Reality TV certainly packs in the audiences. 10 million people tune in to ITV’s I’m a Celebrity, get me out of here. That’s 16% of the UK. It is the worst example of the lengths that people will go to further their careers.
For those of you unfamiliar with the format, the show involves performing a series of tasks whilst being gunked, slimed and all consumed by all the nasty critters that nature can throw at us without actually killing us. It is car crash TV at its finest. It’s painful to watch yet we can’t help stay glued to our screens. All 10 million of us.
Nigel Havers is best known as the BAFTA nominated Actor who played Lord Andrew Lindsay in the 1981 British Classic Chariots of Fire, a film that won 4 Academy Awards. He quit the show last night. He was simply not cut out for it. Was this all part of a clever ploy by the Producers to get him to leave only for him to return? Only time will tell. It certainly made for many great TV, the Producers and in particular ITV will be delighted. Who knows what, if any impact his behaviour under the daily spotlight of 10 million people will have on his career aspirations? Whoever advised him that taking part in such a show would have a positive impact on his career as a serious actor?
As for the “star” of the show so far, the quite dreadful TV Nutritionist Gillian McKeith, how will anyone ever take her seriously again? (For that matter did anyone take her seriously in the first place)? I can’t help but think that despite her ridiculous antics and an overwhelming sense she shouldn’t even be in there in the first place that actually her career may well be much enhanced by this weeks turn of events. Panic attacks and fainting on live TV, there has to be a book in that somewhere?
For Havers my sense is that this was a bad career move. He is a smart man, he knew it to be a bad move and got out before it was too late. McKeith may just be a one trick pony. It will get to the point where the public will start to dismiss her antics and realise her to be the worst exponent of shameful self promotion. Is she smart enough to get out whilst the going is still good and capitalise on her notoriety? Will she get found out?
Celebrity is by definition a short lived experience. Long-term career happiness is dependent on knowing yourself, staying true to what you believe in, not compromising your values and not allowing yourself to be humiliated for a short-term quick buck. It takes strength of character, self-awareness, a faith in your own abilities and a willingness to take action to forge ahead in your career. Havers was at least decisive and that will end up his saving grace. McKeith is heading for the car crash post reality TV apocalypse and I for one shall be watching!