Before I get into this blog post, I should point out that it’s based on an article in the Daily Star. Given the entirely fictional nature of some of the stories they choose to run, I’m fully aware that this latest story, while not controversial, might also contain about as many facts as a five-year-old could write about quantum mechanics on the back of a stamp. But still, it’s a way of bringing July to a close on the blog.
Anyway, the story was about how ITV bosses are rumoured to be lining up – among other Z-list celebrities – The Chuckle Brothers for this year’s I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!. Apparently, so much money is being ploughed into producing the series in HD and “ramping up” the Bushtucker Trials, there’s no money left to recruit any ‘big names’ to actually take part.
Not that I really care about money being available for marginally-better-than-shit celebrities to be signed up by ITV, but is there really any need to film the series in High Definition? Is it so that people with HD televisions can see, in stunning detail, the fluid from a kangaroo’s ruptured testicle dribbling down the stubbled chin of Matthew Le Tissier’s wife’s landscape gardener? Or maybe it’s so that we’ll be able to count the individual blood vessels in Bernie Clifton’s eyes, bulging like inflatable maps of the country’s A-roads, as he gags on a cockroach Granola. Let’s face it, it’s no Planet Earth.
And how, exactly, are they going to “ramp up” the Bushtucker Trials? The trials usually involve contestants either eating their body weight in insects and animal genitalia, or swimming around water-based assault courses, while cutaways of thrashing baby crocodiles and hissing snakes are inserted into the VT for added jeopardy.
If they really want to ramp up the trials, they should serve drowsy, post-op celebrities a plate of seared kidney on a bed of shredded large intestine, which they can tuck into from the numbing depths of an ice bath – that’s also a rum cocktail. The winner (i.e. the celeb that doesn’t lose consciousness and manages to finish the meal) gets a big curly straw and the chance to get squiffy.
If that doesn’t appeal, then maybe the producers could add real jeopardy by booby-trapping the jungle undergrowth surrounding the celebs’ encampment, so it’s like the Louisiana bayou in Southern Comfort. Then, whenever the group has to nominate two celebrities to walk off into the bush to recover a chest, we can laugh at their nervous expressions and tearful protestations at being selected. There’s also the added bonus that they might not come back.
If The Chuckle Brothers are the biggest celebrities that ITV producers can muster this year, it’s still fairly good going. Compared to some contestants from previous series, like Fran Cosgrave, Alex Best, Katie Hopkins and Karly Zucker, they’re astronomically famous.
(I know they really are brothers, but whenever I see The Chuckle Brothers together I always think about that scene in Alien Resurrection when Ripley happens upon the aborted, malformed clones of herself. At the start of his career in kids’ TV, I like to imagine that producers took a nervous Paul Elliot into a BBC lab to introduce him to ‘Barry’ – the best clone they could create with the scientific knowledge and technology available in the late eighties.)
Anyway, if they are involved in this year’s show I sort of hope their participation ends up like the Richard Wilson episode of Father Ted. Surprisingly, there are still two members of ‘Blue’ that haven’t yet done a stint in the jungle, so let’s imagine for a second that Lee Ryan is the first member of this year’s group to welcome Paul and Barry to the jungle. However, as he warmly shakes their hands he also attempts an ill-advised “to me, to you” impression, which subsequently sends The Chuckle Brothers into a violent rage.
Paul and Barry then rampage through the camp chasing the other celebrities with sticks, until a team of burly security men are dropped into the jungle with tranquilliser guns to regain control.
If that happens, or ITV implement any of the changes I’ve suggested in this post, I may just watch it.