I have a learned friend who argues that reality TV constitutes one of our more incisive forms of social commentary.
I think she may have a point. And nowhere is this more apparent than in I’m A Celeb which strips has-beens, wannabes and minor league players of their status delusions and allows us to examine them, a bit like creatures under the microscope.
Ok, so maybe that’s a bit heavy in relation to a soap actor sniping over the way to boil rice.
But it does reveal a lot about human nature.
Not just the nature of the performers. But of the viewing audience.
Every year the contestant singled out for the modern-day ducking seat of Bushtucker trial is inevitably the one who squeals the most.
This year’s squealer is Sinitta. So what drives a sane woman to subject herself to the privation, occasional terror and above all humiliation that the show entails?
What drives any of them?
The winner undoubtedly gets a major career/earnings boost. At the very least a starring slot in next year’s Iceland ad.But most of the rest of us would feel that having to stomach even one marsupial testicle just wouldn’t be worth it.
Sinitta in fairness looks stunning even in the midst of her distress.
Others will come out of it not looking anything near as well (and not just in the cosmetic sense either.)
For the ‘celebs’ that’s the big career gamble. For the viewers it’s 21st century bear baiting with fading actresses, a jockey, a soap star, a couple of bikinis and some 1980s throwbacks as bear substitute.
And, yet, for all the show’s faults, tellingly the winner is usually the one who comes across as a pleasant, decent sort.
Squeally Sinitta may still be in with a chance, then.