Monday, April 12, 2010

Reward Showbiz™: The 10 most pointless celebrity books and TV shows

I'm a great follower of reward showbiz™ (© Madame Arcati 2010) - gigs bestowed upon slebs only because they have a name. Many showbiz or media projects are dreamt up simply as an excuse to get a star to front them. Such projects have three essential characteristics: 1) a star; 2) a journey, quest or list; 3) pointlessness. Here's my latest top 10 rewardees:

1. Joanna Lumley for Joanna Lumley's Nile, a new four part series on ITV1 starting this week. No earthly reason why the Nepalese goddess should be associated with this river, but it's an opportunity to wallow in cultivated mellifluousness as she bears her polished teeth at familiar sights - such as a lookalike camel - in various gurnings of rapture. Oh look, there's a pyramid.

2. Quentin Letts for his throwaway read 50 People Who Buggered Up Britain. The Daily Mail's right-wing attack dog is a professional frother who appears to favour a return to Feudalism and the use of the rack. An utterly pointless addition to the listerature genre - he is after all part of the problem.

3. Michael Palin and his various TV/book tie-in travels, from the Sahara to his Hemingway Adventure. Nothing in Palin's career quite prepared us for the unedifying sight of a perfectly credible comic actor turning into a Phileas Fogg freebie tart. If he has shed new light on any part of the globe do let me know.

4. Andrew Marr for History of Modern Britain. Any excuse to get this gesticulating barker on the box. Rest assured, his "history" will be referenced by no serious scholar; it's just a loafer's guide to event whatnots, the sort of crap Reader's Digest might have once published for leisurely reads.

5. Jeremy Paxman for The Victorians: Britain through the Paintings of the Age (book and TV series). What does he know about art? The book was substantially written by someone else in any case. A great vanity juggernaut to keep a familar face on the screen.

6. Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman for Long Way Round: TV series and book. A chance to ogle at two leather clad arses in different international locations. Shamelessly the book's publisher writes on Amazon "The fact that those men are figures with notable film connections ... may be the reason the book got written ... but so what?" How sad are the punters?

7. Richard Hammond for all his TV shows but Top Gear. TV looks for any excuse to have him either blowing up things or testing things that may blow up, all because he nearly got himself killed once. Each promise of doom leaves us cruelly tantalised.

8. Sophie Dahl for Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights (book/TV show). A Nigella Lawson copycat  - famous surname + food erotica. The book boasts Dahl's "Matisse-like line drawings" destined for no public exhibition. Only two years ago or so she was presented as the great white hope of literature after a spell as a waif on catwalks.

9. Peter and Dan Snow for 20th Century Battlefields (book/TV series) - lanky father and son become visibly excited in the historical presence of slaughter. Where's a swingometer when you need one?

10. JLS - for all those fucking endless music rundown shows they've been fronting since they didn't win The X Factor but went on to become the show's biggest boy band stars. Testicle hugs and downward spastic finger thrusts conduct their guides to Michael Jackson and others. The tiny one especially requires treatment.

54 comments:

Prunella Minge said...

Quite right, Madame! And Jonathan King's absolutely essential autobiography has yet to find a major publisher - disgraceful!

Madame Arcati said...

A disgrace it is too. I'd give him a 10 part TV series to accompany.

Jonathan King said...

And I'd happily make it. Mind you I'm the first to admit I'm nowhere near as pretty as Joanna Lumley. Indeed, I'm not even as pretty as Madame Arcati.

Anonymous said...

Quite sublime: have you been mixing Absinthe in your Wincarnis?

Watching Dan Snow's perfomances is in every way comparable to being shown around a stately home by the retarded younger son.

Madame Arcati said...

Prettiness is not an issue in these matters, darling. In natural light, Lumley looks like a used napkin.

Madame Arcati said...

The Munsters come to mind apropos the Snows. Oh, and I missed out Stephen Fry's American jaunt in his jalopy. One for the sequel.

Anonymous said...

Oh Madame, you've just made me fart in a reference library because of my giggles.

Sir Reith Lecture said...

I think you should turn this piece into a TV series madame. Then you could list yourself.

