Belfast Telegraph

Joe Nawaz: Snow show The Jump leaves me cold


THE programmes to watch... and the ones you really want to miss.

It's a hard-knock life, isn't it? But don't just take little orphan Annie's word for it-- as a critic, you have to learn to take the rough with the smooth. I mean, you could be bashing away at the keyboard in some fashionable coffee house or other and next thing you know that skinny latté you ordered turns out to be full-fat.

Then there's the brickbats. Somebody felt suitably moved by my column the other week to personally message me with the urgent information that I was a "toxic queen".

I wasn't quite sure whether the person was an Ian Paisley or The Voice fan, or both (they're subjects I'd written most recently about), but I'd clearly crossed a line for them.

I wanted to retort that they'd got it bang wrong -- that I was, in fact, a toxic heterosexual. A moment later I decided that would have been overly defensive, a little bit silly and utterly pointless.

That's the thing about criticism: wherever it's directed, it's purely subjective and also a bit like howling into the void.

It might sound annoying, but it can't really change anything. Especially when set against the psychedelic candy-land panzer division that is reality celeb TV.

So at the risk of incurring another poisonous dwarf, or sinister transvestite-type slur, I sat down, somewhat ironically, to watch the hard-knock reality splurge that is The Jump (Channel 4); surely the TV gateway between Dancing On Ice and Celebrity Shark Attack.

If I said it was truly diabolical button-pushing telly full of Lycra-swathed narcissists, faux-competing for a viewing pleasure we didn't realise we needed sating, it would most likely be a reminder for most to set the TiVo. We had the likes of Ritchie Neville, formerly of the hedge-bettingly named boyband 5ive, hooray Henry Conway, Sinitta and Amy from Towie competing in winter sports.

All the while celebrated sporting failure Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards offered Olympian un-sight and veteran commentator Barry Davies was reduced to saying things such as "Sinitta -- she's had plenty of hits, but she's hoping to avoid one tonight". Which, to be fair, would have brought the total to three.

Davina McCall did her usual enthusiastic overkill which included her classic homage to TV presenter Laura Hamilton: "Such an inspiration to other mums who've just had a baby. You're brave and brilliant." How so?

She toboganned for the cameras for money nine weeks after having a baby. Lazy post-natal stay-at-home mums take note.

"Fashion writer" Henry Conway busted his hand on The Skeleton and disintegrated under the weight of his own tears and a ludicrous Tam O Shanter. I could have sworn I misheard when he plummily lamented, "I shattered it."

I could go on, but you get the general idea. Which is probably exactly what the programme pitchers said directly after the words "12 celebs, Austrian ski resort, lots of ill-advised Lycra, accidents and blubbing".

And I haven't even mentioned the sinister celebrity holding-pen, where the likes of Joe McElderry and Daragh McIntyre wandered around aimlessly, possibly being fed corn, mucked out and given fresh hay every night, waiting to be released when something horrible happened to one of the main 12.

The fame hunger games, if you will.

Are we nearing the logical conclusion of pointing cameras at semi-recognisable people as they're undergoing some sort of mild distress?

Is there a thinning out on our screens of carefully stage-managed emotional "journeys"?

And is there an end in sight to pseudo-inspirational gubbins such as "110%", "Everything I got", or "This one's for the kids"?

I doubt it. And just how toxic is that for the future of good reality television?

Davidson's crowning is not funny

So, then, racist, misogynist, tax-shy comedian Jim Davidson won Celebrity Big Brother.

It was pretty surprising until you actually realise that it didn't actually mean anything but a small section of Channel 5 viewers ringing a premium rate line to register their approval of him over Dappy.

It's even less surprising when you consider that Nigel Farage is a thoroughly good egg and not a malevolent turtle without a shell to countless thousands.

And let's not forget that there's at least one retired housewife out there who thinks Nigel Dodds is a cheeky sod.

Public opinion is a scary and funny old thing, innit?


From Belfast Telegraph