Five Seconds of Fame

I keep listening out for the doorbell, I keep looking out of the window, but the street is empty. The postman, greengrocer, Amazon delivery and Co Op groceries have all been, but They never come. Another day when a long pole, with a microphone on one end and a television interviewer at the other end, has not appeared at my front door.

How do they choose all these citizens who keep showing up on the news and breakfast television? I am not talking about science experts, political commentators, journalists and doctors, but ordinary people who sit in their living rooms unashamed of their ghastly wallpaper and awful fashion sense. Out of millions and millions of us how do they get chosen to be interviewed for several minutes in a segment that will be repeated endlessly on the main news and on News 24.

If they happen to have recovered from Covid they obviously have a head start over the rest of us, but it’s not just people pondering on pandemics, I have always been ignored. Every general election, the long years of Brexit, no one knocks on my door or stops me while I’m out shopping for my opinion. Though I would flee in the opposite direction if I did see cameras; too windswept, wrong clothes for television…

But if a reporter did call on me at home they might not get away; all those years of stored up opinions.

 ‘Yes we need more lockdown not less, gatherings of more than two people forbidden, identity cards, everyone to stay inside their own postcodes, disposable BBQs should be banned, litter bugs should be tasered on the spot, private motor vehicles confiscated, air travel banned… it was so nice during the first few weeks of lockdown…. Perhaps you and the cameraman would like to buy one of my books, I just happen to have a box full… or buy all my books…

Maybe a little bribery would secure their release…

Everyone is filmed at home now so if you haven’t had the chance to appear on television you can always pretend. Facetime with your boring family could become one of Alan Bennet’s brilliant Talking Heads – which are perfect for isolated actors and have just been remade.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p08ftkkx

Or dust off your bookshelves and pontificate late at night on tomorrow’s newspaper headlines.

In the kitchen you can have your own masterchef celebrity banquet bake off.

‘What are you making?’

‘Bangers and Mash, it could all go horribly wrong… I’m just going to test the potatoes, okay, this is the moment when it could really go wrong, I could end up with third degree burns, I need to strain the potatoes now… make sure the camera lens doesn’t steam up…  yes the sausages all free range, they were running  around in a Hampshire field yesterday… oh oh is that the smoke alarm, I forgot to check the sausages…

Perhaps it would be better to stay in the garden. Gardening programmes are so popular now for peaceful healthy escapism and you can even send in videos of yourself and your delightful children giving a guided tour of your fantastic / unusual / beautiful / bountiful garden. Gardener’s World receives thousands of them, so you might not get chosen unless you have turned your bathroom into a tropical paradise, installed a waterfall in your living room, or turned a six foot sunless concrete square by your back door into the Garden of Eden.

Perhaps it’s best if I don’t film my garden; putting carefully cropped selected flowers on Instagram is my limit. Though if the people with poles do turn up tomorrow I could give them my views on new major projects injecting money into the economy; have all the motorways turned into cycle routes and gardens…

Have you ever invited television cameras into your home?

20 thoughts on “Five Seconds of Fame

  1. You know, I’ve been wondering the same thing. Like they show this commercial in the states of a sweet, elderly woman looking back on the tragic events she and many others her age overcame. Where do they find these people?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A lovely idea to have no cars on the roads, Janet. It can only work in safe countries with good public transport like the UK though. Here you have to have a car and, even then, can get hijacked coming out of your front gate or at a traffic light.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Great piece, Janet. I too have come to believe those vox pops are populated by cyborgs, just like alleged lottery winners. Can’t wait to see the Talking Heads re-make; unfortunately the link only works in the UK. Finally, almost lost my breakfast over your need to strain the potatoes; in Oz that’s a male euphemism for, ahem, needing to relieve oneself.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It could be worse, they might remake the Jeremy Kyle show. But at least the criteria for that were clear: you had to have lost most of your teeth but your tooth count was still greater than your IQ. On balance I’d prefer anonymity!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I always wonder why they don’t look in the mirror first. Or maybe the TV people want folks to look natural. I would die if I was on TV looking like some of them do. It makes me cringe. I’ve been on TV in the past but it was a planned event/interview and I had been to the hairdressers.

    Liked by 1 person

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