We should all have such woes
RI’M often asked if I’d go on a TV reality show “with all your experience of TV, Rich”. I usually manage to stop laughing after about five minutes.
The graveyard of public reputations is littered with the shattered remains of people who thought they could outsmart the producers. Once you’ve taken the programme’s shilling and stepped into the Big House, Jungle, or whatever, you are the mere plaything of executives who’d make a control freak look like the model of laissez faire.
The BBC’s Bake Off might be an exception; it’s about individual skill and talent. Not much room for manipulation of contestants there, surely?
Tell that to Diana Beard, vilified this week after being shown on Bake Off “sabotaging” rival Iain Watters’s ice cream pudding; removing it from a freezer, leaving it to melt.
He stormed off and was eliminated. Great telly. Except… furious Diana says she was stitched up in the edit. “They deliberately made it look as if I’d left his dessert out of the freezer for several minutes,” she angrily protests. “It was 40 seconds!” The BBC now admits Diana was blameless, but too late. “People are saying all kinds of nasty things about me now,” she protests.
“Reality” programmes are about as real as a magic show. Smoke and mirrors, illusion and distortion. Watch and enjoy. But take part at your peril.
JSAMANTHA DISNEY is a 32-yearold woman from Ramsgate in Kent. She was whisked away on a week-long package holiday to Tunisia by her boyfriend Chris for a romantic week during which he proposed. Samantha is a nervous flier and needed medication to get on the plane at Gatwick.
When the time came to fly home, Samantha refused to leave for the airport saying she was too frightened to fly. “I completely freaked out. When we told the holiday reps they read us a disclaimer saying if we didn’t get on the coach to the airport then we were not their responsibility.”
This is what happened next: 1) Samantha’s mum flew out to “rescue” her. 2) They found a ferry crossing from Tunis to France but Samantha had another panic attack and refused to board.
R3) They finally got on a ferry to Marseilles where they boarded a train to Paris before taking the Eurostar to Ashford, Kent.
They arrived home after more than a month in Tunisia. Said Samantha: “It ruined what should have been an incredible holiday. Chris proposed and we were really celebrating. “This was just a blight on the whole thing. We missed out on work for a month and we were draining our bank balances. It was absolutely awful. In total, we must have spent an extra £5,000.”
Just thought you might enjoy reading about Samantha’s horrible experience at a time when all hell is breaking loose in the Middle East and thousands are dying. Altogether now: “Aah, diddums.” DID you know that the car tax disc will become history this October? No? Me neither. Why
have the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency kept so quiet about it? The tax disc system’s served us well since 1921. A passing copper or traffic warden only had to glance at a parked-up car’s windscreen to see if it was taxed. Now the whole system will rely on state roadside security (ie, spy) cameras and computer records. Sorry but licenceplate recognition cameras are notoriously unreliable. So are government databases. I predict chaos, foul-ups
SOME celebrities look either awkward or over-pleased with themselves when featured on BBC1’s excellent Who Do You Think You Are? (Friends tell me I looked permanently semi-stunned on mine, which took me back to my early American Puritan roots).
But New Tricks star Tamzin Outhwaite looked, by turns, intrigued, moved, sad and joyful when WDYTYA connected her to her Italian origins this week. And she was as pretty as a picture throughout.