I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here?, ITV1, Sunday 20 November 2005
Did we like it?
It’s enjoyable so long as you view it from the perspective of an eagle soaring over the bounteous countryside, vicariously delighting as your comrades (with Geordie squawks) pluck the innocent, nutritious vermin from their lairs and torment them for a while before devouring them whole.
What was good about it?
• Perversely, IAC converts those whom you would most revile into the most appealing as they become human dartboards for the excellent Ant and Dec to skewer like squealing wild boar.
• Sid Owen – a dumb slab of quivering flesh who would have found his purpose in Neolithic times by blanding in to the cave wall to act as a canvas for his fellow Neanderthals to use as a canvas for their rudimentary painting. And his permanent smile resembles someone staked out in the desert sun, unable to manoeuvre into any expression other than simpering acquiescence.
• Antony Costa – he looks like a flabby armchair enduring the hirsute trials of puberty. But also is akin to the coagulated debris you would find underneath a rotten urban jetty – frogspawn, animal faeces, used condoms, fragmented fish carcasses and two dead eyes of frustrated ambition. And, like so many footballers, he can’t even communicate in the basest of clichés. “I’m not all hairs and graces,” he asserted.
• Jenny Frost – an outline of a person delineated with streaks of hair dye, and idly coloured-in by record company executives and stylists.
• David Dickinson – during his trial he would call to Sid Owen to go up or down, apparently unaware (or too lazy) that he could scale the tree himself.
• Jimmy Osmond – the embodiment of bewildered insanity. He gazes ferociously at the other celebrities as if sizing up which part of them he’d like to gobble down first, whilst churning out juvenile platitudes such as “Four stars, man. That’s awesome” as though his voice box is trapped in 1971. At other times he acts like a bombed-out city trying to function as best it can with only the most basic of facilities.
• Carol Thatcher – for miners, and their families, broken by Margaret Thatcher’s policies (and everyone else who remembers the democratic tyranny of the 80s), she provides an unexpected opportunity to channel their rage through. She’s already been chosen for the second Bush Tucker Trial; expect her to be elected for plenty more.
• Jilly Goolden rushing into the trap set when she complained about the wines. She is being set up as a public hate figure, as this was a clinically precise effort to exhibit her pedantry and paint her as a snob.
What was bad about it?
• The celebrities arrived at the hotel in limousines to impress the delusion of import upon them before their descent into the jungle.
• Carol Thatcher urinating by the side of her bed during the night.
• The forced jollity and camaraderie when the celebrities met up at the hotel. Really, there is no need for such a charade as everyone is aware they’re just 10 survivors from a sunken vessel of fame, bobbing around in their lifejackets each conniving to puncture the others’ TV buoyancy with verbal barbs (or even exaggerated and false kindness and humility) so they can feed greedily on the sustenance of publicity.
• Such is our cynicism about TV that even ostensible triumphs such as Sheree Murphy arriving in the camp by parachute despite only wanting to do it “one per cent” before the flight are suspicious. Sure she probably has a genuine terror of parachuting, but she is also an actress and to be seen overcome a great fear and descend gloriously into the camp certainly awarded her some Brownie points with the public.
• Kimberley Davies – she has been off-screen (at least over here) for so long now, there is little connection with her.
• Elaine Lourdan suffering what looked the second time like an epileptic fit (although she seems only to have fainted through exhaustion), which was trailed distastefully throughout the entire show as a hook to keep watching
I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, ITV1
Who are our favourites from the reality show so far?
1. “Little” Jimmy Osmond. Talking in the same flat monotone as his teddy bear, the salt mule of the camp has delighted through his tendency to orbit the rest of the celebrities on a moon of his own. “Bless you.”
2. David Dickinson. With each syllable bailing out from his mouth with strict governance as if measured by a spirit level, the “duke” is proving to be a tolerable addition to the jungle. He could reach the top spot if he refrained from his habit of mouthing “thank you” to the camera.
3. Carol Thatcher. Has assumed the Jennie Bond role of slightly doddering old fruit with only enough cerebral juice left to make simple decisions, scarcely caring if she has to swallow horrid jungle life or drive along a precarious road suspended amidst the jungle canopy.
4. Bobby Ball. The victim of cruel editing to ensure that he was chosen to perform the Bumble Bee Trial. After being painted as a lazy despot, there was little tension as Ant & Dec ambled into camp to reveal the results of the vote. A vote which has as little credibility as fraudulent The X-Factor “gossip” such as Walsh’s “walk out”; Cowell being too busy in America; Sharon and Chico’s “bust-up”; The Cannotsing Sisters’ going over Cowell’s head to Walsh for advice. In completely unrelated news, did you know that reality shows and soaps often generate huge amounts of cash through “gossip” txt message services?
