Did we like it?
We enjoyed the actual tasks – three ordinary girls pretending to do ridiculous things for six months to try to get as much media exposure as possible – though the game show set-up itself was annoying and tacky.
What was good about it?
• The basic concept is good: a trashy TV game show sending up trashy celeb culture.
• Emma Fitch’s stunt of getting a, frankly hideous, fake tattoo to celebrate Kelly Holmes’ 2004 Olympics victory, and deliberately missing out the ‘L’ in Holmes. It had to be touched up with marker pen a few times, but she managed to fool Sky News, the tabloids and Jonathan Ross. As she pointed out “I got extra airtime for my pure stupidity”.
• Caroline Pollidedri’s mock New Age self-help group, Lion Therapy. From what we saw, it involves “unleashing your inner beast”, wearing tiger face paint, and roaring, though you have to start off with “gentle purring”. We saw a clip of her going on This Morning explaining it all and the incredulous look on Phillip Schofield’s face was priceless.
• Caroline referring to Howard Brown only as “that bloke from the Halifax adverts”.
• It was a lot of fun remembering that we saw or heard about all of the stunts when they were taken as genuine, and it was actually quite satisfying to learn that they were stunts.
• The programme highlighted just how desperate the tabloids, celeb magazines, daytime TV and reality TV are for utter crap to fill up airtime and column inches.
• Ed Hall’s contributions. We agree with him that Emma should have won instead of Caroline, although we also agreed that Caroline livened up This Morning for Phillip Schofield: “He has to talk about diets and death everyday!”.
What was bad about it?
• Alex Zane’s terrible wooden presenting, with jokes both bad and bizarre (“truth flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana”).
• The three contestants all looked like a cross between Jade Goody, Jordan, Kate Lawler, Tara Palmer-Tomkinson and the girls from the Sheila’s Wheels advert.
• Chloe Bailey’s rather dull false campaign to make Big Brother 6’s Derek Laud the next Tory leader. It says more about how desperate the Tories are in their public image that ex-Tory MP Michael Brown agreed with her. She was also responsible for flying that banner on an aeroplane past the house.
• Caroline’s irritating voice and for cracking even worse jokes and puns than Alex Zane (“roaring success”, “feline philosophy”, “the Lion Queen”).
• The gaudy Eurotrash style set.
• The three ‘judges’ who decided the winner. They are all only slightly more famous than the contestants: Sunday Mirror TV critic Ian Hyland, Lucie Cave from Heat! magazine and TV’s Ed Hall. Hyland was the worst, being bothered by “the rules” of the game show, Cave was just annoying, but Hall was sort of OK.
• It was difficult to shake off the feeling that these girls are genuinely desperate for fame. The pride in which the girls talked about how much screen time they got was particularly irritating: “one minute and nine seconds”, “a whole five and a half minutes”, “five minutes 41 seconds.” Combined, that isn’t even 15 minutes of fame.
• We can’t really see much mileage in it, especially as the girls all apparently chose their best stunts for this opener.