​Welcome to the celebrity wing of the insane asylum. Here, faded lustre stolen by these camera and adulation obsessed magpies from the real stars are clung onto as a faded memory of past splendour and grandeur. These have beens are paraded on telly every night for our amusement. A glimpse of fame’s heady vertigos and depths, and viewing the strange interplay between the appetite of the audience for a glance of the “glitzy” lifestyle spewing out from the box, and their desire for meaning in the face of expanding modern mediocrity. Forever, the delusion of this unerring attention upon the wannabes will sustain their mania long after their stint here has faded. Having voluntarily committed themselves into the care of the media’s scouring burn, their minds have fallen prey to the natural lithium of cheers and jeers bound by the straitjacket of their own narcissism. This year, has been little more than jolt after jolt of electric shock treatment via offense, groping and controversy, to the point where even rumblings of a chastening parent threatens to close down Big Brother.

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The question we must ask ourselves is if we are seeing the implosion of Reality TV as the reality of TV itself grows more torrid in our instant video-on-demand age.

Born at the turn of the millennium in The Netherlands and hailed as a social experiment, Big Brother hit the UK screens and became an unexpected success. With presenter Davina McCall at the helm, it shot her and the burgeoning Reality TV genre to the stratosphere. The first Celebrity Big Brother was held as a fundraising event for Comic Relief, but was soon appropriated by the fame and ratings machine after the social lens was focused on celebs when they were not “on.” Jack Dee hit the bottle, Vanessa Feltz donned sunglasses and scrawled synonyms for imprisoned on the dining room table.

​We are now inundated by a shower of trite shite in the manner of “Reality.” Big Brother and it’s celebrity incarnation was followed by Pop stars in the same year, Pop Idol, Popstars The Rivals, The X Factor, Fame Academy… to a point when they have become institutions to bemoan and adore in equal measure. They give us a cheap thrill for even cheaper meaning.

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​The mantra of the BBC at its inception was: ‘Educate, Inform and Entertain’. It is a remit that extends from the mind of their first Director-General, Lord Reith to its radio, television and internet output to this day. A philosophy that has permeated our television broadcasts since the 1950’s, until the avalanche of Reality, which deigns to push boundaries without the temerity of actual probity and insight included. I’m A Celebrity, TOWIE, everyone knows what they can get out of a stint on a Reality show… it’s a long way from The Real World.

​The recent series of Celebrity Big Brother itself has become a good study in the cancerous proliferation of its own self-destruction. When the format began, Big Brother had a weekly instalment where the house and its inhabitants were analysed by psychologists in terms of how the effects of isolation from the outside world, tasks and forming bonds with strangers would affect them and the play of things. This portion of credibility was even hung on to up until last year with Big Brother’s Bit on the Psyche, where Rylan and some comedian plucked from the nearest comedy club perused the body language and behaviour of housemates. The programme seems to have deserted from this practice this year; seemingly the perfect timing for such departure.

​First we had Jeremy Jackson and the incident in the toilet where he groped Chloe Goodman. Distastefully following this was Ken Morley’s overtly sexist and racist comments have now deteriorated the show to and we are left with never ending spats between Perez Hilton and Camili, with Katie Hopkins stirring away in the style to which she has become accustomed. In a botch job of akin to dodgy plastic surgery, rumours are flying that Katie Price is set to land in the Elstree Funny Farm. The previous fifteen years have turned us from naivetés to fame aficionados, a bunch of housemates entering intrepidly into unknown territory crowned a Scouse builder as the first Big Brother champion. Jade Goody’s dizzying rise, fall and death, wine bottle sex aides, MPs acting like cats, fights and enough people as kindling to fuel the fickle pyre of summer viewing, has raised questions of the most recent being axed, after Perez Hilton -a true media savant-has turned the house to his own advantage and everyone against him. Since its reboot on Channel 5 launched by Pamela Anderson, entering the civilian Big Brother house for some reason has only been matched by our measure of consumerist desires.

​Celebrity Big Brother can be seen as a mirror of the inflammable bus fire of fame. The addiction of the masses where the drug is a two way street. Hooking a large portion of the populace on celebrity’s and we watch, star struck as they devour their dignity for another hit of fame. Reality TV is the final blow of a format changing and uncertain how to adapt to the rise of Video-on-Demand , which is another revolutionary aspect the mainstream has borrowed from porn, like VHS and Polaroid. Similarly to porn, TV has had to keep up with the likes of Netflix by bearing the hearts and souls of the public, the gladiatorial arena never left!

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