Reality is that losing self-respect is price that has to be paid
AS numerous famous names are touted as participants on this year’s I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!, it sparked a debate with some pals.
One asked what it would take to sign up to the ITV reality show, which follows well-known faces surviving in the Australian jungle.
“Ten grand”, one said. “I’d do it for ten grand.”
I shook my head. “Never. Ever,” I said.
“Come on,” the ten-grander said, “We’ve all got a price.”
While £10,000 is one heck of a payday, I’m not sure there’s any amount of money that would entice me to eat kangaroo testicles for the viewing pleasure of millions of people you don’t know.
The same goes for chewing camel bits, popping snake eyeballs with your teeth or being buried alive with spiders and rats.
It might be a life-changing experience, one that would make you realise the value of life, family and home.
Actually, I reckon I would do it — but in private with no cameras to carefully edit you into being a prize eejit.
The conversation turned to what reality show we would do. I had no hesitation. Strictly Come Dancing. The hair, the glitter, the dresses. Being Cinderella every weekend. It’s worth it for the makeup lessons and dance moves, let alone the cheque. That’s the sparkly end of reality TV. “I’d definitely do Who Do You Think You Are?”, another pal piped up. “I’d love to know more about my family tree.”
I’m with her. You might even find out you’re descended from royalty, as happened to EastEnders “geezer” Danny Dyer in a recent episode.
The problem with the majority of fly-on-the-wall shows, however, is that cameras lie in wait to show the participants having a tantrum, sulking or being lazy.
Because that makes better telly than being nice.
Rarely does anyone come out as a good egg, someone with whom you’d want to share a pint.
For every Scarlett Moffat (I’m A Celeb winner and Gogglebox star) who makes a career from reality telly, there are 10 George Galloways, forever remembered — in spite of a lifetime in politics — as the purring cat on Celebrity Big Brother.
Do you have a price? An offer to which you couldn’t say no? Even to swallowing (or giving up) your pride in the shape of kangaroo bits?
“£1 million,” my friend said as we were leaving. “Come on, you’d do it for £1 million.”
You can’t put a price on self-respect. Not in a million… OK, maybe for £1 million.
Presenters Ant and Dec on I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here.