Tag Archives: price

Played in Chelsea

How real is reality TV? Dom Kureen takes a look at how the lines have become blurred since Endemol brought Big Brother kicking and screaming to UK screens at the turn of the Millenium.


‘Nasty’ Nick Bateman and a hastily assembled jury perched themselves around a table in the Big Brother  house late in the summer of 2000 (YouTube link here.)

The conniving housemate’s best laid plans and schemes had finally unravelled on day 35 of the series, when chief bloodhound (and eventual winner) Craig Phillips tracked the scent that had caused millions of viewers to jab their television screens and scream vicious curse words into thin air for more than a month.

At the time it seemed to matter, with loveable Scouser Craig the perfect foil for dastardly crater-faced villain Nick.

The sense of injustice was raw and authentic, the fact that until then those living at close quarters were unable to recognise the deviant’s mischievous antics only added to the ongoing nationwide exasperation. Tabloids stirred the pot, calling for Bateman to be deported and naming him ‘the most hated man in Britain.’


Not a convicted paedophile, a rapist, a murderer, a psychotic vigilante selling Crack-Cocaine to school children – The most hated man in Britain according to the dirt sheets was a 32 year-old dimwit who’d snuck a pen and a few scraps of paper past Channel Four security.

Josie, winner of BB11, she didn't look like this in the house.
Josie, winner of BB11, she didn’t look like this in the house.

Looking at it now, Nick’s indiscretions wouldn’t even generate a ripple among the needy, ravenous whoring of his reality show contemporaries, who play to cameras like neglected toddlers seeking the recognition of strangers.

What was once a genre grounded in the factual has evolved into a scripted sermon of soap opera rhetoric, aimed at advertising products and getting Twitter trends by promoting the interaction of idiots.

Modification became a necessity, people growing weary of 24-hour feeds dominated by snoozing, mastication and mundane jibber-jabber.

Even the juicy bits were rendered irrelevant by time-delay and on the spot editing, ensuring they were reserved as flesh for the next highlight reel.

Success inevitably spawns imitation. Just as Big Brother and The Real World blazed a trail for Celebrity Love Island and I’m A Celebrity, so The Osbournes unlocked the door for the curiously watchable Hogan Knows Best and worthless What Katie Did Next, the latter of which consisted almost exclusively of the obscenely-norked Katie Price berating her humbled hubby, Peter Andre, whose subdued emasculation led to universal sympathy and an even worse spin-off.

Katie Price: Vacuous TV show bombed after initially promising ratings.
Katie Price: Vacuous TV show bombed after initially promising ratings.

It came full circle at the end of the ‘noughties’, with the rise of exclusively scripted (un)reality TV, where scenes are set up solely for the satiation of a wide-eyed audience.

This all brings us nicely to Made In Chelsea; undoubtedly entertaining in a perverse, barely credible way. A make believe universe revolving around equal parts bitching, fucking, cocktails and cock tales.

The Hello magazine of the small screen, Spencer Matthews and co. proudly parade around South West London, their tail feathers gleaming, with not a hint of tangible hardship or hair out of place within the confines of a painstakingly conceived goldfish bowl.

The appeal lies in the voyeuristic observation of the jet-set lifestyles enjoyed by a gaggle of coiffured rich kids, playing with daddy and mummy’s fortunes, heirs to corporations who share body fluids and Jacuzzis in a state of perpetual down time.

It’s fun, but reality?? The veneers that adorn the collective cast’s faces are less phoney than the narratives that play out, act by act, for the consumption of long distance rubberneckers.

Even so, SW3’s brand of entertainment is indisputably several notches above the brainless ‘Real Housewives of…’ franchise and retains a modicum of value courtesy of engaging caricatures and slick presentation.

The continued saturation of the reality genre necessitates an amplification of salacious, unfeasible concepts to provide shock value, the lifeblood of these productions for over a decade now.

A childish public school graduate scribbling names onto scrunched up A5 crescents torn from a notepad no longer gratifies the lust of devotees, numbed by years of smut, hyperbole and recurring adaptations of good Vs evil.

Hulk Hogan: A good guy in WWF, bad guy in WCW... An entertaining wally in 'Hogan Knows Best.'
Hulk Hogan: A good guy in WWF, bad guy in WCW… An entertaining wally in ‘Hogan Knows Best.’

In 2016 reality TV is a three dimensional comic book, ideal for pickling the psyche and providing aesthetically captivating colour schemes. For Gotham, Keystone and Metropolis read Chelsea, Essex and, until recently, the Jersey shore.

