COUCH POTATO: Celebrity Big Brother a waste ground of missed opportunities
11:52am Friday 13th September 2013 in News
Day 16, the final week dawns in the house, and resident pain-in-the-backside Lauren Harries – that weird kid on Wogan in the 80s who had a sex change – has at last sussed out Louie Spence.
“He’s not going to change. There’s no point giving him a slap across the face because it’s going to achieve nothing.”
Maybe so, Lauren. But surely it’s worth a go regardless?
That’s Celebrity Big Brother XII for you – a waste ground of regrets and missed opportunities that could have been so much more.
It came to the boil promisingly several times throughout the last three weeks, but never quite tipped over the side of the pan enough to make it worth scouring the hob.
The problems started with the casting.
Signing Ron Atkinson, forever tainted with calling Marcel Desailly a “lazy, thick n******” on TV thinking his mic was turned off, must have seemed to the producers like a masterstroke.
But they’d clearly not watched the 2009 Celebrity Wife Swap with Big Ron and Tessa Sanderson when he had his eyes opened to the offence he couldn’t see he’d caused.
Ever since repentant, he entered the CBB house with this mission statement: “I came in here determined not to upset anybody,” and duly contributed nothing until his eviction when he tripped up the stairs and couldn’t find the exit door.
If Atkinson was alone in not wanting to upset the apple-cart, the series could have carried him.
But he wasn’t, was he?
Abz Love, from 5ive, Mario Falcone, the big-haired berk from TOWIE who to my astonishment is the most decent human being in there, and Dustin Diamond (one-half of WWF 80s tag-team the Bushwhackers) have conducted themselves with great dignity.
Television, though, despises these types.
It prefers mouthy women who can’t handle their drink like Vicky “Janice Battersby” Entwistle and OTT exhibitionists like Louie Spence and Courtney Stodden and assumes viewers do too.
So this horrendous final week in the house has been an unedifying combination of late-night hissy-fits, rants and deeply unpleasant slanging matches.
All of it fuelled by alcohol.
That’s the greatest shame of CBB XII.
Its format can be so much cleverer than that, as proven by the brilliant Gods & Mortals task of the Julie Goodyear series last summer.
Alas, the producers replaced any remaining creative genius with the ultimate fallback, plying the housemates with booze nightly.
I can’t say it hasn’t had its moments.
Marcus Bentley’s line: “5.21pm. It’s been over an hour since Bruce slapped himself with a fish,” might yet be his finest.
Potty-mouthed, bed-wetting, cake-punching, serial farter Charlotte Crosby from Geordie Shore, whose entire knowledge of Vietnam comes from South Park, has been at least entertaining.
And there may have been no moment with more promise in TV history than this humdinger: “This is Big Brother. Housemates, welcome to Dancing on Glass. For your viewing pleasure, Louie Spence will now dance barefoot on broken glass.”
Not only a CBB task but an ideal replacement for ITV’s Dancing on Ice.
Most tellingly, however, not a single one of this bunch comes close to making my all-time greatest CBB house.
Self-pitying, needy, socially maladjusted, transsexual poltergeist Lauren Harries, who forgets to flush the loo, has constantly fished for compliments which should not have been forthcoming, yet appears to be Channel 5’s chosen winner.
And the never-ending slurred, drunken bitching forced Abz to occupy himself by watching a spider in the garden, building cushion towers and likening the housemates to members of the animal kingdom.
“I would see Carol as a vulture, Courtney as a bit of a jackal, Lauren as a three-toed sloth, and Vicky probably would be an orang-utan.”
Personally I’d be happy if they were all dodos.
An extinct species.
Top Boy’s thrilling, unravelling finale.
The dawning realisation and resignation on James Jordan’s face he’d be paired with Strictly Come Dancing HGV Vanessa Feltz.
Great British Bake Off’s custard tart massacre almost beating an England World Cup qualifier on ITV in the ratings.
And everything, especially the menace of Sam Neill, about BBC2’s awesome Birmingham post-World War I gangster drama Peaky Blinders (Boardwalk Brumpire).
If you’re wondering, yes. I had “Boredwalk Empire” ready to go if wasn’t any good.
Strictly Come Dancing trotting off for three weeks.
BBC2 bothering to air a Dragon’s Den with zero investments.
X Factor lasting only until week two before wheeling out a parade of returning failures from Judges’ Houses past.
This Morning again booking pretend rent-a-gob Katie Hopkins to gush make-believe garbage about it being okay for parents to miss their child’s birthday: “They’re like trains – there’ll be another one.”
ITV making a 13th series of The Alan Titchmarsh Show when they could just as easily plough that money into a proper OAP day centre.
And BBC2’s Harvest 2013 host Gregg Wallace: “I’d like to raise a glass because where would we be in Britain without the potato?”
With John Torode hosting MasterChef single-handed?
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