Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Charlotte Church Show

Call me a car crash TV fetishist but I couldn’t resist watching the Voice of an Angel’s debut excursion into evening chat show-land last night – and on Channel 4 as well. It was always going to be a flop of course, what can you expect of a barely-educated 20-year-old who reads by paparazzi flashlight? Why should she be able to do what a Wogan or a Ross can do – or even what a Sharon Osbourne can’t do?
But then her show is not a chat show at all. It’s actually a variety show for Generation-H - as in H for Heat (OK, heat) magazine.
Give Carlotta her due. She didn’t hang about chatting to her guests Denise Van Outen and some comic (fresh from Edinburgh) I’d never heard of, Michael McIntyre. A quick how-d’ya-do on the couch and then we were down to the real Gen-H business: bitching about other celebs, Heat-style. Up popped stars’ holiday pics on a slide – pics we’d already seen in Heat, Now! New! More! (shall I go on?) – and the ridicule came thick and fast. The fried near-nude form of David Beckham in his white briefs on a yacht reminded Charlotte of a “chip” while an image of a manatee-proportioned Cherie Blair elicited much studio laughter. Even man-boobed Hollywood legend Jack Nicholson did not escape the censure of the Thin Nazis.
This was all a bit unfortunate given that Our Charl has just set up some fashion line for the bigger woman and has gone on record as saying she couldn’t give a fig about whether she’s big or small. Plainly she’s obsessed with her looks, and everyone else’s, as any addict of Heat magazine would be. Hasn’t the mag traded on ridiculing all sorts of celebrity disfigurement and irregularity in its pretty pages, playing on our desire to project common vanity fears onto our fellow mankind? I just ask the questions here. And to think Heat set out as a respectable movie publication. It sells by the truckload each week and has helped spawn a whole new generation of body-bitches. Charlotte personifies the trend.
Not that her show was all bad. It did at least bring Michael McIntyre to public attention. Clearly he should have a show of his own. Indeed at times he did take over as the Fallen Angel fidgeted nervously at his blitz of amusing bons mots, scarcely disguising her unease as a presentiment of another career move cramped out any natural reaction.
Charlotte would be best advised to dump the unfunny sketches and just recruit a panel of emaciated Z-listers to bitch about porcine A-listers for the H effect.
Heat would be an enthusiastic sponsor, I’m certain.

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