It’s not always easy being a cynic. Even the most resolutely hard-hearted soul will occasionally stumble across some small glimmer of brilliance or beauty that will make them stand back, admire and just say, “fair play”.
Some days, though, it’s just put out on a plate. And when this story appeared in my Twitter feed courtesy of the Media Guardian, I knew today was going to be one of those days: “Joe Swash to move in with Pamela Anderson for TV channel Living”.
I had to read it twice to check I wasn’t confusing two separate Tweets. I wasn’t.
For the uninitiated, here are five facts about Joe Swash – a brilliant name that is, quite frankly, wasted on anyone that isn’t a pirate: 1) he isn’t a pirate; 2) he is an ex-Eastenders actor; 3) he is currently riding on a tiny wave of micro-fame that he achieved by gargling his way through two weeks’ worth of kangaroo balls to win ‘I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here’, in which he beat a men’s tennis champion from the 1970s called Martina Navratilova in the public vote to take the top spot; 4) he looks like the illegitimate love child of Stuart Little and Prince Harry; 5) oh, and you won’t like his voice.
Pamela Anderson, of course, is a melon-chested American blonde who was famously rogered on a boat. She got rich off that, though, so why on earth is she messing about in a show with Mickey from Albert Square, you might ask?
The aforementioned Tweet doesn’t give anything away. The intriguing brilliance of that Guardian headline is its ambiguity. Once you click through to the article, you get the full ‘story’. But on its own, as a sentence on Twitter, it really could mean any number of different things. Here are some of those things:
1. Joe Swash has moved in with Pamela Anderson for TV channel Living. She has Sky, he doesn’t, so he’s going to lodge in her spare room for a while so he can watch his favourite shows, most of them about Jade Goody.
2. Joe Swash and Pamela Anderson are to move in together for the sake of TV channel Living. The mental stress of them not being together would break the channel’s little heart.
3. Joe Swash and Pamela Anderson have been forced to live together by TV channel Living in reality TV’s first-ever live, 24-hour broadcast kidnap. The show’s producers will continually call Pamela Anderson’s agents and threaten to also move in various other drop-out actors from the Eastenders hall of fame until the hefty ransom is paid. Then, if they still don’t pay, blueberry-faced wide-boy Phil Mitchell goes round with a baseball bat and facking makes ’em pay. Bit far-fetched, actually, that one.
In fact, the show is based around none of those things. This quote from Living explains a little more: “The shows will follow the former EastEnders actor as he spends time with his teenage pin-up, hanging out in Malibu Beach and following her to Paris where she models for Vivienne Westwood.”
Hanging out in Malibu Beach and following her to Paris? She probably doesn’t even have any idea what’s really happening! It’s a primetime endorsement of stalking famous people, a kind of ‘I’m A Celebrity, You’re In My House Again… Get The Fuck Out Of Here’. Swash is probably going to hire a seedy private detective to track his boyhood ‘pin-up’ to France, then trick her on to a makeshift pirate ship and, after making her re-enact her famous ‘boat party’ scene by scene, force her to walk his plank.
So there it is folks: ‘Pamela Anderson: When Joe Came to Stay’. Welcome to a new depth in reality TV, even for Living.