The late Miles Kington said...

Joanna Lumley will strike you dead as a goddess. She has powers.

Anonymous said...

Darling Ma. Agreed on all points except Paxo. I L-O-V-E The Jeremy and only watch Newsfarce when he is on it. Not that Welsh wannabe Gavin Essssssler. And that woman is just nutty and froths at the mouth.Kirst whatshername. Now a programme about what really goes on at the News of the Screws re phone hacking and an investigation a la Jon Snow whom we L-O-V-E too into the bullying by your most favorite Andy Coulson, that would make jaw-dropping-teeth-sucking TV.

Madame Arcati said...

Oooh yeah gimme Jon Snow anytime. Where's me boot polish?

Anonymous said...

Bitch! You'd need to get your face elongated, your chin extracted, your teeth enhanced and a fake royal pedigree too. I don't think you could ever be that ugly poppet.

Madame Arcati said...

And a bad case of Munchausen.

Anonymous said...

I am fascinated by Arcati's fluctuating energies. They're like solar flares. Weeks of inactivity, then eruptions. I am compiling a chart.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Madam could make a Nollywood song and dance special. Rod Liddle could direct and Jonathan King could write the screenplay? Instead of Indian women in wet sarees dancing behind trees in the rain, we could have gorillas jumping out of trees and landing on unsuspecting newsreaders heads. Just sayin'.

Madame Arcati said...

I foresee perils.

Anonymous said...

Does this amusing little contretemps above between MA and her favourite poppet mean that someone has run away from prison again or does HMP Holloway have internet access these days?

Madame Arcati said...

Not for the first time I find myself unable to comprehend. Perhaps I'll consult a lawyer to see whether I can get the miscreant closed down in a lapse of self-responsibility.

Anonymous said...

I foresee false allegations, hate mail, stalking, stories in the Sunday Mail and rapid retractions.

Madame Arcati said...

Even I, sometimes, despair of determinism.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes please! Do the world a favor. Don't you think Dot Branning would be a more interesting interviewer than Piers Morgan? Heard on the grapevine ( at The Ivy, darling) that he couldn't get real slebs on his show. Perhaps Ma could lend a little psychic help?

Madame Arcati said...

I watched Piers' i/v with Joan Collins - oh dear. I got so much more out of her years ago when we lunched at the Ritz as we pored over my astrological analysis of her. We talked cock size etc. And poor Lesley White (then of Mirabella (dec'd) was soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo jealous.

Anonymous said...

Tip top list. Very few quibbles:

1) The mercenaries' champion "bared" her teeth, no?

4) Marr's book got injuncted. That'll learn him!

8) A cookery show fronted by a vegetarian really should mention this fact.

Madame Arcati said...

Most excellent, poppet.

I'd quite like to watch a show where two sleb strangers have a fuck on camera and then review each other's performance afterwards. Post-watershed, natch.

Anonymous said...

Joan Collins must have marriage amnesia. Nine times FFS? Oh look, Paxman and the Cleggover. Can't miss that.

Anonymous said...

How can you have 784 visitors from Poland? They're all in Ealing.

Madame Arcati said...

They're all in Hammersmith. poppet, queuing for jobs outside that newsagents down the road from Ravenscourt Tube Stn.

Anonymous said...

This place is nuts

Anonymous said...

Queueing. NOT Queing.

Anonymous said...

Is it a full moon? Why don't you tell us a bit more about Cameron's 'scope? Seeing as you are "studying" it. HK HK

Madame Arcati said...

I prefer queuing

Madame Arcati said...

New Moon 14th Aries. Cameron's 'scope afflicted whether he wins or not. Most unfortunate chart.

Madame Arcati said...

New Moon 14th Aries. Cameron's 'scope afflicted whether he wins or not. Most unfortunate chart.

Anonymous said...

More More More on DC's horrorscope please?

Anonymous said...

Oh GOD. She's BACK isn't she? Why so early?

Madame Arcati said...

I cannot be expected to know the IDs of the anonymice.

Five-Centres said...

Sue Johnston's Shangri-La was hurriedly buried late on a Sunday. It was step too far. But of course she is 'a passionate womaaaaannnn!!!'

