Anorak News | Get Real

Get Real

by | 28th, July 2004

‘AS soon as the human voices speaking on behalf of juggling elephants and trampolining lions won over public opinion to the wrongs of circus life, we began to look elsewhere for our thrills.

‘You might be 47, but you’re not too old to go over my knee!’

While American soap operas offered escapism and glamour, we Brits preferred soaps that gave us that chance to look at people worse off than ourselves.

But they lost their way. EastEnders went to pieces. Brookside, Albion Market and Crossroads just went. We needed something to replace the circus.

We needed to laugh at dumb animals behaving in unnatural ways. We wanted it. And we got it. Reality TV was here.

But the Times has noticed that this modern day freak show might have had its day. The animals have wised up, and they are not happy.

In Monday’s Guardian, we learnt that Sue Ray, owner of what was Bonaparte’s restaurant in Silsden, West Yorkshire – an eatery that was rubbished by the eponymous star of Channel 4’s Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares to such a degree that people stopped coming and it shut down – is thinking of suing the show.

Now we hear in the Times that Kevin and Amanda Charles, a couple who allowed TV’s Supernanny Jo Frost into their home, were duped.

The show featured Amanda struggling to cope with her three children who ruled the roost and were pushing their parents into an early dementia.

Then up stepped Supernanny Frost, the kind of woman many men would pay to make them sit on the naughty step. She sorted out the nippers quick smart.

Well, that’s what the programme broadcast. In reality, Mr Charles said that Frost did not move in with them, as advertised on the show.

“They manufactured complete sequences of events that never happened,” says he. “You could see it because when Jacob was told off and taken to another room to be punished, he was suddenly wearing a different outfit.”

Forget Supernanny, this is Super Jacob, who can change his clothes quicker than you can say, “Do it again and you’ll only have one pack of biscuits for tea”.

A spokesman for Channel 4 explains that the show did not “adhere to any chronological procedure”, but was edited to “highlight issues not a timetable of events”.

In other words, it was a “chronological procedure” which strove to “adhere” to “a timetable of events”.

But whichever way you put it, the signs are clear that the dumb animals are growing restless. It’s time to think of new forms of entertainment.

So what about laughing at the disabled? Or another series of Big Brother?’

Posted: 28th, July 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink