Tuesday, March 09, 2010

I'm A Celebrity.......No Really, I Am !!

When I shut the laptop lid last night (which drops it into sleep mode), I forgot that I've got it set to do a scheduled virus scan at 12:30am every Tuesday morning. As a result it decided to kick into life when I opened up the lid at 8:22am and trying to stop a scheduled virus scan is like getting an English speaking help desk person. It may be a possibility but not one I've yet come across.

So as a scan takes 6 hrs and really slows down my system, I "took a hammer to the problem" and rebooted.

One of the first programs to come up was my digiguide, an excellent interactive TV guide that I can't live without in the UK. Before shutting it down again (not much use for me here in Florida), I looked to see what was on tv tonight in my area back home. Oh dear.

I'm really not sure how the BBC and ITV get any viewers at all. Filling the peak time slot, all I saw was the usual collection of reality shows, soaps and, dear God almighty, even more 'celebrity' programs. How I hate this celebrity culture and there seems no end to the ridiculous shows they dream up for them and inflict on us.

And who ARE these celebrities ? We're used to reading about A-list celebs and even B-list celebs, people we might actually know about without having to resort to doing a Google search. Then with a plethera of shows to, in most cases, introduce them to us, we found more and more classifications for these people and suddenly we were in danger of not having enough letters in the alphabet to deal with their imagined status.

Tonight there is a show on BBC1 at 9pm called Famous, Rich And Jobless.

Glancing at the 4 names involved, I would class the last word as probable, the middle word as dubious and the first word as downright libelous.

Four celebrities put unemployment in the spotlight by agreeing to swap their fame and fortune for a world of joblessness, job hunting and living on the poverty line and benefits.

Why ? Why on earth would anyone want to see such a thing ? If I was jobless, on benefits or on the poverty line, would I tune in to see how a celebrity would cope, living my life for a while ? No, as I'd probably not have a tv in the first place !!! Oh wait, I'm on benefits so I'd probably have a 62" Sony plasma on the wall. Silly me. But I'm living the life so why would I want to see anyone else dealing with it ?!

And who are these four celebrities ?

Actor Larry Lamb, television gardener Diarmuid Gavin. interior designer Meg Matthews and (drum roll please) model-turned-mechanic Emma Parker Bowles.

I know, I know. Do we have a letter beyond Z ? Z minus or something ! Even with Google search I was hard pushed to find them. I think model-turned-mechanic says a lot about a career progression and television gardener has to be somewhere near television chef in a list of people on tv who should only be seen at 6am on a Sunday morning.

I don't watch Eastenders so even a photo of Larry Lamb didn't help much but at least it ruled out Larry the Lamb, a slightly more famous celebrity who I'd have quite liked to have seen living on benefits for a while !

So there we have it. Educational prime time viewing at its very best on the national channel that I'm helping to pay for. Except that right now, I'm not. Every year, just before coming over here for 6 months, I contact the tv licence people and say I'm leaving and so I'm not going to pay my licence fee till I return. They say that's fine and then send me a letter every month because, according to their records, there is a tv in my house and yet they're not getting any money from me to watch it. The letters get more and more threatening until finally they threaten me with a personal appearance by one of their employees. The following month an employee does indeed appear at my house and leaves a card saying he has done so and if they don't get any money from me, they'll huff and puff and blow my aerial off the roof.

But I'm on cable, so HA !!!!!

I get this every year and every year when I return home and read the letters and see the card, I ring to both let them know I'm back and will therefore start paying my licence fee again AND to complain about the letters. In this little game of playing silly buggers, they always give the same reply.

"Oh it's just a computer thing so you can ignore the letters."

Great, and so I continue to ignore them from 4,000 miles away and wonder why a small part of my licence fee isn't used to get someone to write a better computer programme that can cope with a situation where it's possible for a house to have a tv set but as it's empty for 6 months, it DOESN'T NEED A TV LICENCE.

So as I'm neither in the UK now or able to watch BBC1 anyway, I guess I shouldn't get steamed up about programs like Famous, Rich and Jobless. Except that I do.

Because I just know that when I return, such shows will STILL be on tv and these useless so called celebrities will STILL be appearing on my fully licenced tv screen.

I think they should all be rounded up and sent off into the jungle. Oh wait........


Anonymous said...

A little anecdote: I met Diarmuid Gavin (my keyboard has insufficient symbols to spell his name properly) when he came to Milton Keynes to open a new garden centre.

He was surrounded by hundreds of little kids and several adoring mums (it pleases me that I just accidentally spelt that 'mom' - the change is happening).

I had brought two stepdaughters with me to get his autograph - something to do with brownies - and stood next to him whilst the shop manager spoke worthy things about how great the new store would be and how happy they were that Diarmuid had come to open it for them.

Whilst this was happening, Diarmuid was telling me, as the only bloke within 20 feet, exactly how mind-bendingly hungover he was and how the noise of the microphone and adoring crowd was like a hammer drill to his temples.

He smelt fantastic and beamed a glowing smile to all and sundry with lots of twinkly-eyed patience as yet another mom, er, mum put her arm around him for a photograph.

But I knew the truth... bless him.

Jennyta said...

Now, Ian, take a deep breath and relax....ssssh, that's right, just take your medication and go back to sleep....You'll feel so much better when you wake up. ;)

britoutofwater said...

I've got a similar-ish post planned soon...I promise I haven't stolen it from you (I'm a Manchester United fan, not a Liverpool supporter...)

Silverback said...

Nice story, Ian, I'd no idea you'd met a celebrity and by any current definition, that makes you one now.

Yes being mid afternoon here I've had my little nap and feel so much better, thank you, Jenny.

This blog saves me a fortune in piils and therapy ;-)

Silverback said...

Dammit you sneaked in there, Dylan. I'll await your typically brilliant post with ill conceived impatience.

There, that was pretty generous towards a ManU supporter. And better with the typo fixed as well ;-)

Daphne said...

It's such lazy programming! On a commercial channel, IF it pulls in the viewers, I can kind of understand it - - but on the BBC? It's just WRONG. And did you ever meet anyone who said "What I really love on television is programmes about Z-list celebrities. I do hope they'll make more."?

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