Tag Archives: reality tv

Lembit Öpik writes… Why I’m going on “I’m a Celebrity – Get Me Out of Here!”

As you may know, I’m hoping to be selected as the Lib Dem Mayoral candidate for London. For various reasons, the internal Party process has been postponed till around next summer, though I myself have been short-listed to be part of that selection process.

I’m concerned to ensure that, in the meantime, we don’t vanish off the face of the electoral earth as Boris and Ken forge ahead with their campaigns. For this reason, I’m doing my best to illustrate what “Lembit’s London” would look like, and the nature of the campaign itself.

Part of this will be sharing my policy positions. I’d summarise my campaign as “Freedom for the city, power to the people.” This motif centres on three key areas – Libertarianism, Localism and Labour (not the Party! I mean the workers who keep this city going).

But the best campaigning narrative in the world is pointless unless people are actually interested in it, and have some association with the people putting it forward. Being worthy is not empowering to the public if you’re anonymous and can’t generate the coverage to get the message across.

For this reason, I’ve decided to appear on the reality television show “I’m a Celebrity – Get Me Out Of Here!” It’s a great opportunity to get direct to the viewing public, and show, in what I believe to be a generally fair programme, how I operate in a team, under pressure and in a competitive environment.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 48 Comments

LibLink … Vince Cable: Was this the last waltz for ailing Strictly Come Dancing?

Never let it be said that the Lib Dems’ deputy leader is a one-trick pony, capable only of talking sound common sense on the economy – he is also, as we all know, a ballroom dancing prince, a man who knows his paso from his tango. So he’s on sure-footed ground in the Mail, when he questions whether the Beeb has runined the show that, in previous series, has entranced millions:

Britain is divided into two nations: those who watch Strictly Come Dancing on a Saturday evening and those who watch The X Factor. There are a few neutrals, but not many. I have been firmly in the Strictly camp from its early days but I worry now that the formula no longer works – that it is not just losing the ratings battle but is losing its way. A national treasure is at risk. …

More than any other show I can remember, it has brought together people of different ages and social backgrounds from different parts of the country – men and women. It has helped to create a national conversation and has given a big boost to dancing as a popular pastime.

Yet something has gone badly wrong. Millions of viewers voted with their feet for the other channel. Even diehard supporters like me became bored in the early rounds this year by very ordinary performances from an excessive number of unknown ‘celebrities’.

You can read Vince’s article in full here. And as an extra special treat on a cold Monday morning, you can enjoy re-living our shadow chancellor treading the light fantastic with Alesha Dixon:

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LibLink … James Graham: No, Simon Cowell is not a saviour

Over at The Guardian’s Comment Is Free blog, Lib Dem blogger James Graham argues that political engagement via entertainment is a failed model, and asks – shouldn’t we be talking about how to make politics less like the X Factor? Here’s an excerpt:

The public perception of MPs and X Factor contestants is remarkably similar: both are regarded as vapid, essentially interchangeable, only in it for the money and the glory, bitchy, having laughable hairstyles and as all coming from the same school. … In reality, the X Factor could only dream of having as many voters as we take

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Brian Paddick writes… I’m not a celebrity: should I have got me in there?

If there is a consistent theme throughout my life, it is following ‘high risk strategies’. Joining an overtly homophobic police service knowing I was gay, suggesting the police took a more liberal stance on illegal drugs, challenging Sir Ian Blair over the Stockwell shooting, and giving evidence for the family in the De Menezes inquest, were not the easiest or safest routes to take.

Having been approached by both the Tories and the Liberal Democrats to be their candidate for the 2008 Mayor of London election, following my conscience, my passion and my deeply held beliefs, …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 19 Comments

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