The Blog

Being a Celebrity: The Unfortunate Reality

Of course, James "Arg" Argent should have been counting his blessings that he was so hopeless he managed to leave the competition unharmed. The fact he was taking part at exactly the same time as appearing in Sugar Free Farm couldn't have been easy.

Of the numerous professions that are on the government-approved shortage occupation list, you'll find consultants in paediatrics or anaesthetics, secondary education teachers in maths and science (chemistry and physics only) and offshore and subsea engineers. But one particular calling is strangely conspicuous by its absence. That of the celebrity.

There are those out there who may stare down from their ivory towers and sneer, snipe and question whether such a vacuous vocation can ever seriously be classified as a profession. Is this a job that will make parents proud of their offspring? "What's your daughter doing these days?" "She's a diagnostic radiographer. And how about your son?" "Oh, well, you know, he's a fame-hungry narcissist".

There are others, however, who will argue that it's hard work becoming famous. And harder still remaining so. While the eminently qualified with their university degrees and PhDs are working 10, 12, 14 hour shifts, slebs have no such good fortune.

For those choosing to follow such a career path, it's a hard luck life of late mornings lying in bed nursing hangovers and later evenings full of parties, gallery openings and first nights. Quaffing champagne and being force fed canapés. Forever taking selfies and posting them on Instagram. Always feeling the need and relentless pressure to look good - the daily gym sessions, the yo yoing diets, the occasional recourse to the plastic surgeon for Botox top ups. Plus, there's the burden of constantly trying to be witty, charming and sexy wherever you go. That's without having the nation's media scrutinise your every move, only to end up being trolled on Twitter by people jealous of your success and your Rear of the Year title 1994. Good grief, geochemists have it easy by comparison.

Considering everything celebrities have to contend with, it wouldn't come as any great surprise to discover that they were in scant supply. At the moment, we certainly appear to be in the midst of a D-list drought.

Mercifully, the top end remains largely unaffected. The A listers - the Depp's, the Pitt's, the Clooney's, the Witherspoon's, the Kidman's and the Stallone's continue to be plentiful.

Never before though have the men and women on the lower rungs of stardom's ladder been as thin on the ground. Indeed, followers and fans of Tumble, Splash, Celebrity Sissorhands and the like could be left thinking that there's a bit of a national shortage going on. Are there simply too many programmes with not enough (barely) recognisable faces to fill them? Could this be the reason that the usual suspects keep turning up on our screens time and again?

They include Jan Leeming and Wayne Sleep, both of whom have recently been in the Real Marigold Hotel, Christopher Biggins, Kerry Katona and Stacey Solomon who've chowed down on kangaroo testicles in I'm a Celebrity...Get me Out of Here, Mark Wright, Russell Grant and Nancy Dell'Olio who've waltzed through Strictly and Darren Day, Vanessa Feltz and Denise Welch who've bared their souls and much more on Celebrity Big Brother.

And let's not forget Gemma Collins who seems to find it nigh on impossible to get off the treadmill (the proverbial celebrity one rather than the one in a gym) and Peter Andre whose whole existence is really one long reality show.

To make matters worse, this season of The Jump seems intent on shrinking the talent pool even further. We're not at the half way mark, yet if it carries on at this rate, there's soon going to be no contestants left at all. Maybe that's the dastardly plan.

Already, Rebecca Adlington, Beth Tweddle - more than familiar with televisual twaddle after starring in Dancing on Ice - and Tina Hobley, formerly of Holby (Or is it Tina Holby formerly of Hobley? Damned if I can remember) have all been hobbled along with Linford Christie. Then there's the unfortunate Mark- Francis Vandelli. He's gone too. If his injury had been any more serious, he could have had his own show on E4, titled appropriately enough: Laid (up) in Chelsea, which would have seen him bed bound and bellowing unreasonable demands to a retinue of put upon staff as they nursed him back to health.

Of course, James "Arg" Argent should have been counting his blessings that he was so hopeless he managed to leave the competition unharmed. The fact he was taking part at exactly the same time as appearing in Sugar Free Farm couldn't have been easy. Now though in the cruelest twist of fate, he's returned. Something just tells you it isn't going to end well for him.

In an act of pure desperation, Channel 4 have also brought back Heather Mills from last year's contest to compete again. Additionally, they've roped in Tom Parker from The Wanted or The Unwanted as its members were known until Jay McGuiness won Strictly.

Heaven only knows who the producers are planning on introducing next. Actually, as widely reported, it is reality stalwart, Joe Swash and Miss Great Britain, Zara Holland. (Who)?

To inject some klass into proceedings, it might have been hoped that the former Queen of the jungle, Myleene would make an appearance. But on top of life and limb, would they really want to run the risk of her catching frostbite as she came down the slalom in her trademark bikini?

If the TV micro/nano celebrity is nearing extinction, and I think that might be wishful thinking on my part, would it be such a bad thing? Isn't it about time that we all became a little less obsessed with the superficiality of fame and instead concentrated on those things that genuinely matter in society? For instance, encouraging future generations to become something truly worthwhile and to perhaps make a difference in the world.

Besides, where did a career in celebrity reality based television genuinely ever get anyone?

Umm, quite possibly all the way to The White House.