Gawping down from the side of a bus with an expression slapped across his face that wouldn’t look out of place on an over-the-hill Labrador with learning difficulties, there he was, the fork-chucking other-woman-toucher himself, Chris Tarrant.
Well, you know, not himself, but a picture of him. A massive, annoying picture of him, which, parked in front of my nose and blocking my escape, I had no choice but to allow into my day.
He was up there to promote his new show, Tarrant Lets The Kids Loose. The tagline explained that it’s a show where children are forced to do grown-up jobs. Well it didn’t actually say forced, but, as it stars three- to six-year-olds, it’s basically forced.
Kids doing adult jobs. That’ll be funny, won’t it?
Why wouldn’t you get a load of really small people who should be smearing soggy bread across the walls and mashing Play-Doh into the Blu-ray player to, as the channel’s website explains, “fulfil their greatest ambitions in the adult world and run a photographic studio, a radio station or an ice-cream van”?
What I want to know is how much of the day-to-day minutiae of actually running a business will these little ankle-munchers be getting down to?
Will they simply be spooning the ice-cream into the cones? Driving the van? Dealing with customer complaints? Will they be commissioning photographers or getting busy in the edit suite with some manipulation software? Perhaps they’ll be undertaking a full-scale cost analysis of the business and making any necessary cutbacks, including redundancies?
Tarrant has made a TV career out of shows that ritually humiliate an unlucky few while making smug sofa-dwelling audiences feel better about themselves. But isn’t laughing at our children for being a bit shit at things they shouldn’t even be doing for another 20 years taking things a tad too far?
And who the fuck are we to laugh anyway? I mean, we’ve got into a bit of a pickle running things ourselves in recent times, haven’t we?
Most of all you, Chris. What gives you the right? Even toddlers, if they really try, can consume a simple meal of curry without flinging their cutlery across the room into someone else’s face. A bunch of kids would probably manage to do a better job of keeping The Colour Of Money on the air for more than seven episodes, too.
We’ve tried getting kiddies to do adult jobs before; chimney sweeps or pickpockets, anyone? That’s all a bit frowned upon now, so why should Tarrant be allowed to get away with it?