And let's not forget Griff Rhys-Jones in everything. And Amanda Holden's silly show where she became a country singer or a garage mechanic, etc. They should have done one where she tried her hand at being a TV presenter. But then no one would believe it.

Anyway, spin-offs for her are no more because no one actually likes her. It's official: she is not a draw.

Madame Arcati said...

Yes, good further examples, will do sequel.

Enoch Soames said...

What makes this loopiness uber-loopy is that, rather than at least try to drag these tawdry titles up from the bottom of the barrel to a teensy bit above the the bottom, publishers just commission them and then hand them to members of the editorial staff who know the least possible about the subject (and often the author), thus ensuring that the text remains as rushed, incoherent and (e.g. in Andrew Marr's case) full of silly errors as it was when it was first dumped into the special 'couldn't give a shit' showbiz inbox. No wonder Ms Parkin et al now seek out smaller presses where the people actually still seem to care!

Madame Arcati said...

My dear Enoch, you betray signs of troubling high intelligence and good taste. The smaller presses and self-publishing are the future (and the present).

veritas said...

In Orstralia we are currently being treated to something called 'Britain From Above' presented by someone called Andrew Marr. Is he a celebrity ?. He shows lots of traffic jam and green fields. Fascinating stuff.

Madame Arcati said...

Australia has my sympathies. Marr is mentioned in the post to these comments.

Anonymous said...

You're quite wrong about Sophie Dahl - she has to put up with Jamie thingys soulful noodling and nothing on her bookshelves but Pablo Neruda, no wonder she's always frying things.

Lets not forget BBC4's contributions to the genre which this year have included that arse Andrew Graham-Dixon who was filmed in places as expensively apart as Pimlico and Vietnam harrasing various embarassed female friends of Alan Davidson and talking utter shite; and sundry hideous scientists repeating themselves excitedly describing facts known to me when I was 6, whilst paragliding over the Irabamba falls.

At least you can understand why you might want to find yourself in a tent with Brian Cox.

Anonymous said...

SHE must be out, you have mettagged her. Whatever the fuck that is. Why so absent-profile?

Madame Arcati said...

More good examples, perhaps part 3 may be called for once I've worked through part 2.

I know Cox has his followers but I'd rather sleep nakedly and in the open beneath twinkling Venus than share a tent with him. I realise now who he reminds me of - Willy Wonka as played by Johnny Depp. An uncanny resemblance. I may have to post.

Anonymous said...

Poor Brian he does look like there something awry on the chromosome front (so often the case with boys who are very good at maths dont you find?) - I was thinking of sharing our tent with something sharper than my concupiscence.

Speaking of freaks - anything with Richard Hammond who looks like a bioengineered manga catamite.

Madame Arcati said...

A bioengineered manga catamite - wonderful, top marks.

Scratch away that smiling veneer of Prof Cox and you'll find a faintly deranged idealogue who in another time would have happily plonked heretics on a pyre for a secular sizzle. I'm always right about people and I brook no contradiction.

His crazed passion for physics is fed largely by theory and speculation - it is the scientific mysteries that intrigue him most, in effect comparable with religious wonder.

I could write an essay but won't.

Ronald Colman said...

"At least you can understand why you might want to find yourself in a tent with Brian Cox."

At last. I've always had a terrible compulsion to set fire to a tent whilst I'm inside it with some horrible weird whining noise hurting my ears. Now it all makes sense!

Anonymous said...

ANYTHING Andrew Neil. He bullied Devil's Kitchen yesterday. Please get rid of him.

Madame Arcati said...

Of course Neil is a bully. He's a former editor. Such people break the law as a lifestyle option.

Anonymous said...

This from the woman who champions Fallowell , La Damji and Jonathan Paedophile King? Bit rich dontcha think?

Madame Arcati said...

Sermon from the tabloids.

Anonymous said...

"The woman"? Hahaha, priceless!

Christina Lindsay said...

On reflection, I wouldn't mind being in a tent with Brian. I decided I liked him after seeing him on Jonathan Ross with the dildo. You could do worse xx