Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Attack of the couch people

Daytime TV presenters are a curious bunch. Bland, unthreatening and largely pointless, like the human version of a sugared almond, they spend their entire lives empathising with overweight women and soap opera stars from the safety of a chenile couch.

Occasionally, they'll remind their producers of their 'serious' journalism background, and will be thrown a conciliatory bone, such as five minutes to grill Ed Balls on educational reform. Usually, these asinine interrogations are like watching Jeremy Paxman with his hands tied behind his back and a mouth full of peanut butter.

But in the last week, a couple of these pastel people have tired of half-hearted interviews with craven book-wavers and pissed-off pensioners, and decided to bare their fangs. Their inspiration? Queen of the Divas, Mariah Carey.

First up was Philip Schofield, a man so soft and cuddly he comes with a tog rating. Poor old Phil grew tired of waiting for Mariah to show up for the pre-recording of her interview with This Morning, and took to Twitter to vent his frustration. In a series of whinging updates he complained about delays caused by Mariah's late arrival and indecision about what outfit to wear, before poking fun at the size of her entourage.

Although Phil probably felt that he was playing the role of acerbic social commentator, he really just ended up sounding like a yokel describing his first (and only) encounter with showbiz royalty. Presumably This Morning's usual calibre of guest would arrive in a minicab and eat a Boots Shapers sandwich whilst applying their own make-up.

This week, it was GMTV presenter Kate Garraway's turn to take a pop at La Carey, with another tedious tale of Mariah's high maintenance lifestyle. Breathlessly recounting the mesmerising details, Garraway claims "I've heard a lot of rumours about her being a diva over the years and guess what? It turns out it's all true! While Mariah was very nice, the amount of people she had in her entourage was hilarious."

Directly contradicting her promise of 'hilarity' Kate's exasperating expose amounts to little more than the fact that Mariah's image is extremely well managed. Her stylists ensured that her dress wasn't crushed when she sat down, others made sure she was filmed from the right angle, and here's the doozy - she brought her own toilet paper. If I was a multi-millionaire, I'd make sure that certain basic home comforts were always taken care of. And let's face it, there's no way Mariah would take any chances with low-fi loo roll tarnishing the plushness of her pudenda

Interestingly, Kate wasn't even present when the 'hilarious' japes took place, she just picked up the crew's gossip when she clocked in later. Which makes her attempt at creating a showbiz exclusive even more lazily inappropriate. Of course, reports of Mariah's diva-esque demands are plentiful, but there's something particularly redundant about these toothless wonders sharpening their gums and going after such an easy target. Especially when both of them have to grudgingly acknowledge the fact that Mariah was both pleasant and personable. 

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