Thursday, 7 January 2010

One of you will be fired

OK, so I've got this great idea for a TV show. A bunch of hopefuls have to compete for a job by undertaking a variety of soul-destroying tasks, with unsuccessful candidates sacked for our viewing pleasure. What's that? Already been done?

No worries, I'm sure GMTV will buy it anyway. After all, they attempted to capture some of the X-Factor's bottled lightning with its own talent contest - Number One Family.

Although maybe it's best if we don't dwell on that. Winners Beardsmith didn't exactly set the charts alight - not sure whether anyone mounted a Facebook campaign to stall their assault on the charts. They were clearly the judges' favourite, and let's face facts, no-one knows talent like Bernie Nolan.

What's not to love about GMTV, it's the televisual equivalent of Meals on Wheels. All those soft pastels, gently animated weather maps, and charming emails from viewers in Norfolk. Nothing too shocking or confrontational, just warmly condescending presenters and a sense that everything's just a few years out-of-date, like the yellowed newspaper pages you discover when you lift the carpet in an old house.

Hang on a minute. It looks like they've already got their own Apprentice knock-off. But here's the twist - they're using their own presenters as the contestants. You see, budgets are tight at GMTV, and somehow they've got to find a way of making the show even cheaper.

So the axe is going to fall on two presenters. But who will it be? According to one leading paper (no prizes for guessing which one), they're all twitching with anticipation as they wait to discover who's for the chop.

The news story suggests that Ben is safe, since he's a 'massive face on the channel' (although he could just try sitting back a bit), and new girl Emma Crosby is pretty in a 'Young Conservatives' sort of a way so she'll be OK too. But the rest of them are getting on a bit and have the collective charisma of a damp Warburton's loaf. It's anyone's guess really.

I'm sure some critics will moan that it's inappropriate for the public to be told that redundancies are about to be made before the employees find out what's what. But they don't understand how TV drama works.

If GMTV really wants to make the most of this, they'll open the phone lines and start compiling highlights tapes for each of the presenters. Lorraine Kelly can even be on standby to offer consolation and platitudes, and maybe they could rope Brian Friedman in to coach them on giving their presenting style a bit of pizazz.

And since The Apprentice has been pushed back to the summer this year, they could get Sir Alan in for a quick interview, then get him to do the firing live on air. Now you tell me that wouldn't be worth waking up for?

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