Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

Do we really need to see Eamonn's ego laid bare?

They say no one knows what goes on behind closed doors. Oh, if only that were true. Thanks to a collective case of celebrity over-sharing, we now know more than we could ever need, or want, to learn about the intimate goings on in the lives of the stars.

Such as when I learned that presenter Eamonn Holmes and his wife, Ruth Langsford, had developed a penchant for videoing their arguments and screening them on YouTube for helpful viewer feedback.

Perhaps in these troubled days of the celebrity sex-tape, I should have been thankful that their home movie revolved around contentious household issues like who takes charge of the TV remote; nevertheless, the footage makes for disturbing viewing.

In one of the slots, Langsford mercilessly lampoons Holmes's prowess in the kitchen. The segment on date nights got even more cringey and suggested Langford had even less appreciation of her husband's prowess in the bedroom than she did in the kitchen.

Segment three, a lengthy debate on the importance of pillows, left me wanting to take one of the contentious cushions and scream into it. By the fourth instalment - this time on TV remotes - my attention had wandered so much that Holmes could have been sprawled on his sofa in his underpants and I wouldn't have noticed.

This is, of course, the inevitable consequence from being bombarded with celebs and their over-sharing. Eventually one develops a sort of TMI (too much information) saturation and becomes immune to even the most intimate revelations.

My granny, God rest her, would have had a stroke at the idea of "that nice Eamonn Holmes off the telly" airing his dirty laundry in public.

Not that her generation and its mantra of repression had it exactly right. But it would be nice to have a discreet veil drawn over some aspects of what's now considered entertainment.

In recent years, we've had Karl Pilkington from An Idiot Abroad getting a prostate exam on air and Kourtney Kardashian's baby born in front of the cameras.

It's considered de rigueur for faded celebrities to expose themselves physically and emotionally in shows like I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here for the public's viewing pleasure.

Guests on Piers Morgan's show are encouraged to bare their souls, while every reality show under the sun insists on delivering unrestricted access to its stars.

Glamour model Katie Price aka Jordan's sole function now seems to be to reveal personal details about herself in return for publicity. Unquestionably in Holmes's and Langford's case, their foray into the world of screening their marital squabbles looks to be a lesson in indulging their egos.

Their request for viewers to hashtag their show on Twitter suggests a desire to prove their public worth and trend on the social media platform. Sadly, for them, the response has not been an unmitigated wave of adoration.

"What monstrous egos you both must have to think that we'd actually want to watch more of your rows," fumed one poster.

On another forum, someone adds: "Too slimy for me. Why do they need to ask the public? Yuk."

A sign, perhaps, that the tide is turning and audiences are growing weary of knowing what goes on behind closed doors.

It may be time to shut that door and lock it for good measure.

Certainly, as if pondering the importance of pillows and gravity of barbecues wasn't enough, it left me with a compelling musing of my own: why on earth am I wasting my time watching this self-serving drivel?

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