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Jonathan Ross returns to drink?

Mr and Mrs Ross - I actually love his wife[1].
As mainstream TV presenters go I've always found Jonathan Ross's style one of the least irritating. Like most creative performers he seems to go through periods of brilliance and troughs of twaddle. His major difficulty though is that it's difficult to separate his work from the news stories connected to it. 

On the BBC he was initially brilliant and then overshadowed by the fact the corporation chose to make him a prominent publicly-funded multimillionaire. His current stint on ITV is similarly eclipsed by the humiliating end to his life as the UK's face of "public service broadcasting". It's difficult to watch without considering the fact that he was once so significantly promoted by our ubiquitous state broadcaster. 

After such an obvious career peak even a slot on the UK's biggest commercial media platform seems like a fall from grace. On the one hand his audience figures have inevitably suffered, likely in part because he no longer has his show advertised on a national radio station and ITV simply cannot afford the airspace to promote him as aggressively as the BBC. However, the show I watched last night was a fun diversion and if I knew nothing of him I'd have enjoyed it for what it was: a good lightweight chat show. It's exactly the sort of thing he delivered for the BBC and which they decided to pay many millions of pounds worth of licence fee payer's cash for. 

There was just one troubling detail, and again it relates to the news stories connected to him as opposed to the fun being had onscreen, he nailed a couple of shots to help promote Justin Timberlake's new alcoholic drink. This is surprising because he made such a big thing out of not having had a drink in various interviews during his time at the BBC[2]. There are certain rules regarding the portrayal of alcohol in the broadcast media and as a result the whole skit will have been planned far more than it appeared to be onscreen. It's tempting to think Ross might have hoped there would be consequences to this return to drinking on a TV show[3]. It will be interesting to see if anyone actually cares.


Or Google "Jonathan Ross" and add the word "alcohol" to look further into this.

Nick Margerrison

[1] Oh my God! Look at his wife!! She is awesome. She did a great TV show called Jane Goldman investigates. I used to watch it on Sky TV. It involved her looking into esoteric subjects as well. She's actually perfect for me. In the event the Ross family stumble upon this blog entry, please Jane, please, run away with me!!!

[2] Thanks to an eagle eyed Anon reader for this tweet which suggests his return to drink off screen was inevitably before the TV show:
[3] The Soaraway Sun has this story here. It directly deals with the issue of exactly when he returned to drink and why he claims he initially stopped. According to The Sun it's a sign of how blissfully content the star is:
Jonathan is so happy with his lot these days that he has even started drinking again after 11 years off the sauce.

He was never an alcoholic, he just didn’t want it to get in the way of his career, as many performers have let it. He also quit for his kids — Honey, Harvey and Betty — who he dotes on.

He says: “I stopped because I wanted to be present for when my kids were growing up. I thought it would be stupid to do the job and not remember it.

“Now I have two beers and I don’t want any more. I’ll have some water and maybe some more later.” mpu
[my emphasis]
Thanks again to a helpful blog reader for this detail. The apparent typo at the end "mpu" is interesting. It might just be a typo or it could be an abbreviation that has not been removed by a subeditor. The letters can sometimes mean "minimum publishable unit". Might be a co-incidence but it's interesting to note.Understandably Ross is known to be a little frosty when dealing with the media.

3 comments:

John Paul Fitch said...

I'm actually a big Jonathan Ross fan. I think he's a very talented presenter, genuinely warm and funny...unlike his brother.

Jonathan Ross is, and quite rightly so, a national institution. To be fair, he did make an arse of himself in Andrew Sachs-gate, but he did stick by Russell Brand when Brand was made to take the fall. He showed honour, loyalty to his friend and dignity throughout an embarrassing and costly mistake.

...and Ms Goldman is incredibly, ubelievably sexy.

Singlet said...

Think you might be making a bit of a meal of this.
There are plenty of people in the world who have found themselves slipping into an unhealthy relationship with alcohol and have had the self awareness and discipline to knock it on the head before it takes over.
Life moves on and circumstances change and the reasons for the reliance disappear and so does the need.
For some people, going back to 'normal' social drinking is perfectly possible, others, sadly, don't.
I'm not much of a Ross fan, but I'd bet his biggest threat is boredom. It's a pity he's become a 'national treasure' as I suspect his nature is much more suited to being slightly less high profile and having the freedom to be a little moe dangerous and edgy.

Nicholarse said...

I appreciate the use of the word "might" Singlet. It's a piece that sits on the line I think. What's interesting to me is that he made such a big thing of it at one point and now he's back drinking at a time when, despite the nice puff piece in The Sun, his career is not where it used to be.

Previously Ross would delight in laughing at his ITV period as a bit of a doldrums. The drinking identity went with that.

I believe the fractal nature of reality shows also in the occasional patterns of history and, to a lesser extent the future. His return to drink does not to me seem like a signal that all is well but I might be wrong.

Thanks to everyone so far for their comments. It's the first article in a while I've written about a "celebrity" on this blog and the response has been a relief.

There's a surprising level of traffic at the moment to here, mainly due to the more heavy stuff I'm writing. I had been worried that my new readers might take badly to less political posts. Doesn't seem like that's the case.

PS - Don't worry, I'm not about to cover this sort of stuff on a regular basis.

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