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A free idea for every reader!

22 April, 2013

I like being deliberately vague and creating doubt. For example I drink my tea from a Queen Mother mug precisely because I am not a royalist and it was a tacky mug I bought in London; I had a postcard of John Major’s face on the fridge when he was prime minister precisely because there is no way I would have voted for him; I like to argue vehemently that the moon landings were faked when they clearly weren’t; I partly became a huge fan of S Club 7 because they were the kind of my band that usually I would hate. I could go on, but I think you get the point. I guess in a way it is a manifestation of my insecurity that I hide behind false impressions, but mainly it’s just a laugh, it’s all for my own amusement.

I like it when art messes with reality too, blurring the divisions. The reason why I think The Office is the greatest comedy on television since Fawlty Towers is partly the brilliant acting and characterisation, but mainly because it was so incredibly well observed that many people thought it was a docu-soap when it first went out. I love that story about the Orson Welles radio version of War Of The Worlds being taken as real news by many listeners. The Richard Geefe columns that Chris Morris wrote had me completely convinced from the first instalment. And one of the reasons why I am such a huge fan of The KLF, apart from their music, is that so many legends and mistruths surround their story. Did they really go to Sweden and burn all their copies of 1987? Did they really intend to throw dead sheep flesh into the audience at the 1992 Brits? Did they really burn a million quid as The K Foundation? The truth is almost irrelevant, it’s the legend that matters.

There was a brilliant reality TV show back in 2005 called Space Cadets in which a group of volunteers were to be the first televised space tourists and flown to Russia for training. Except they were flown to an old RAF base and the whole thing was a hoax which the viewers were all in on. There was a lot of public debate at the time over whether they would realise as their five-day orbit approached. The “crew” were brilliant, staying in character 24-hours a day, and there were even a couple of actors in amongst the volunteers whose job was to divert attention in case anyone started to suspect.

And as we approached the end of their flight and the live final episode was about to be aired and the hoax revealed to the contestants, rumours were spreading that rather than the volunteers being duped, the whole show had been fake, and it was the viewers who had been fooled into thinking the volunteers had been fooled. And I thought that would be a MUCH better ending. I still think this idea has a future, and I can’t believe it has never been made (or has it?) – a reality TV / Big Brother show which is completely fictional, but presented as genuine. A Truman Show where the audience are the ones who don’t know it is all fake.

You can have that idea for free, take it away and make great telly with it. I for one would be a huge fan. And once it has been made, what reality TV producer could ever make another series of their tedious docu-soaps and fly-on-the-wall tedium? Their bubble would have burst.



From → Blogging, My Head

  1. I think you might really be my husband.

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