Last week I received a message inviting me to be a contestant on ITV1's premium douchefest Take Me Out. I've been invited to appear on a few TV shows. I'm not saying this to boast, because God knows what kind of person would think that being seen as an easy mark by a 12-year-old researcher for a jaw-clenching turn on something like Wife Swap (Yes, I've also, in the past, been invited to go on Wife Swap) would be something to brag about.
Myself and many of my colleagues in the variety and cabaret scene regularly get approached for these things, primarily, I think, because we look like 'characters'. This is where TV is now - someone sitting in the corner of a production company office on a shared hotdesk trawling Facebook for people who, in their tiny little avatar picture, look interesting enough to hang an hour-long show on.
The grandaddy of these shows - the over confident kid who keeps hitting on girls because nobody has told him that he stinks - is, of course, Britain's Got Talent. This, and the other talent shows, infect performers inboxes like herpes. You always think you've been harsh enough to get them to vanish, but next year, when auditions roll around, they always pop back up.
The producers of these shows seem to assume that anyone in the entertainment world who isn't already a household name would jump at the chance to be portrayed as someone desperate for attention, for fame, and for the approval of a panel of plastic-faced vacuums who have no knowledge or experience in whatever artform the desperate hopeful has devoted their life to.
These are brash, shouty abbatoirs for the foolish and misguided. Industrial furnaces that tempt in the hopeful and the cynical and burn them them as fuel for the millionaire gits whose Botoxed faces grace the promos.
I'm not a fan.
So, anyway, I got a little tired of having to explain why I wouldn't want to be on these shows. I needed an easier way to explain my reasoning. So I made this... (Click it to make it bigger)...
Mat Ricardo's one man show "Showman"runs at the Leicester Square Theatre, as part of the London International Mime Festival, 21st-25th Jan 2014. More info here.