I have an on/off relationship with the TV show 'Big Brother'. Some series are good, others not so much. Meeting Kate Lawler at Kerrang where I worked for a couple of years reminded me of its central premise: people live in a house for a bit. There's something dehumanising about the nature of mass media fame which sometimes causes me to lose touch with the fact that there is more to a celebrity than just a picture and press release. They're human, like me. That might sound a bit trite but it's an easy truth to forget. Even more so with the TV show's spin off 'Celebrity Big Brother'.
As I sat and watched the start of this year's series, through a haze of fatigue and Baileys, I was dissapointed at the reaction of the crowd to the little 21 year old girl called Katia Ivanova. She's a 'celebrity' because she fell into the wrinkly paws of a 62 year old millionaire. She looked like what she was, a confused kid lost on the stage. The crowd booed her.
My dissapointment at the live audience then hit its nadir when famously violent footballer Vinny Jones followed and was greeted by a heroes' welcome. The crowd cheered as the 'loveable hardman' strode about to the cooing of Davina McCall. "He's a Hollywood superstar now" was the message. I remember him mainly because of the 'air rage' incident where he told people he was going to have them killed: CLICK HERE FOR FULL DETAILS. Furthermore I read about him eating someone's face here: NOTW. Hooray indeed.
This is of course presuming that the crowd reactions were spontanious expressions of public opinion. I note, with interest, that Vinnie Jones has been paid the highest fee of all the contestants: DIGITAL SPY. When you've made an investment like that you might be inclined to nudge the audience's reactions a little.
No harm in that, just a bit of showbusiness.
Annoyingly though, as I watched, the point that was made to me by what little I saw of the show (I kept falling asleep on my girlfriend's lap) was clear: violence is to be celebrated and sex is to be ashamed of. Quite a depressing thought but one that seems to run throughout the national consciousness.
I don't think I'm going to bother with this series*. The fact there are people in there is a two edged sword and in this instance it has put me off a bit.
*I wonder if these words will end up being eaten in the guise of a freshly baked humble pie? I'm enjoying doing a daily blog again, it's quite nice to have a brain photo for future use.