Wednesday, 15 August 2012

After the Lord Mayor's Show . . .

I decided to wait a few days before waxing lyrical about the Olympics, thinking that by now, I would be more level-headed about London 2012. Wrong! The joyousness of the whole event remains with me and not, I hasten to add, in any melancholy kind of way. OK, so I didn't understand dressage (dancing horses?) and will probably never be au fait with the finer points of taekwondo. I did, however, soak up the effervescent atmosphere in the Olympic Park, Wimbledon and at Wembley. Thank you games makers, thank you sporting legends, thank you London 2012 shop for relieving me (willingly) of large sums of money.

And so the carnival is over but while we bask in the glow of shared memory, there are a couple of horrid, threatening clouds on the horizon. The first will blow by without too much trouble. Desperate old Channel 5 are wheeling out the non-entity of a show that is Celebrity Big Brother. I've never watched more than about two episodes of this old rot and, given that Big Brother proper was well past it's sell-by date in 2008, you only have to wonder about who could be bothered to watch. Fans (loons) have been promised the likes of Bet Lynch. They could promise me the late Bette Davis and I still wouldn't tune in.

To compound this gloomy post-Olympic televisual apocalypse, ITV1 shunts the terminally awful X Factor back on to the screens this weekend. Now last year I tried to bear with the nonsense for the entire series before running out of steam and declaring on these very pages that I would never tune in again. I aim to keep that promise. In fact, I don't even need to watch anyway because we all know that the format will be as rigid as a dead dog. The first few weeks will be the usual 'nuts and sluts' parade as teary 16 year old girls and assorted numpties parade before a baying audience in some provincial theatre. We will hear about their 'journey' and the audience will point and laugh at the tone-deaf spitbags hollering on stage. Laugh at them! Make them weep! Cruel, cruel Britannia.

Under the uninterested gaze of Dreary O'Leary we will meet the usual finalists. There will be the obligatory band of teen, male, muppets, masquerading under some lame moniker such as D-Mented or First Dimension. Then we have a woman somewhere between the ages of 20 and 45 who will resemble a hybrid of Myra Hindley and Jimmy Savile. She will be 'misunderstood' or 'hated' as the rest of us call it. Also on stage we will see a personable if dull twenty-something man who will appeal to 14 year old girls but who would be more comfortable in, a-hem, 'musical theatre'.

Of course the programme wouldn't be the same without some chub-armed, middle-aged supermarket harridan, taking to the stage with all the grace of a Belarussian shot-putter and bellowing a cabaret version of 'This is my life'. It will be painful. She will be offset by another of those Leona/Alexandra clones who reckon to be r'n'b but who are, in fact, Stars in Your Eyes versions of Celine Dion. Finally, a quartet of trolls, probably from Gravesend, three of whom will be quite pretty and the fourth will look like Heather from EastEnders.

Their chances will be rated by camp old Uncle Louis Walsh (played by Charles Hawtrey), Tulisa Triplewordscore and Gary (why is he doing this?) Barlow. They are joined by Nicole Sherryglass who must surely be an improvement on the Queen of False, Kelly Girlfriend who was last season's flowering dullness.

There you go then - I've saved you the bother. Instead of festering in front of that, why not take yourself off to see a film, settle down with a good book, discover a new restaurant or attempt a triathlon? Carpe diem, Great Britain!

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