Monday, January 01, 2007

Reality TV

Some friends and I, aided by a reasonable quantity of rather pleasing intoxicant, were recently discussing 'Reality TV' in the hope of hitting the right formula to make our millions, with the minimum of effort on our part, and leaving aside all question of taste and decency (since that's an important facet of this kind of show). We think we've cracked it! Any TV producers out there should contact the Grumbler for a discussion regarding production rights for...

Celebrity Victorian Nut-House

The 'action' takes place in a grimly run-down building, some 200 years of age. It is draughty, damp, dark, ill maintained and, frankly, dangerous. Any UK inner-city primary school should fit the bill nicely, and the rental for a period over the holidays might pay for some new chalk and slates for the students.

The cast includes a number of professionals fully trained in nineteenth century mental health care techniques. Exhaustive research on the part of the grumbler (by which I mean I scoured the web until I was tired, which didn't take long after last night's new-year revelry) suggests that this involves the ability to fling a bucket of water, push a small chunk of stale bread through a hatch in a steel door, and physically restrain a malnourished inmate with the aid of only four or five similarly minded ruffians.

Under the tender ministration of these carers we will have a number of 'celebrity lunatics'. Other 'celebrity reality' TV shows suggests that most of the individuals likely to agree to appear will be bordering on certifiabilty in any case. In keeping with similar programs, the 'celebrities' need not in fact be recognisable to the majority of the viewers at the start of the series. It is suggested that they include at least some of the following.
  • Someone who used to read the news twenty-five years ago on regional TV, before leaving to become a postman.
  • Any mildly-controversial back-bench politician, preferable without any 'party' associations.
  • A bishop.
  • A former Children's TV presenter whose career ended in a (preferably smutty) scandal.
  • Anyone who's been on one of these programs before.
  • One or more gay persons, famous only for being gay.
  • An ugly man.
  • A stunningly gorgeous woman.
  • An Australian or South-African sportsperson of yesteryear.
  • A west-highland terrier, or shopping channel presenter who believes they are a west-highland terrier.
  • A post-operative transsexual (preferably D.I.Y.)
  • The Emperor Napoleon
Cameras will be situated all over the 'nut-house' to capture every moment of action, with a daily show delivering 'highlights' to the viewers. Telephone/Text/Interactive TV voting systems will allow the viewers to 'vote out' one celebrity a day at a nominal cost of one pound per vote plus the usual network-charges. Each voted out celebrity will be given a handful of loose change (preferably foreign), a thin blanket impregnated with cat's pee and a cardboard box, and be dropped off under a motorway fly-over to provide some shelter from the elements as they begin to 'live rough' or, as its called these days, re-integrate into the community. (Note the possibility of spin-off programs here)

The eventual winner is, of course, the last person remaining after all others have been voted off. Their prize (unless the dog wins) will be a year's supply of fake tan, and an opportunity to rekindle their career presenting a daytime TV program dealing with the sale of antiques.

I don't watch a lot of this kind of show myself, of course, so I can only hope this one hasn't already been done....

Happy new year.

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