Saturday, 14 February 2009

You can tell it's a hard hitting political show because it has Kieth Chegwin in it.

Apparently, a local council rejected a planning application for a bungalow. This hit the news because the applicant was a soldier who'd lost his legs. The council have said they're willing to negotiate on it so until it's over there's really no point discussing it any further.

Unless you're a moron, anyway, in which case you should assume that the councillors who rejected the application knew the applicant was such a sympathetic character from the start and then twist their words and actions to fit whatever dystopian view of local government you happen to be harbouring. One such moron is Noel Edmonds.

Now I don't want to dismiss someone I've never met as a moron lightly, so here is a full list of things I know about Noel Edmonds:
  1. He presents a show based purely on luck and pads it out to 45 crushingly tedious minutes by the repeated application of logical fallacies.
  2. He believes that he is haunted by two invisible glowing melons which he naturally assumes are his dead parents.

    "Conventional photography can’t pick them up, but digital cameras can. My belief is that these are something to do with some form of spiritual energy. And possibly, because I miss my parents like mad, I like to think they are them.  I’ve got loads of photos of me at home with the two orbs that visit me. The two I have are about the size of melons."
    Noel, 59, says he doesn't care if people think he’s a fruitcake.

  3. He believes that the universe is like a giant karmic Argos, and you can just order any fate you want and it will be delivered within two working days.
  4. His taste in shirts.
  5. This story.
I'm sorry, but I'm at a loss to find anything on the list which paints him as even remotely sane.

So, back to the story at hand. Edmonds has formed what could politely be called an opinion, and he has a show to shout it on. I have cleverly avoided watching it, so here is Charlie Brooker's description:

Noel's HQ - Noel's Party Headquarters, if you like - is the strangest programme on TV. A live Saturday night "shiny floor" show with conspicuous altruism at its core, it's essentially a cross between That's Life, Surprise Surprise, and some unmade episode of I'm Alan Partridge in which Alan snaps and runs into traffic with his shirt off, smashing windscreens with a cricket bat.

Ironically, Edmonds is one of very few male TV presenters who would generally look better if he did take his shirt off. Brooker went on to describe this story:

[The council were] Good. But not good enough for Noel, who wanted them there in the studio. Worse still, the council's press officer, Jim Van den Bos, told a researcher that Wealden District Council wouldn't talk to "an entertainment show".

This was the cue for an astonishing three-minute down-the-lens rant during which Noel yelled that Jim Van den Bos, and people like him, were "at the heart of everything that's wrong with this country", while the audience cheered and yelled. He went on to suggest, via the medium of bellowing, that the people of Wealden should "have their say" at the next local election - and that hopefully they'd be "advertising for a new press officer soon". All of which slightly overshadowed the bit where he read a statement from Gordon Brown supporting the construction of the bungalow. Council policy aside, what really irked Noel, it seemed, was being dismissed as an "entertainment show", even though: a) It's listed on the Sky EPG under "entertainment", b) The studio audience wear big foam gloves with "Noel's HQ" printed on them, and c) It opens with a theme tune that sounds like a pinball machine malfunctioning on a bouncy castle.

And at first I assumed that he'd counterpointed Noel's annoyance at being called an 'entertainment' show with a description of the audience's gloves because it was funny or made Edmonds look foolish or both (the latter being more likely since the section of the Venn diagram that represents 'things which make Noel Edmonds look foolish but aren't funny' basically consists of Noel Edmonds and Noel Edmonds' shirts), but then I saw the clip on YouTube...

...and it turned out that that's what the show cut to at that moment. It's like watching a less than subtle parody of a real show.

I was shocked to discover that Noel doesn't get paid. This is a man who has been paid to be on TV, and has been paid to not be on TV, and now has been not paid to be on TV. He has even not been paid to not be on TV before, and I don't see why they didn't keep doing that. But mostly the idea that he does it 'pro-bono' makes the show about fifty times scarier. It gives it a thin but terrifying veneer of legitimacy and it pretty well proves that he believes every single word he says, even if Sky don't believe them enough to include them in the repeat.

1 comment:

Andrew Davidson said...

I really do despise Noel Edmonds. He seems to believe himself to be some public crusader, crusading for a public that do not seem to want him. Half of the time he fights for a pointless cause, the other half he fights pointlessly (like the hard hitting stunt of not paying the license fee).