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Sleepless in Fulham: Rambling and gambling by David Young
Thursday, 18 January 2007
Jade Goody / Colin and Justin
Topic: Television

I said recently 'I wish all these reality shows and elimination contests would go away. I can't believe that people aren't already sick of them.' They won't go away soon, but I'm hoping that the bust-up on Big Brother could mean that I will soon no longer have to see any more of Jade Goody. I'm sick and tired of seeing her face on magazine covers every time I pay for something at the supermarket. Please, please, let this be the end of her so-called career.

Until now she's served a useful role in informing the educated public of just how ignorant many people are in this country. Jade can't plead poverty. She's been rich for several years. She could have used her money to educate herself and become a more rounded individual. She doesn't do this, because she doesn't care. She has no way of understanding someone like Shilpa Shetty, but also has no understanding of her own country's culture either. To do so would require her to make an effort to think about someone other than herself. Jade is a product of a leisure society, where only short-term gratification matters.

Separately, I'm recommending that you all watch tonight's 'Colin and Justin on the Estate', Channel 5 at 8pm. I don't watch property renovation programmes as a rule and generally hold them in the same contempt as 'reality TV', but last week I caught this while staying at my sister's house and was quickly grabbed by the theme. I've no interest in shows about how someone with a budget of £250,000 is going to buy a place in the South of France and spend another £20,000 turning in into their own palace. I don't care. But this show is something different altogether.

Instead of decorating the homes of the rich, Colin and Justin have taken on the task of improving the quality of life on an estate in Glasgow. Perhaps I'm taken by this because I was born there. I won't pretend I was raised in the Gorbals, but I do recall seeing the less pleasant estates as a child because my mother was a GP and did house calls to the homebound sick. People in the south-east of England today can't imagine what it was like in some of those places in the 70s. You would see houses that had been sheared in half mid way through demolition, sometimes with furniture left in. It looked like a doll's house opened up. The word "bleak" hardly begins to apply.

What makes Colin and Justin's task hard isn't just that the Arden Estate is so desolate, nor that they have very little money to improve it with. The real problem is that there is a reason why the place is so wrecked. In last week's episode it didn't look as though they were going to tackle it, but in the final minutes we saw highlights of the next week's show (tonight's) where at last they tackle the 'elephant in the room' that nobody was talking about before - that it's the young kids on the estate who are destoying it. We saw C&J confronting the young vandals and even giving them a taste of their own medicine by vandalising their property in return. I can't wait to see how it pans out. At last a 'property porn' show is tackling a social issue. I hope they make the most of it.

Thursday, 18 January 2007 - 4:22 PM GMT

Name: "Andy Ward"

Here's something you might enjoy :

"Examining how [Jade's] demented ravings might affect the Chancellor's visit to India, the BBC News interviewed a presenter from an Indian television station this morning.

When he was asked whether it was likely that Gordon Brown and the Indian Prime Minister would discuss Big Brother, he replied: "No, they will discuss more mundane matters of State, such as climate change and global terrorism." 


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