How much further can the envelope be nudged? Only time will tell. For the next clutch of fame-hungry wannabes and gluttonous fans nothing seems taboo.

Prepare not to be shocked… in the most shocking way possible.

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Celebrity Big Brother 2015: The year of the fame whore

Potato-faced American gossip blogger Perez Hilton dances in front of a camera, adorned in hot pants rapidly getting eating by the crack of his posterior, whilst provocatively rubbing his nipples as if he’s performing some kind of depraved mating dance for the viewers at home.

Perez Hilton

Katie Hopkins can barely mask her disdain (neither does she attempt to), displaying an impressive array of candid expressions, as others giggle, tut, sigh and have ostensible breakdowns in perfect symphony, like toddlers seeking constant attention and validation.

This is Celebrity Big Brother UK 2015, and the producers have somehow managed to increase the already excruciating levels of disgusting their previous editions revelled in.

While Hilton can be described as a self-aggrandizing bore who is merrily cast as a pantomime villain, the likes of Patsy Kensit and Keith Chegwin have attempted to steer clear of the eye of the storm, usually found snoozing the day away in between reluctant task participation and lethargically trotted out rhetoric.

Cami Li

The fans outside the studio boo and hiss, chanting obscenities and urging Bruv to “get Perez/Nadia/Patsy out.”

A combustible group of house mates have been deliberately thrown together for the sake of good television, and while there is some amusement in certain scenes, it soon becomes a tad overbearing, with Hilton’s shrill voice about as appealing as someone strangling a cat whilst simultaneously running its claws down a chalk board… or listening a Kerry Katona track… or sharing oxygen with Kerry Katona.

It’s not all bad news though, Katie Hopkins appears to have turned the tide, with her biting honesty and lust for confrontation a rare treat that’s flipped boos to cheers in the space of a few weeks.

Puerto Rican model Cami Li also has her moments, with her in your face vernacular, effortless put downs and gargantuan mammaries an imposing combination for her rivals.

For the likes of Kavana (a singer apparently) this might have seemed like an opportunity to reignite a moribund career, instead he has been this season’s vanilla, bringing little to the table other than an alcohol-fuelled rant against poor old Cheggers.

Callum Best has provided a bit of eye candy for female viewers and comes across as an affable enough chap, albeit with a thimble full of his more famous father George’s charisma.

Who will benefit in the aftermath?

Katie Hopkins has shown some cutting, dry humour and the audience have taken to her brutal honesty, she was desperate for fame, and will probably find herself promoted from D-List to C-List after the show.

Michelle Visage has purportedly blazed a trail for gay people across the globe (hasn’t the same trail been blazed already?) She’s come across as a strong-willed and honest individual in the process, earning plaudits from the show’s viewers along the way.

Cami Li has gone from being that bloke from The Only Way Is Essex‘s other half, to a potential bona fide star in her own right, she’ll have plenty of magazine/tabloid offers when she leaves the house.

Perez Hilton, loathe him or loathe him a little less, he has made an impact on the UK audience and spread awareness of his brand. Very much an advocate the ‘any publicity is good publicity’ ethos.

Keith Chegwin

The rest? No great shakes among them, with a couple of slippery fingered fellas kicked to the curb in the first few days; one for sexist remarks, the other for pulling a woman’s boobs out of her dressing gown.

A bizarre, fruity and somewhat addictive show, any one of these lunatics could be crowned champion. Hopkins would complete a full circle turn if she gained acceptance from a large section of the British public, but she’s bound to have a slip of the tongue at some point during the final week, and alienate northerners, people named Gary, or whoever she takes a dislike to next.

And what of the series’ most notable name, Katie Price? For those who say she isn’t air head: she’s an airhead on this evidence. In the spirit of a vulgar series and the words of David Brent from ‘The Office’: “Just a (£22m) pair of tits.”

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Live Review: Katie Price

Katie Price cut the unlikely figure of leading lady at the 2014 Isle of Wight Literary Festival on Friday afternoon. Dom Kureen was there to witness the glamour model-cum-author’s one hour question and answer session, aimed to publicise the latest tome affiliated with brand Price, Make My Wish Come True.

Katie Price

Retrospectively the scheduling implied a tinge of anxiety from the event’s co-ordination collective – an oft salacious former Page Three model waxing lyrical about her latest contribution to the literary landscape, during a mid-afternoon sermon within the walls of St Mary’s church.

