Friday, November 29, 2013

Nigella and the Gogglebox

I returned to work yesterday having recovered (almost) from this dreadful man-flu. It was good to see my colleagues again and enjoy a little office banter.

Topic of the day was Nigella Lawson and whether she's 'a lovely lady with a dreadful ex-husband who's using a court case to destroy her reputation'  or  'a coke-head and a bad role model at odds with her public image.'  I've simplified the two positions of course, but I'd say opinion was fairly evenly divided.

Frankly, I'm not taking sides but I did ponder on two thoughts on my way home.

The first was to note the relatively restrained tone of the assessments towards Nigella - in the press as well as by many of my colleagues - compared to that meted out to other cocaine users: the disgraced former chief of the Coop bank would be a good example. If the allegations are true I'm not sure there's much difference in what either was up to?

The second was a remark I overheard, claiming that to describe Nigella's drug habit as criminal wasn't correct. Excuse me - buying huge amounts of cocaine, and allegedly for her daughter too? Yes but she wasn't dealing! I can understand why someone might regard dealing as more serious, but possession of a Class A drug carries a seven-year sentence - that's a criminal offence in my book. Whether it ought to be is a different issue - in the meantime see yesterday's post on truth and logic.

But much more fun than Nigella was the chat about Gogglebox.

Universally loved by everyone in the office - it's the most weirdly compulsive programme I've seen in years. The format, if you don't already know, is a fly on the wall of various couples and families watching television. This week the cameras captured their reactions to Doctor Who, the Ashes defeat, a Star Wars Movie...

The characters are all larger than life and I guess everybody has their favourite - I especially like Leon and June the retired teachers from Liverpool; Jane likes the posh hoteliers who are always sloshed. Evidently Gogglebox has proved so popular they've already sold the rights to America, and China is considering a series.

But what I find most fascinating about Gogglebox, is the uncomfortable realisation that we've come to the point where TV is so dull, we'd rather watch other people viewing it than sit through the programmes ourselves!

I wonder if that principle could ever apply to blogs - don't bother reading the Bike Shed, just click the webcam to watch me typing... and sneezing (though not from cocaine I assure you).

 Somehow I don't think it would catch on.


  1. What struck me about the Saatchi guignol case was that if you were mad enough to cough up for membership of the Soho House private members club you'd end up rubbing shoulders not with the movers and shakers if the media world, but with their P.A.s.

  2. Gogglebox is a bit like watching programmes via The show's Twitter hashtags with added pictures ;)

  3. OMG...I have to read your blog to find this out! Well I am from the colonies you know ))). Oh poor poor Nigella.

    Achew...bless you.

  4. Can you wipe your nose please? The view is dreadful from here.

  5. I suppose the difference between the Co-op chief and Nigella - apart from the obvious disparity in beauty - is that Nigella's drug abuse is still only alleged, and when questioned in court yesterday her husband said he had no real knowledge if it was actually true. Whereas the Co-op chief was caught on camera trying to set up a deal.

    I love Gogglebox too although I often forget when it's on.

  6. I hadn't even heard of Gogglebox. Not sure what that says about me..... As for the Nigella saga, from what little I've read it all seems to be hints and allegations with no proof offered.

  7. The NIgella thing is weirdly fascinating. I don't think she's like the Co Op bank chairman at all, I couldn't care less if he snorts cocaine but I DO care that he's trashed the only "ethical" mainstream bank and added another vindication of the the idea that anyone and anything aiming to be ethical is really just grubby and corrupt underneath. I guess I am enough of an idealist to be angry at people like that. Gogglebox... such a brilliant idea. People always find other people entertaining, specially if they feel they know them. Just as well, I guess....

  8. I haven't seen or heard of Gogglebox - it sounds a bit creepy, watching a box showing people watching a box. What will be next? Watching a box, showing people watching a box showing people watching a box.............
    It was the cycle museum in Llandod by the way Mark.....