To celebrate my 101st blog post, I’m doing my own Room 101 show. To those who are looking blankly at the screen wondering what in God’s name I’m talking about, then just nip over to Wikipedia, or Youtube for an idea.
Too lazy? Ok, then. Room 101 was originally a BBC Radio show hosted by Nick Hancock (remember him?) and then a TV show hosted initially by Hancock, before being replaced by Paul Merton, and then in it’s most recent incarnation, by Frank Skinner. The premise was for celebrities to appear and attempt to cast their pet hates and peeves into this place of horror, as long as they could persuade the host. Based on George Orwell’s ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’ where Room 101 is a torture chamber in which a prisoner is subjected to their own worst fear, phobia or nightmare.
Up to speed now? Right, then I’ll begin…
First in the firing line, it’s the current crop of Televised Talent Shows. Starting with Pop Idol all the way back in 2002, through BBC’s supposedly more credible Fame Academy, to X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent. Whilst it may initially have been about finding a bona fide singing star from people like you and me, over time it has become more of a sickening cavalcade of idiots, morons, attention-seekers (and that’s just the judges) and borderline personality disorders all trying to get their face on television fueled by a promise of untold glory and riches. My main gripes are the way the music business has been so badly warped by what gets churned out, and how these days, the competition seems to be more about ratings than actually uncovering a semblance of embryonic talent. Simon Cowell has thankfully pissed off to the US to pollute their airwaves, taking with him his habit of trying to manipulate the public into going his way, and getting in a sulk when they didn’t – remember his miserable sour face when Will Young beat his little protege Gareth Gates? Or when One Direction failed to win the other year? How dare people think for themself!!
Finally, ask yourself, of all those who reached the finals of these things, how many have shown versatility or sufficient talent to truly last? I rest my case, can I put post-Millennium Televised Talent Shows into Room 101 please?
Secondly, I would like to consign to Room 101 pointless Horror/Thriller movies. You know the ones, no discernable storyline other than to go through a collection of feeble frights of stupid girls or idiotic teens. Claiming to be based on a true story, when there’s about as much truth or reality in them as the ideas in David Cameron’s head and words he speaks.
As far as I can see, it can be traced back to the Blair Witch Project. Wobbly camera-work, poor lighting, trying to give the home movie feel (if it’s a home movie, it must be true!). Since then, film-makers have followed the same or similar theme interchanging the popular craze (zombies, poltergeists, serial killers etc) and putting in as many ‘scary’ set-pieces as possible. And people keep watching them! More to the point, there seem to be an awful lot of “scariest movies of the year”, that I don’t even remember being advertised at the cinema – making them straight to DVD shite. Have I done enough to get these into Room 101?
Finally, I would like to put into Room 101 Bingo/Gambling websites. You’ve seen the adverts on the television, Foxy Bingo, Sun Bingo, Bingo this, Bingo that or whatever. Closely followed by Ray Winstone’s big head, that bloody annoying Ladbrokes fella, Bet this bet that – next goalscorer, next player to gob onto the floor, next manager to point to his watch and so on.
A colossal amount of money is wasted on these things every single day, so much so that gambling is the nations new vice since the Government and Health people made smoking the modern day equivalent of leprosy. Yet Gambling arguably causes more heartache and hurt but without the ever more restrictive laws dictating to its addicts. The Government have clearly got to take steps to prevent it getting out of hand – actually forget that, they’re probably trying to work out how to make a shed load of money out of it. Adverts everywhere, Sporting sponsorships, Television exposure is all putting money in the wrong hands. Now, can Bingo/Gambling websites go into Room 101??
So, these are my three choices for Room 101, what are yours?