JUST AN OBSERVATION
Just An Observation Friday May 10th
And now Jimmy Tarbuck’s name has been added to the list of those tied up in the wake of the Savile scandal. Television people certainly are a breed different to the rest of us with rules and regulations of their own. This was highlighted this week by the return of the medium’s most belligerent bullies- Lord Sugar(formerly Sir, nee Alan) and Mary Portas- and as fate would conspire to have it they went up against each other in the schedules.
The return of ‘The Apprentice’, whose catchphrase should be altered to ‘You’re tired’ due to the likelihood of a narcolepsy attack during its showing, actually surprised me with its return as last years showing was so dismal and I thought that would have been the end of the franchise. It shows that programme controllers really do believe in flogging a dead horse but due to the entrepreneurial skills allegedly on display, opportunistically to Tesco in the form of meat fit for a lasagne. Again the wild claims of the contestants-read desperadoes- at the beginning had me reaching for the sick bucket as well worn clichés such as ‘thinking outside the box’ and ‘a robot with personality’ and the like were trundled out for our bemusement.
Lord Sugar-how pompous is the insistence of the use of that title at all times?- obviously felt the need to up the ante by being more obnoxious than usual. Supposedly this makes good television in some peoples books but in mine it just shows an extremely rude and belligerent man who has been allowed to get away with too much for too long.
Mind you those contestants are enough to bring on a tourettes outburst in a convent. This year they all seemed to have stumbled in from the set of TOWIE with all the fake tans, false hair, eyelashes and immobile faces on display. That was just the men; don’t even start me on the shrieking harpies representing the female of the species. Surely it would be better renamed The Only Way Is Botox.
Out in the wasteland of Channel 4 the orange helmeted warrior Mary Portas stalked up and down an abandoned market in Roman Road in the east end of London. Actually I have a grudging admiration of Portas as although I feel she is occasionally misguided at least she shows an interest in trying to preserve some of what made Britain so special in the past and tries to claw back some of the standards and community which are now being obliterated in the name of so-calledprogress.
However I have not been able to quite forgive her for what she has done to charity shops who are now so self aware of what they are having donated that it is almost impossible to stumble across that special find which made charity shopping such an adventure. She confused charity shops with high end vintage stores and subsequently in the process forgot that many people on low incomes shopped there because it was all they could afford and not the preserve of those who do it for a bit of a lark for a bit of street-cred kudos.
I remember as a student finding a pair of unworn Armani wool trousers for under a fiver but the likelihood of that occurrence is unlikely nowadays. Thus now thanks to her meddling you can buy Top Shop clothes at just a few pounds less than their original price thus just convincing those with little money to head for Primark where similar items can be purchased unworn for the same amount if not cheaper. Surely this was not what she set out to do.
Despite this Portas is eminently more watchable and likeable than Sugar –sorry I had to drop the Lord but that’s just the way I roll with a flagrant disregard for authority- and her heart does often seem to be in almost the right place, unlike His Royal Lordship who seems to have replaced his with a string of expletives and a curmudgeon-like demeanour.
In the wake of yet another celebrity, in this case Jimmy Tarbuck, being outed in the underage sex scandal it was shocking to read that top barrister Barbra Hewson has called for the age of consent to be lowered to thirteen and to stop persecuting these poor old men for crimes committed decades ago. Sorry? Have I just walked into a parallel universe?
What is shocking about this is not that this comes from a woman-her gender should not be an issue- but the way she is trying to portray these predators as the victims in this whole debacle. Whilst there may well be some bandwagon jumpers on this situation it is clear that something was definitely wrong in the way these so-called stars abused their position. Lowering the age of consent is not the answer as it merely creates a new set of taboos which those in the position of privilege feel they have the right to abuse.
Going to my first barbecue of the season tomorrow and I am just hoping our host has an indoor plan. A brief glimpse of summer waved itself at us on Tuesday but since then well, back to (ab)normal. I live in hope though and am hoping I can at least leave the winter woollens in the drawer where they belong. However if it is sunshine you are looking for then you could do worse than head for the cinema for the new Almodovar film I’m so Excited which is an entertaining bit of camp froth guaranteed to brighten up your day and have you high kicking your way home. A full review can be found here.