The unlikely setting, on the grounds of the awe-inspiring Northwood House in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, played host to a premeditated examination more pillow fight than hard hitting inquisition, with the artist formerly known as Jordan ‘premièring’ jet black locks to accompany a faux fur Gilet and knee-high boots. Not a follicle flicked out of place, an aesthetic triumph of unapologetically brimming lips and tangerine luminosity.

National paparazzi were in attendance and lapped it up, with their gaudy cameras and loose, overlapping physiques a rare treat for those south of the solent.

The Isle’s local media didn’t seem quite so enamoured with the arrival of a bona fide national celebrity; one journalist affiliated with a regional publication  stating to me their disillusionment at the decision to book this particular speaker, deciding instead to attend one of the many simultaneous events taking place.

Surprisingly diminutive in the flesh as she belatedly took her seat on the stage, Price looked every inch the star with her veneered teeth now gleaming under church light and her skin colour verging on radioactive as she sat cross legged across from her publicist for a cosy chin wag.

A section of the conversation poked at the contribution that warrants the tag ‘Katie Price’ adorning front covers, a process that sees her variously verbalising basic concepts into a Dictaphone and sharing vague outlines with professional writers, who then proceed to form a story (“I’m not very good at the writing part.”)

Forgiven, not forgotten: Katie Price's current beau, Kieran Hayler cheated on her earlier this year.
Forgiven, not forgotten: Katie Price’s current beau, Kieran Hayler cheated on her earlier this year.

Regular reference was made to Price’s slew of cosmetic surgeries, most notable among these mentions were a desire to continue augmenting her breasts into old age, and remarks centred around marriages and children – white noise to all but die hard fans. Happily, a brief narrative regarding her visually impaired son Harvey was refreshingly unrehearsed.

Jordan came across as affable and brutally honest about her claims to fame, suggesting that her emergence had been the result of a lot of luck accompanied by tireless endeavour and refusal to allow derisive journalists to derail her impressively lengthy tenure as a national A-lister.

The demi-stocked peanut gallery then received their opportunity to contribute to proceedings, with their inquiries possessing the collective venom of a meditating monk, although Ms Price did take an evasive tone when asked if she was a feminist and stated regret for getting those pesky veneers.

Katie Price 3

From there a book signing was abridged due to ferry scheduling, while shutterbugs were denied their money shot as Jordan refused to step out of her car to be snapped.

 Relatively likeable and aesthetically pristine, Katie Price doesn’t claim to be an author. There was nothing ground breaking here, a harmless and anticlimactic booking.

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Single Review: Signals – Sleep Talk

Female fronted four-piece Signals are back with a new single release, ‘Sleep Talk’, Dom Kureen gives his thoughts on the emerging quartet’s latest offering.

Ellie Price of Signals
Ellie Price

The past twelve months have witnessed an impressive, if not yet meteoric, rise in popularity for Ellie Price and her Signals cohorts, with a UK tour and several festival appearances affording the talented group plenty of exposure.

To suggest that the marked upsurge in admirers is merely due to a commercially viable, aesthetically appealing package would be doing the band a major disservice, indeed their inaugural LP, Square Wheels and follow up Facial Furniture, were each creatively rewarding and emphatically raw.

IOW Festival 2014 Signals
Mikey Webber

Their latest cut, Sleep Talk, a single with an official UK release looming on Sunday, is another step in the desired direction for the Platform One graduates, embellishing their auditory concepts for the first time with a shiny music video.

The new track plunges straight into comfortingly quintessential Math-Pop, with Price’s distinctive vocals glueing together a complex composition with a captivating chorus.

Blending seamlessly with the front-woman, the duel backing harmonies of bassist Alex Vanblaere and guitarist Mikey Webber add gravitas to proceedings and establish the blueprint for an unpredictable junket.

A generous dose of piano scaling garnishes some solid percussion from the highly talented Ryan Beachy, who would be the brooding, intense one if Louis Walsh got his expressionless chops involved.

Admittedly, the sporadic nature of Sleep Talk might not appeal to everyone’s ears, bustling along with a dozen separate visions seemingly colliding as it advances towards a conclusive crescendo.

This is chaotic, unceasing music that may benefit from the occasional bridge over turbulent waters.

Even with that petty admonition, this is another triumph for Signals, who are rapidly threatening to de-seat The Bees as the Isle of Wight’s premier musical export of the Millennium.

Sleep Talk is another gratifying addition to an already impressive body of work constructed by four ultra talented musicians who will only continue to refine their act as their experience level increases – get to a live show if you can, you won’t regret it.

Another noteworthy release from the Signals crew, Sleep Talk reveals a maturing interpretation of the math-pop genre.

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.