On Saturday I travelled to firebyrd's lovely home to meet some fellow bloggers. During the course of the evening, we discussed many subjects, one being what we were watching on TV. I confessed my addiction to "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here." For those not in the UK, this is a program in which celebrities (including George "Mr. Sulu" Takei and Martina Navratilova) are dropped in the middle of a jungle in Australia and have to take part in bushtucker trials such as eating camel testicles and lying in a tomb with rats, snakes, and cockroaches crawling over them. They earn meals for the camp by enduring these trials and if they fail, their campmates go hungry. It's all high drama as they all have to confront their deepest fears (that they won't get enough media exposure).
Anyway, I mentioned that this year's I'm a Celeb was like watching a pantomime. Again, for those who don't live in the UK, pantomimes are Christmas-season plays that always feature a woman playing the lead male role, a man playing the role of the Dame, a couple of baddies, an innocent but sexy female lead, and a couple of jesters to keep the laughs coming. The jokes are usually of the double-entendre variety. Audience participation is a must (as in shouting "It's behind you" to the seemingly blind lead or baddie).
This year's I'm a Celeb participants were actually auditioning for a role in the Babes in the Woods panto. Nicola, a pneumatic topless model, plays the role of Robin Hood. Carly, a footballer's partner in real life, is Maid Marion. David Van Day, who had his day in an 80s pop group, is the wicked uncle/Sheriff of Nottingham who wants the babes killed. Timmy Mallet (don't know what he did besides being annoying) is the bad robber employed to kill the babes. Esther Rantzen is the Fairy who has the babes covered in leaves so they can escape their killers. The roles of Friar Tuck, Alan a Dale, and Will Scarlett are filled by Robert Kilroy-Silk, Simon Webbe, and Dani Behr. George Takei and Joe Swash are the babes, naturally. And Brian, the gay policeman, is the Dame. Martina Navratilova sells the ice creams during the interval.
For three weeks, we in the UK were privileged to watch this audition every night. All good fun and a nice distraction from the worries of everyday life.
As was the lovely dinner at firebyrd's. Sadly, just as the party was really getting going, I had to go home as I faced a two-hour-ish drive over dark, icy roads. The memory of good conversation and company kept me warm during the drive. The thought of actually seeing the I'm a Celeb participants in a panto amused me and kept me alert all the way home. Just remember when you see their names in lights next year, you read it here first.