Celebrity Juice, on ITV2: What a load of misogynistic rubbish. To be honest, I don’t mind so much about the Fearne Cotton insults – she’s signed up for the series, she’s knows what she’s letting herself in for and no doubt she’s getting paid lots of money for it (and presumably more than her co-presenter and best-mate-in-real-life, Holly Willoughby, for agreeing to be Keith Lemon‘s b*tch)… But should all the guests have to put up with that, too? I’m not so sure. Even if they think they know what’s in store, once they get there and it’s happening to them I’m sure they must be shocked at just how far it goes. Like Lemon telling Frankie from The Saturdays that he wants her to defecate in his mouth. Or handing her a large glass frame containing a picture of herself and a pair of stained boxer shorts, telling her he’d used them to wank over her one million times… Yes, I realise it’s obviously (well, probably) not true, but the joke’s only funny if you’re happy to be laughing purely from shock at the ‘wacky’, ‘outrageousness’ of it. Because you couldn’t possibly be laughing at its actual comedy value. It’s an insulting thing to do to a young lady, at any time. Never mind on national television, in front of millions of people and where she’s under pressure to laugh off his so-called jokes or risk looking ‘boring’. Especially when Fearne and Holly are there lapping it all up. It would be pathetic enough if it were a teenager doing it. But actually, we’re letting a 38-year-old man do that to a 23-year-old young lady and pass it off as comedy.
If someone did the equivalent to her over the internet, we’d call them a dirty pervert and want them arrested. I’m no prude, I assure you, but the whole programme is not only objectionable but also tedious – with it’s non-stop innuendos, endless excuses to get women into sexually subservient positions (as I type, I’m watching Keith Lemon make 22-year-old Vanessa from The Saturdays and Fearne kneel down, blindfolded, to grope the crotch of one of the even-younger guys from the Rizzle Kicks, and guess the object that’s been hidden in his trousers… I mean, come on. Seriously?). It’s lazy, lowest-common-denominator humour. And when one of his puns gets an unexpected laugh, Lemon rushes in to milk it, verbally butting guests out the way without blinking. He’s like a television-sponsored school bully. I’m sure these kids’ parents and friends must watch it wanting to deck him.
ITV2 and the agents who put these kids up for this should be ashamed of themselves. Unknown to some, ‘Keith Lemon‘ is actually a character brought to life by Leigh Francis, the man behind Bo’ Selecta!, Avid Merrion, The Bear and more. (I’d always known it was the same person but until recently I’d thought that Keith Lemon was his real name and he was being himself in Celebrity Juice, rather than simply playing another part.) Presumably, Francis can just blame his alter ego and ‘edgey’ ways for such behaviour. What excuse can the others find? I can only hope that Fearne is tied into some sort of contract that she can’t get out of and not on this programme because she thinks the money and high profile are worth being ritually degraded like this, even if she is allowed to throw the odd token insult in.
I really don’t mind a bit of base humour but I’m gobsmacked that this type of ‘comedy’ is being commissioned for television in this day and age. It was tired a long, long time ago. Really, is this the best they can find?