Despite the lacklustre Celebrity Big Brother being taken off the air for good (hopefully), there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight for shows featuring jobbing nonentities posing as “celebrities”. Lets face facts – shows featuring these alleged celebrities have been done to death, and no matter what new twists are introduced into stale formats, nothing is going to increase interest above the steady beep of a flatline. It is far past time to shake things up, and reintroducing people to the wonderful and life-enhancing spectacle of the Roman Empire’s one great gift to culture may be the way to go. You might think that Gladiators (or American Gladiators to those in the colonies) is cool – which it isn’t – but it hardly lives up to its’ name.
Where are the lions? Where is the bloodshed? The show doesn’t even come close to living up to its’ name.
We need the UK’s very own millionaire arch-bastard, manipulator of truth, and cynical exploiter of the vulnerable and weak – Simon Cowell is the man best positioned to usher in a new golden age of celebrity-focused shows. He’s amoral enough to see the potential of thinning out the ranks of the deluded, the has-beens, and the never-were’s, and I have just the vehicle for him. The idea is simplicity squared, though nobody else would dare come up with such a radical departure from the tried and mistrusted formulae which so many shows prefaced by the word celebrity rely on. We should look to the glory and splendor of the arena… Where even the most untalented one-hit-wonder will be able to regain a sliver of dignity before their untimely demise.
A big arena… eight celebrities armed to the teeth with swords, maces, javelins, nets and shields… One survivor victor to walk away with the greatest prize imaginable – their career life…
Who, you ask, could possibly take part? Well, nobody is really going to miss the Krankies. Or Cannon and Ball, Dame Edna, Pamela Anderson, The Hoff, that stuttering waste of oxygen from Pop Idol (no, I didn’t bother learning his name), or even Paris Hilton. Only the lowliest and most untalented need apply. Hell, stick Melinda Messenger in there with an axe and you’ll have a first-rate fight on your hands. The Russell Crowe film Gladiator was a success for a reason, and that reason is very easy to work out – people like watching other people get their heads caved in. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that by adding celebrities (however minor and uninteresting they may be) you’ll have something that is really worth watching.
Is this unreasonable? Well… No. Considering how Channel 5 have already shown Cheggers (now there is someone whom I’d pay to watch getting ripped apart by lions) in the buff and Abi Titmuss tossing off a pig, I doubt that many people would consider blood sports being brought back a dip in quality. Considering how cheap the show would be to make – what with there being only one contestant to pay off at the end of a series – this could be the very thing that saves British television.
If only the title Celebrity Death Match hadn’t already been taken…