Paddy Shennan's column: Wake-up call to reality; Gullible wanna-be stars caught out.
Byline: Paddy Shennan
IT had, on the face of it, looked like the most straightforward of tasks (The Great Reality TV Swindle swindle v. to cheat through trick, device, false statements or other fraudulent methods with the intent to acquire money or property from another to which the swindler is not entitled. Swindling is a crime as one form of theft. (See: fraud, theft) , C4, Tues).
Sit back and laugh at a gormless gorm·less
adj. Chiefly British
Lacking intelligence and vitality; dull.
[From dialectal gawm, sense, from Middle English gome, notice, from Old Norse gaumr. gang of sad wannabes--who--never--will-bes getting their comeuppance come·up·pance
A punishment or retribution that one deserves; one's just deserts: "It's a chance to strike back at the critical brotherhood and give each his comeuppance for evaluative sins of the past" ? What could be easier, or more entertaining?
And this bunch did seem ridiculously gullible, along the lines of ``We've given up our homes, our jobs and our lives - because there was an ad in the paper which said we had a chance of winning pounds 100,000.
``But, more importantly, it also said we'd . . . BE ON TV!''
There are none so blind as those who desperately crave their 15 minutes of fame - together with spin-off commercial opportunities - at any and every expense to their self-esteem.
Only this lot weren't going to end up on the telly. Well, they were - but only as the subjects of an odd little documentary about how they were apparently hoodwinked by a young man with the real look of a TV luvvie. Well, he had shaggy hair and looked a bit vacant.
The Swindle threw up one or two interesting questions - certainly more interesting than the plight of the freshfaced young people whose sky-high hopes had been dashed.
But they were never answered. Nik Russian was the guy leading the boys and girls boys and girls
mercurialisannua. on a merry dance. We saw the film (shot by trainee camera operators who thought they were working for his production company NRP (Network Resource Planning) The planning, scheduling and control of a computer network. It includes documentation writing and network diagramming, analyses of traffic and congestion, analyses of application behavior and demand, procedures for failsafe and disaster ) of the would-be reality game show contestants going through the selection process.
We saw the whole charade unravelling, as the ``lucky ones'' arrived for the start of the great adventure that was never going to be. The goalposts, they discovered, had been moved just a touch. The pounds 100,000 could STILL be won - but only if a team could somehow make pounds 1m.
We then saw The Awful Truth slowly dawning on the suckers, their smallscale revenge - exposing Nik on the London Tonight programme - and Channel 4 climbing on board to make a TV programme about the TV programme-that-wasn't.
Nik, who had done a disappearing act, was tracked down by a C4 crew and one of those he had let down - and he basically told Nik: ``You've let us all down.''
Then Nik, having mumbled his apologies, walked off and, erm, that was it, really.
But what we didn't see - or hear - was any talk of the angry dupes making a complaint to the police or any other authority. Did or didn't they have a case? What had they signed?
Had they or hadn't they been deceived? And why didn't the producers of this programme make a song and dance about the traps TV wannabes Wannabes is an online interactive soap and game created for the BBC by Illumna Digital. Wannabes follows on from Jamie Kane, the BBC's previous foray into online interactive drama. The show/game consists of 14 10 minute episodes released twice a week. can easily fall into?
It couldn't be anything to do with the fact that Channel 4 is the home of Big Brother - and, therefore, at the forefront of the reality TV circus.
PAYBACK TIME: Three of the victims of The Great Reality TV Swindle