Straight Talk - I’m not a Celebrity and I don’t get Tory MP’s jungle decision
Just what was she thinking when she said she’d do it? Does anyone have any idea at all?
Yes, in the midst of Barack Obama’s re-election to the American presidency and a whole multitude of other stories at home and abroad, the thing I can’t work out is how Conservative MP Nadine Dorries was persuaded to swap the House of Commons for the Australian jungle as a participant in the new series of I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here.
Now, this is a bit of a problem for me because, as with most other so-called “reality” shows, I’m not normally remotely interested in them. The only one that has amused me of late is Hell’s Kitchen USA and even that wore off after a while.
But I have to confess that I might well be dragged in this time, not so much because of what she says on the show but more because of what she is shown to say.
And this goes to the very heart of why I can’t understand her decision to take part.
Because I don’t live in her mid-Bedfordshire constituency, it doesn’t make any difference to me whether she is doing the job she was elected to do for up to a month or not, although I know full well that state of affairs would immediately be reversed if, for example, Henry Bellingham or Liz Truss, decided to take a similar break from the green benches of Westminster.
But it’s Ms Dorries’ justification for taking part, that it’s something politicians should be taking part in because it attracts a big audience, which really suggests to me that she’s got it wrong.
Of course, we know the programme does attract large audiences of the size that would never tune into a House of Commons debate.
But so did the pioneer show of the reality TV age, Big Brother, and George Galloway will never be able to live down his cat performance, no matter how many controversial statements he may make on other issues.
And there is a very big difference between Ms Dorries taking part and the last political contestant Lembit Opik going into the jungle. After all, Mr Opik had lost his seat several months before he took part in the show.
The bottom line to me is this. If Nadine Dorries has signed up for this programme in the belief that she can make it into some kind of extended personal political broadcast on behalf of the causes that matter most to her, then I suspect she is going to be disappointed.
At the end of the day, she is taking part in an entertainment show and I can’t imagine there will be many viewers tuning in to hear her views on abortion or David Cameron and George Osborne.
If, however, she has signed up for the programme because she sees it as some way of showing a different side to politics and politicians then maybe, just maybe, she’ll be more successful.
As for the other contestants, the show’s producers seem to have exceeded previous performance by signing up some people I have actually heard of, although it has to be said that former world darts champion Eric Bristow and boxing star David Haye are in a minority on that front.
And, as for Charlie Brooks, I thought they’d signed up the husband of the former News International boss, not the EastEnders actress. What does that tell you?
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Thursday 23 May 2013
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