Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Itchy Reality™

 " There is only one world, and this is false, cruel, contradictory, seductive, without meaning - a world thus constituted is the real world. We have need of lies to conquer this reality, this "truth", that is in order to live"

As I have mentioned before, my brother Rudolph used to be a big game hunter, but when that became rather politically incorrect - he became a TV pundit on survival in the wilderness.

He has made a number of television programmes visiting various parts of the world and covering such topics as bushcraft and survival skills, the traditional culture of indigenous peoples, and the achievements of noted explorers.

I should have realised that he would not be able to resist the publicity surrounding our trip to discover the source of the River Oooze.

The fact that I, myself, world-renowned entrepreneur and “A” list celebrity, would be accompanying him, has garnered great interest from many television companies – keen to have me on their channel.

Rupert sheepishly admitted that he had done a deal with the TV controller of Channel One, of the British Broadcasting Corporation, to deliver a primetime reality series on our expedition.

“He is very keen on, what he calls, ‘itchy reality™” explained Rupert. “It seems that he feels that our adventure, battling with the wilderness, is just the ticket!”

Now, I have to say that I have already fallen out quite badly with the Controller of BBC1.

He pestered me all last year to agree to be a judge on his new flagship show – The Voice. This is a music competition to find new singing talent. The judges sit in chairs with their backs to the artist, so they can only judge them on their singing, if they like what they hear, a button-press allows their chair to spin around and face the performer, signifying that they would like to mentor them.

As you know, despite not wishing to be in the limelight (for I am a retiring soul) I am well known for my charitable works. So, I was only persuaded to take part in this project when I was assured of the great opportunities these young singers would benefit from.

Imagine my fury to receive a phone call from the TV Controller early one morning declaring that they would no longer require my services “F’raid it’s no go Unc – we just can’t make a chair that will turn carrying your weight – you are just to big for the show!”

“Are you implying that I am too fat?!” I fumed.

“You must appreciate that we are not judging you on your looks, Unc, It’s just not technically possible to have such a lard arse in one of our chairs!” he whined.

After this debacle, as you can imagine, I was in no mood to take part in some silly documentary. However, for Rupert’s sake (his career has suffered since the incident when he was found to have been staying in an hotel during a ‘wilderness trip’) I felt I had little choice but to go along with the filming.

I must admit I did not take to the cameraman/director. He seemed familiar – but as the camera hid his face all the time I could not place him.

The whole thing was ridiculous – he insisted on creating a number of silly scenarios that were supposed to have happened during our journey. I believe this is known as ‘scripted’ reality.

First he had me fighting a crocodile (which was, in reality, my brother Rupert in a crocodile suit) then he had me pretending to take a phone call from President Obama agreeing to bail out US government debt. Then I was supposed to take a call from Carla Bruni – suggesting an overly personal relationship!

“Say something about how modestly you both live and people eating cake!” shouted the director.

I have a bad feeling about all of this.

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