Monday, February 28, 2005

Five confirm Celebrity Outing: LIVE

It is the news that the celebrity world has been dreading, Channel 5 confirmed today that Celebrity Outing: Live would be going ahead and airing as soon as March this year.

Celebrity Outing Live is the brainchild of notorious TV Producer Joanna P McCready and her production team Crimson Tide; the masterminds behind last years break out hit Child Swap.

Child Swap 3
Channel 5 raises it's profile with more documentaries

Parenting Groups universally condemned Child Swap across the UK. The Campaign for Children in Cotton Wool, or CCCW, stated on their website that Child Swap,

“Maintained the pretense of social experiment and education for the sake of lowest common denominator entertainment”,

The group found the ‘defamatory language’ used by show narrator Martin Clunes to be the most offensive aspect of the show. “Clunes seems to spit out the words ‘pikey’ and ‘chav’ as he describes the children from the less privileged background” the CCCW note.

Child Swap ran throughout autumn last year and featured both middle-class and work-class couples who freely exchanged their 4-year-old children with each other for a period of 12 months. During this time, a TV crew followed both families as they adapt to their new parents and new children.

McCready was on hand this morning to answer questions about Five’s new high profile celebrity themed show at a press conference held at a 5-star hotel in central London.

The first question came from a reporter who asked MrCready to explain how her previous show was educational.

“Obviously Child Swap showed us conclusively that it is easier and more socially rewarding to take a child from a poor family and integrate it into a better off family. It was demonstrated that society is still very split in terms of class”,

The same reporter challenged McCready by suggesting that everybody already knew this and all McCready was in fact doing was lighting fires and then standing back to film it.

At this pointed, the reporter, who turned out to be from Radio Times, was ejected from the conference by security guards.

After a few moments, McCready took another question regarding the format of the show,

“Crimson Tide are fully aware that Celebrity Outing: Live is potentially a more risky proposition than Child Swap. We deliberately set out to expose both gay celebrities purporting to be heterosexual, and heterosexuals who purport to be gay”

When asked if this a particularly common practice in the world of celebrities, McCready cryptically answered, “You have no idea”.

Asked if she were concerned by the inevitably backlash, such a show would cause. McCready said;

"I don't really care what the celebrities think about this. I am not doing it for them. This is for non-celebrities, the little people who tune in and are constantly tricked into believe they are Politically Correct or right-on because they laugh with people like Graham Norton and Dale Winton who they wrongly believe are gay”

McCready said, before adding, "Which we know they are most definitely not"

To which a reporter for the Daily Mail shouted out, “And now so do we”. At this, the amassed crowd of Journalist began to laugh.

pair of gits
Declan Donnelly is one of these fools

Declan Donnelly, one half of popular presenting duo ‘Anthony and Declan’, who is also chairman of the TV Personality League, certainly is not laughing. During an interview, this afternoon he had this to say about Five’s proposed new show,

"If that bitch (McCready) goes ahead with this sh*te", Donnelly said, "It'll f**k up the lives of a great many of the people you see everyday on TV. Not just the big hitters like Tone, and me. I’m talking about the guys in the pub at the Rovers or Queen Vic. The tarts doing the weather and yes, even the classics of TV like Whitely, Edmonds and Tarrant".

Donnelly explained before quickly noting, "Not that I am saying Whitely, Edmonds or Tarrant are poofters of course".

The TV Personality League was set up four years ago. It was specifically designed to safeguard the interests of 'legitimate' TV personalities. Donnelly explained that TV personalities are those who regularly appear on television, as opposed to what Donnelly describes as,

"All those council house born, no-talents gurning monkeys from those horrific reality TV shows, that would sell their kidneys to get a toe on telly for a second".

The incident which led to the formation of TVPL, involved Bruce Forsyth, presenter of ITV's ‘Show them your cards’, being shown his cards and sacked from the popular family game show. The following week Kitten, the militant gay activist from Big Brother 11, replaced Forsyth.

"That lezzer only got the job because she was cheap,” Donnelly declared, “And because all the hairless chimps knew who she was”

‘Hairless chimps’ as Donnelly later revealed, is a technical term for the demographic most attracted to reality TV shows.

Dr Johnson Merryweather, Head of Media studies, Toxteth Sixth Form College, Merseyside, said that the reason the majority of celebrities were in fear that their true sexual orientation would become known, was not because they believe the British public is inherently homophobic, it was rather that the British just like to know who their straights are and who their gays are.

“And they really hate to be bullshitted”, Merryweather added.

Merryweather referenced popular children’s entertainer Lilly Savage who appeared throughout the 90's on our television as Paul O'Grady. "It just confused the public",

Merryweather said "One minute she's a gay straight man, the next he’s a straight transvestite gay. They need it kept simple to keep watching"

Merryweather suggested that Julian Clary was the perfect role model for gaining affection amongst the television viewers,

"He was bender, he said he was a bender and everyone knew where they were and they loved him for it", when asked what he meant by 'bender' Merryweather become embarrassed and explained that he meant to say 'homosexual' and apologised for any offence caused.

In fact it’s testament to Merryweather’s theory that when in 1998 Clary publicly stated he had been ‘fisting’ the then chancellor, his comments were met with affection and understanding. If on the other hand a heterosexual entertainer had made the same comment, there would certainly have been a media outcry. Such is the precarious nature of sharing your sexuality with the nation.

Out come in big guns for the ratings war

There’s no question that Celebrity Outing: LIVE is almost certainly going to be a ratings giant, mixing as it does the winning elements of celebrity, sex, scandal and as McCready described at today’s press conference, “A game show element all the family can get involved in”.

Whether the government will choose to step in remains to be seen, but with questions in the house being raised regarding Britain’s rapidly declining Celebrity numbers, it can only surely be a question of time.

Celebrity Outing: LIVE is due to air mid March. Child Swap is out to own on DVD from Monday.


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