THE way we watch TV has changed dramatically in the last few years – it’s gone from idle lounging in front of the box to active participation in several ways.
For a start, reality TV shows often demand that you take part by voting. This changes depending on the viewer demographic and the show. For example, on Strictly Come Dancing it’s a gentle system where people vote for their favourite.
On I’m A Celebrity …… Get Me Out Of Here! the public votes to put individuals through tough and often humiliating Bushtucker Trials to earn food.
Should a celebrity dare to show weakness of any kind, the public is on them in an instant, voting for them to go underground and be covered in insects and rats/have a helmet full of snakes/swim through hazardous underwater caverns/eat indescribable parts of animals that would make a butcher blush.
You see how they bring out different types of voting, opinion and intent? Give me a decision over a quickstep any day.
Apart from the voting element, the brilliant Gogglebox series also allows the viewers themselves to be stars. And there are some absolutely brilliant individuals watching at home – sometimes better than the so-called celebrities.
This programme has made reality stars of the audience. People like the Malone family from Manchester which has as many dogs as people, sisters Ellie and Izzi and brothers Tremaine, Twaine and Tristam – natural entertainers.
Michael McIntyre’s new Saturday night TV show even takes the programme into viewers’ homes – at dead of night. With the co-operation of one feisty lady, he brought the whole TV crew and sundry Teletubbies into the bedroom of a poor bloke who was then expected to answer quiz questions.
It made brilliant TV but you could see him wondering if he’d just dreamt it all!