too far, even for me. Apart from the fact that they were earning out of it, naturally. It’s because we’re so fascinated in why people do what they do. Whoever knew that raising your left arm six inches up and a little to the left when faced with the object of your desires meant that you were actually revealing your entire personality. Or something like that anyway. Saskia recently attended a Body Language course for work. It was terrible, she reported on her return – she’d upset three people in the space of ten minutes because of the way she held her body whilst talking to them. “By the time the course had finished, none of us were talking to each other”
I was fascinated by the whole Big Brother 8 Chiggy escapade purely because she was an apprentice bunny boiler and he was a failed pop star who loved himself. Charley was compulsive viewing as the South London It Girl from Lewisham. Bea was horrified at this and very nearly moved her entire family to the country – she spent weeks telling people that “Dulwich is not really anywhere near Lewisham”. I’ve had my favourite contestants in all of the BB’s – the only year that failed to capture my imagination was the 2003 one. Cameron Who?
I’ll tell you what you won’t find me doing though: confusing television with reality. Did you hear about the woman who sent a wreath for Vera Duckworth’s funeral? How worrying is that? I know that when I’m watching Stenders or Holby or whatever that they are actors playing a part. It’s not real. None of it. The fabulous Amanda Mealing who plays Connie Beauchamp would probably recoil at the sight of real blood but thinks nothing of plunging her arm into chest cavities on a regular basis. Pat Butcher in Stenders may be a bleached blonde harridan with gigantic earrings and a penchant for leopardskin PVC coats but I happen to know that, in reality, she is quietly and well spoken and favours clothing that don’t require a wipe down with a damp cloth.
I love Teletext and Ceefax. I flick through the pages checking my horoscopes, the news pages, football and the Soap Updates. Just for a laugh. Anxious people like “Dave, Bridport” or “Cath, Essex” regularly write in to express their concerns about the inhabitants of Albert Square or Coronation Street with gems such as “I agree with you Bev, Ken and Deirdre have got lots of money and yes, Blanche does own a house on the street so I don’t know why they’re telling everyone they have no money!!!!!” or “Tanya is heading for a fall with that Jack! Ange from Derby”. It makes you wonder doesn’t it? About whether reality, for some people anyway, has been suspended.
Go on. I dare you. ITV Teletext. Pages 116 and 117 and I think 118. It’s a whole other world