Hot on the heels of the sadly short-lived 'People's Court', ITV1 have changed tack slightly and decided to fill the slot vacated by Trisha with another show featuring likely veterans of the British legal system (ie. people with ASBOs): the all-new 'The Springer Show'. Which is nothing to do with spaniels, and everything to do with people in baseball caps who like two-word rebukes ending in 'off'. You've never seen a better argument for culling half the population.
Today's first edition was entitled "Am I the Dad?", thus missing out on the obvious "Who's the Daddy?" line, and according to former mayor, future president, and star of west end operas, Jerry Springer, featured "three men who are desperate to know if they're fathers to their excess children".
I was quite shocked by the term "excess children". Until I realised Jerry had said "ex's children". That's the American accent for you. But hey, the man was still easier to understand than his guests, most of whom had turned up demanding DNA tests. Presumably to find out if they're human.
First up was 18 year old Daniel, whose girlfriend Jessica had got herself pregnant by another man a month after taking up with with our Danny boy, who was now doubtful about the parentage of her second child. Jessica was naturally outraged at the suggestion that she might have been unfaithful (as if she'd ever do such a thing... again), but was up against Danny's Mum Lindsey, who could put a foghorn out of business, and was scarier than a charging rhino. And about as pretty.
She told Jessica (at a high decibel level), "I pity the poor mucker [I think she said mucker] who ends up marrying you", proving that not only does she look like Mr T, she talks like him too.
Jessica retaliated by informing her ex mother-in-law that the baby girl is "the spitting image of you". If that's true, I'd have her adopted. Or put in a circus.
But Lindsey wasn't the only looker on the show. When responsible father Danny was asked how he'd react to the news that the baby was his, he replied "I don't think I'd have anything to do with her". And why..? "Because the sight of Jessica physically repulses me". Presumably he wore a blindfold during sex.
But it was all resolved with a simple DNA test, a few upturned chairs, and a lot of excited cries of "'ave it", which I think is chav-speak for "you see, I was right all along".
Next up was Kerry. She'd split up with Matty after she'd caught him in bed with another woman a week after their baby was born. Or, if you believe Matty's mother's version of events, because "Kerry turned evil". Either way, the past was all forgotten with another DNA test which quickly proved Matty to be the father of Kerry's two children. A result which left them both in tears. Possibly for different reasons.
Finally we had Kelly and Terry (is there anyone whose name doesn't end in 'y' these days?) a young couple who'd "had a one night stand at a family barbecue". Haven't we all. They'd "met in the street" earlier that day, and were soon shagging behind the beefburgers in front of Auntie Pauline. Kelly was soon pregnant, and probably wondering if that was really mayonnaise on her dress.
Unfortunately, the entire family were all far too reasonable, and refused to so much as pull each other's hair or chuck a chair around. They just wouldn't enter into the spirit of the thing. Frankly I don't think they'd seen the show before. But eventually the results arrived, and Terry turned out not to be the baby's father. Which makes you wonder what Kerry had meant when she said she was off to get another sausage...