No Such Thing As A Guilty Pleasure

You’ll be familiar, no doubt, with the fact that before becoming the absentee PM we all love to shout “Get Back To Work You Fat Ponce” at in Greek supermarkets, back in 2016 Boris Johnson wrote two opposing columns, one pro- and one anti-EU, for publication in the notoriously balanced Daily Telegraph, before – in a one-off, never to be repeated, shameless example of blatant careerism – ultimately pinning his colours to the Brexit mast, and blowing some dust of a load of lies, half-truths and absolute whoppers to feed us in the run up to the referendum.

I did something similar last night, but unlike Johnson, I’m going to post both drafts. And I’m going to go to work tomorrow and do the job I’m currently paid to do.


Draft 1

I was awoken last night not, for once, by the insufferable heat, but by the sound of heavy rain and thunder outside. Oh, sweet, sweet relief. I checked the time on my phone (00:50) and before I knew it, having discarded the notion of just going outside and standing in it, arms stretched out in welcome like Tim Robbins in The Shawshank Redemption, I was scrolling through Twitter, and stumbling across the news of yet another celebrity death.

I have never watched a single episode of Britain’s Got Talent, but I’d be a liar if I claimed I had never watched The X Factor, or either of its’ short-lived predecessors, Pop Idol or Popstars: The Rivals.

I’ve always thought that fame and stardom should be earned, that one should learn one’s craft and cut one’s teeth, working your way up on the circuit, gathering (if you’re any good) a steadily growing number of fans and admirers, before, (if you’re lucky and catch a few breaks) you made it big.

These shows, with their seemingly never-ending stream of people with hair-gelled to within an inch of its life, who thought closing your eyes as you earnestly bash out yet another version of Angels was a short cut to celebrity, seemed to be the very opposite of how I thought things should be.

That said, I did watch the first few series, before cutting back to just the often-amusing audition rounds, before giving up entirely when they seemed to become exploitative of some poor souls with genuine mental health conditions rather than delusions of grandeur.

But I cannot deny that those first few series did bring us some pop stars that I genuinely like and own records by: I like much of what Will Young released once he broke free of the Cowell-shackles, and I will never be dissuaded from the view that Girls Aloud are one of the finest British pop groups ever.

And then there was Darius. Mocked for his jaw-droppingly awful rendition of Baby One More Time – which I’m not going to post here; it seems distasteful to do so, given the news – at the audition stage, I admired the chutzpah of a guy who, having been kicked off the show once, came back a couple of series later to have another go.

And thank goodness that he did, for had he not then we may never have been treated to the delight that is Colourblind, which I’m perfectly happy to say is a really fine pop song indeed:

Darius – Colourblind

Although the rest of his pop career didn’t exactly set the charts alight, I gather he has earned rather a successful crust for the past few years in stage musicals.

So I was very saddened as I scrolled through Twitter to learn that he had been found dead at the age of just 41.

Type his name into Twitter today and you’ll find endless examples of what a lovely bloke he was, and I have no reason to disbelieve any of them.

Genuinely: A sad loss.


Draft 2

Yesterday Darius was found dead, and last night, finally, it rained. It didn’t just rain, it really rained.

I’m sure these things are linked.

So my question is this: who from the world of TV talent shows has to die next so that the temperature stays at a reasonable level for the foreseeable future? Ideally, it should be someone we wouldn’t miss: I’d settle for One True Voice, but if I’m totally honest I’ve got my fingers crossed for Amanda Holden.

More soon.