Listen up, TV people – can we please stop with the whole ‘celeb’ thing?

Big turn off... Chris McGuire has had enough of enduring celebrities on television

Big turn off... Chris McGuire has had enough of enduring celebrities on television - Credit: Archant

Listen up, TV people – can we please stop with the whole 'celeb' thing?

This isn't going to make me popular.

I don't know about you, but I'm totally BORED of the whole 'celeb' culture.

With a toddler and a newborn baby in our house, getting out of an evening isn't something that really ever happens. Staying in, watching the telly and enjoying a meal deal from one of the posher supermarkets, is about as interesting as it gets. And frankly, as we all know, that's not very interesting at all.

What's all this got to do with the luminaries of the celebrity world?

Bear with me.

Essentially, what I'm saying is that I find myself watching a lot more telly these days and I've noticed something worrying. Our TV programming has somehow become infested with 'so-called' celebrities, and they're driving me up the wall. Dancing on Ice, Strictly Come Dancing, Pointless Celebrities, Celebrity 5 Go Caravanning (yes, that is a real show), the list is seemingly endless… as is the supply of celebrities I've never heard of.

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What's the problem?

Well, in the past people became 'celebrities' as a by-product of something else. They were great singers, actors, dancers etc. and, as a result of that talent, they were celebrated. This (to me) seemed a logical route to stardom. Yet, for some reason, a while back, the idea of putting people who were actually talented on the telly was ditched in favour of giving airtime to people, famous for being famous, that have no discernible skill or talent.

Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with people being no good at something – I'm rubbish at lots (and lots) of things. My issue is watching a celebrity being rubbish at something doesn't make for great TV.

You can almost hear the production meetings on these shows where producers, lumbered with the latest egomaniac from TOWIE (or the like) frantically search for something that they can have the celeb do in front of the camera that might be vaguely entertaining. The answer tends to be walking the celeb (zombie-like) through a painfully contrived game followed by the opportunity for the 'star' to talk at length about themselves, their 'journey' and how fascinating they are. Yawn.

Telly commissioners, call me wildly unrealistic, but do you think it would be possible to have a show that didn't require Duncan from Blue or Gemma Collins to be wheeled out for no apparent reason? We've heard all they have to say before – and frankly it didn't take long.

Surely viewers don't really look at the programming guide and shout: 'David Attenborough's Blue Planet 2 – there's no way I'm watching that, there's not a celeb in sight!' or 'Yes, Panorama is good, but it would be SO much better if it was presented by whatsit that was on The X Factor.'

Am I being too cynical to suggest that dumping the word 'celebrity' into the title of an already existing show is a lazy way of prolonging a tired format? But then, nobody would do that, surely? Or would they? Have a look at your Radio Times and see for yourself!

Anyway, as an evening viewer, stuck on the sofa due to parenting duties, all I'm asking for is a little variety in our televisual diet. Right now, when it comes to celebrities and their inexplicable fame, the telly is well and truly constipated.

I'd bet I know what you're thinking: I'm just jealous – frustrated I'm not on the celeb gravy train myself.


Thinking about it, maybe I should try and get in on the celeb action too? I mean, I can't sing, I can't dance, I can't act or perform and very few people have any idea of who I am – I'd be perfect for half the celebrity shows out there!

I'm off to book a spray tan…

Chris McGuire is a writer and stay-at-home dad. For more go to, or