Did we like it?
Kate Harding’s transformation into a pop video director didn’t quite hit upon the magical formula of some of the classic editions, but there was still lots of pleasure to be had.
What was good about it?
• Kate managed to pull off the mission without being wrecked in the process. Despite mixing in air-kissy, pop-starry circles, she wasn’t seduced by the “glamour” and treated video directing as an artform rather than part of a crass corporate game.
• Even if the reality show element wasn’t of interest, this also served as a compassionate study of a woman debilitated by a lack of confidence. “I don’t want to say what I like or don’t dislike because I think I’ll look stupid,” said Kate, who has reached the age of 32 without hardly ever to make a decision or assert her views. She cried, she trembled, she wailed (“I don’t like people seeing the real me.”), she froze but she still came through, probably because of the kindness of her mentor rather than the bossiness of self-styled confidence coaches.
• We quite like the fact there there are people, including Kate, who love dressing up in 18th-century costumes and dancing around to classical music.
• We enjoyed the parallel transformation of Kate’s mentor Harvey Bertram-Brown. He started the show as Annoying Camp Man in Bad Jumpers but ended it as Lovely Man with Hot Boyfriend.
• Glimpses of work on the Tony Christie video for Avenues & Alleyways
• The tearful climax.
What was bad about it?
• The final test involved directing a Liberty X video for a dull, gospelly track .
• None of the four directors got Kevin and Tony from Liberty X to get topless.
• Fearne Cotton spoiled the game by spotting Kate was the fake, simply because she was wearing brand new trainers. The other two judges failed to see that Kate was the novice with her petals and clouds video, although they were helped a little by the rather poor efforts by established directors Tara and Demelza.
• Co-mentor Carolyn Corbyn’s remark after Kate had been for a makeover: “Wow! You look beautiful. A bit like me.”
• As Kate was whirled through the world of pop promos, she had encounters with Lucie Silvas (dull), girl group Cookie (bimboish version of Sugababes), Triple8 (another unrequired boyband) and a rather ugly chap called Paton who is a “major new signing”.
When Kate completed Paton’s video, Harvey was almost proud. “She shot a video today. A shit video. But a video.” But it was the sort of bland soul song that deserved a shit video.