5. Jilly Goolden. She has been hugely disappointing to the producers who expected her to be as irritating as she was on Food And Drink. Cunningly spoilt some of the food-eating Bushtucker Trial when she said she actually liked the taste of meal worm.
6. Sheree Murphy. A scream trapped in a blob of quivering jelly.
7. Sid Owen. Thick-set Sid resembles a blunt axe head chopping into everyone around him as if wielded by an anaemic Attila The Hun.
8. Kimberley Davies. This year’s equivalent to the Bloke out of Corrie who didn’t say enough for anyone, including us, to remember he was there.
9. Antony Costa. A wet firework of a man with a fuse the length of this life and the next. Even his tantrum when he had to cut through a log with a blunt saw was waterlogged with his own self-pity.
10. Jenny Frost. A rasher of bacon laid out to cook in the burning sun of TV attention, but alas she mostly consists of manufactured gristle and the fat of a big senseless gob.
11. Tommy Cannon. Now so faded, photographs of his ethereal fame have been sent to Living TV for its next series of Most Haunted.
I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!: The Aftermath
What might our favourite Bushtuckers do now they’re out of the TV sanctuary of the “jungle”?
Jilly Goolden: Will organise themed dinner parties based on her adventures in the jungle in which she will distort history and be proclaimed the winner. Her friends will soon tire of her irksome self-promotion and brick her up behind a stone wall, behind a cupboard, in a small bedroom, in a lonely shack, in a windswept field, on an exposed moor, on a remote island, in the middle of the North Sea.
Elaine Lourdan: Will appear on This Morning as a guest of the resident doctor, and she will become the willing guinea pig for his experiments to determine the cause of her illness. One such test will be to remove all TV exposure to her for five years, and if at the end of that time her ego has shrivelled to a normal manageable size, she will be declared cured.
Sid Owen: A solid future in panto beckons, with his gormless lopsided face appearing on those garish promotional posters for years to come.
Antony Costa: Unable to grasp the notion of a life without fame, Antony will wait patiently in the jungle, lapping up the desiccated remnants of Carol Thatcher’s nocturnal activities for sustenance, until the show returns next year and the unfortunate celebrities have to retrieve stars from the furry morass of his unkempt chest hair, into which are periodically dropped the bleating souls of fellow extinguished boy banders.
Bobby Ball: Decapitated, and his head used as the football in the first FA Cup final at the new Wembley Stadium.
Tommy Cannon: Retires gracefully after proving there is decency amongst washed-up celebrities, and that are not all embittered at their precipitous fall from fame.
Sheree Murphy: Has her vocal cords modified so she is only able to say the word “Harry” in celebrity company.
Jenny Frost: Signs a new record deal worth £6m for four albums. Criticises her former record company, saying that she was treated as a dumb puppet. Arranges for a tabloid photographer to take snaps of her sunbathing in Monte Carlo on the yacht of an overrated Formula 1 driver. Shoots new video, in which she is underdressed and rolling about in ice cream. Appears on every show under the sun in an effort to promote her new single. New single stalls at 32. Dropped by record company. The songs already written for her album are passed on to Rachel Stevens. Gets a job on QVC.
Jimmy Osmond: His guileless optimism and endearing naivety are processed from his body and bottled and sold to fading celebrities desperate to get their careers back on track. Vanessa Feltz presents the show on ITV1 about the phenomenon, with Jimmy a barely conscious stooge beside her, occasionally slipping off his stool to warm himself on Vanessa’s shins like a devoted bloodhound.
Carol Thatcher: Upon her return she will be hoisted aloft by a phalanx of right wing tabloid journalists who idolise her after she proved beyond question that middle-class people really are “better” than commoners, and there should be a return to the ballot system where the posh got to vote twice to reflect their superior breeding.
David Dickinson: Hosts new show Celebrity Paintstripper in which all of a fading celebrities artificial affectations – silicon enhancement, collagen implants, make up as thick as the mud on the Somme, fake tans, charity work performed with all the sincerity of Jack Straw – are cleansed from the celebrity in a process lasting an overlong 10 weeks. The celebrities then win rotating guest presenter slots on LK Today.
Kimberly Davies: Sporadically turns up in Neighbours, which nobody watches anymore.