Tuesday, May 17, 2005

I Want My Mam

It's always good to see a new prime-time reality show on our screens, especially one which features the word 'celebrity' in the title. It's about as close to a seal of quality as you can get in this business. So I was particularly pleased to welcome 'Celebrity Love Island' onto ITV1 last night, a show which posed the teasing question "Can you create the perfect celebrity couple?".

Taking a look at the line-up, the answer would appear to be no. Personally I'd never heard of half of them, but I expect that's only because I'm generally unfamiliar with people who have been in about three episodes of a minor soap.

The biggest stars were presenting it, namely Patrick Kielty and Kelly Brook, the latter seeking to show how much she's learnt since her Big Breakfast days. And the answer? Very little. And that's being generous. The pair made a consummate presenting couple, the like of which we've not seen since Sam Fox and Mick Fleetwood did the Brits. The show may be set in Fiji, but after five minutes of Miss Brook's personal brand of wooden ineptitude, I already felt like catching the next plane out there just to give her a slap.

But ignoring the hosts, the rest of the celebs seemed to be enjoying themselves. As Atomic Kitten's Liz McClarnon said of Eastenders' Mr Greco, "Michael's come up with loads of games for us to play which are really good fun. Games where we throw things into bowls". One can only assume that all the available drying paint on the island had been watched by then.

Others seemed a little unclear on why they were even there. When seasonal greeting soundalike, Abi Titmuss, posed the question "Did you come here looking for love?", boy-band bodyguard Fran Cosgrave looked so taken aback, you'd think Paul Burrell had just announced a close personal friendship with Tom Hanks. But then Fran appeared confused on a number of issues. Having labeled Abi as 'promiscuous', a label she seemed to resent somewhat, Fran calmly explained the misunderstanding by stating "I just have a different description in my head of what that word means".

In the same way I like to think of Rebecca Loos as a total slapper, but obviously I mean something completely different when I say that.

Fortunately for Abi though, best friend Calum was on hand to lend some support with the reassuring words "Baby, I don't really give a shite".

Not everyone was as happy as Abi though. Jayne Middlemiss, who was described onscreen by her friend Chris as "great fun to be around, she's a real laugh", sought to confirm that opinion by spending the night sobbing into her hankie whilst complaining "There's no walls, I haven't got any walls, I haven't got a wall. I've got no security".

Yeah, I'm quite attached to walls myself. I find they help to keep the ceiling up.

Jayne continued with the tearful cry "I don't like it. I want to go home", before finishing with a wailing "I want my Mam!".

Which was pretty much how I felt after sitting through ninety minutes of this thing.