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ANARCHY IN THE OCH-AYE.

Byline: KEVIN O'SULLIVAN

BREATHTAKINGLY weird, hilarious, offensive, disgracefully manipulative, a serious case of reality TV crossing the line... The Baron is all of these things. And so much more.

Explosive scenes as legendary Sex Pistols Svengali Malcolm McClaren marched through the deeply religious Scottish village of Gardenstown, telling the devout locals all about his plan to set up "a sinners' tent" - an unheavenly haven where they could enjoy extramarital sex, swear like troopers and take tons of illegal narcotics.

It was an unconventional tactic in his campaign to be elected the Baron of Troup over his celebrity rivals Mike Reid (RIP) and the politically astute Suzanne Shaw.

And it led to frighteningly violent chaos. All in the name of light entertainment.

After seizing a golden opportunity to rip the p*ss out of amusing provincial people who, unbelievably, believe in God, ITV's string-pulling clever-dicks came dangerously close to causing a full riot.

"This is the worst place I have ever been to in my entire life, " boomed McLaren in a speech that literally drove the crowd into a furious frenzy.

The tent of evil (Marquee de Sade?) would be a place "where everybody can sin all day and all night, make sex, drink themselves stupid and blaspheme as much as they want."

Sounds good! But not to the Bible-bashers of this remote Aberdeenshire outpost. They were enraged. Especially when Malcolm provocatively added: "We could build a Wicker Man on the beach and sit around taking lots of drugs. I suggest you give your village over to cannabis growers."

Naturally, the camera crew lapped it up as a community leader called Michael lunged at the Godfather of Punk and tried to wrestle him from the podium.

None too keen on McLaren's assertion that "Jesus Christ was a sausage" and his suggestion that all the churches should be turned into centres of sexual deviancy, mad Mike screamed: "National television or not... just get OOT of here!"

It was spinning out of control. With the angry throng surging toward him, Malcolm beat a hasty retreat and nervously told the sophisticated producers: "We've got to go - there's a lynch-mob coming."

He was right. He'd gone too far. But the TV puppet-masters who had deliberately whipped up this real-life melodrama showed no sense of responsibility.

"We're so sorry," spluttered a contrite director as the good folk of Gardenstown demanded to know why they were being insulted by an old trouble-maker preaching anarchy.

I'm not denying that I wasn't transfixed. In fact, I was doubled up in hysterics. Diabolically funny! But surely it was wrong to make one big joke out of Christian faith and beliefs. "Oh Lord help us to eat and drink to your glory," declared the Rev Donald before dining with godless Malcolm.

"Amen." "Okey dokey," replied Malcolm.

Lacking McClaren's charisma and intelligence, East-Enders' Mike and ice maiden Suzanne were like a couple of dullards relegated to the status of bit-part players in a tawdry tale of trumped-up turmoil.

Meanwhile here's my advice to everyone in Gardenstown: Next time a bunch of TV tosspots come knocking at your door, tell them to f*** off!

CAPTION(S):

Malcolm McLaren... dodged a lynch mob
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 4, 2008
Words:529
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