Wednesday, September 6

Trial by TV

Richey Nash gets wound up as two programmes show him two more ways in which he's deficient

I hate my TV: it keeps bringing judgemental know-it-all into my house. Antipodean android Nikki Hambleton-Jones on Ten Years Younger telling me I need surgery or I’ll end up looking like Michael Winner’s ballbag. Stuck up IT girl wannabes Trinny and Susannah on What Not To Wear telling me I should ditch my paisley pattern blouse because it’s unflattering. And Jo Frost on Supernanny telling me it’s child abuse to beat my kids around with a saucepan full of boiling water.

TV keeps bringing people into my living room who tell me I’m ugly, I’m unfashionable, I’m stupid: I wouldn’t mind, but they’ve never even met me. And last night saw the return of two such shows, How Clean Is Your House? and You Are What You Eat.

How Clean Is Your House? (Channel 4, 8pm) included melodramatic intro music and pantomime camp. The Northern voiceover jockey tried his best to over-egg the ‘action’ while Napoleon-sized Aggie MacKenzie did the science. But the show’s star is big-armed panto dame Kim Woodburn.

“I’m shocked,” she proclaimed when she discovered the house was dirty, as if nobody had explained the premise of the show. Let’s hope she finds out it’s a cleaning programme by the end of the eleven-episode series: if not she’ll probably keel over.

But even if Rugburn understood the premise of the show, she shouldn’t be surprised that the house was dirty. The owners – a couple – left the big smoke ten years ago to start a farm in their back garden and now own over 300 chickens. It was like The Good Life, if Tom and Barbara were replaced with Barbour-wearing tramps. One of them had a straggly beard, but the beard was too long for me to work out which.

“They’re dirty but they’re happy with it. There’s a moral there,” said Rugburn, but the show moved on before trying to justify that ludicrous statement with some non-existent moral. At least she gave me one good tip though: use water and washing powder for washing. Genius!

In the end I don’t care if this couple's home is clean or dirty, which means the programme is a waste of time. People may watch it, but it’s still absolute arse.

At least it makes an effort to have fun, though, unlike You Are What You Eat (Channel, 8.30pm) starring pint-sized rodent-faced dictator Gillian McKeith. She collared a mother – Lisa Saunders – in the playground, berated her for the contents of her sons’ lunchboxes, and went back to their house to bark orders at the family.

The two sons weren’t impressed.

“She’s not even taller than me, and I’m twelve,” says the older boy.

“When she came in I thought she was evil,” adds his eight-year-old brother.

He’s got a point because McKeith clearly is evil. First she sent Lisa out to do a weekly shop. Then she threw away all their ‘nasty’ sugary food in front of the two boys and their portly father. And when Lisa struggled through the front door with the weekly shop, McKeith chucked most of that out too. Doesn’t she know there are people in Africa who want muffins? Unbelievable.

Then she whinged at them for all being too fat because they ate doughnuts and crisps instead of fruit and veg.

And after that the finally humiliation: McKeith made the family poo in Tupperware containers. How filthy! Let them do it in the toilet like everyone else. But they pooed in Tupperware containers so McKeith could analyse it. And after the cameras went off she probably took it home as a tasty snack, the rat-faced scatmuncher. Or maybe she dumped it in her garden to make a big poo sculpture of Adolf Hitler. Possibly.

Anyway, she made the family exercise and eat better, and in the end they were thinner and healthier. Ta dah! And that's it. It's rubbish. The fact that this is fast food TV is an irony that’s presumably lost on the programme makers.

But at the end there was an ad for people to take part in the next series. Oh, give me strength! It’s the same show every week. I hate uninspired series like these. I hate my TV for showing me them. But most of all I hate myself for watching them.

Ps. On an unreleated point, R.I.P. Steve Irwin.

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