Budgie smuggler, pop star, buffoon…feel our love I'm A Celebrity's Nick KnowlesDecember 11, 2018
That was the question many of us were asking, last week.
Step forward, Nick Knowles, DIY presenter, musician, chef, swimwear model, explorer, healer, fully unqualified astrophysicist and all round “hell of a guy”. A phenomenon you’ll be well aware of, if you watch television or engage with Twitter.
The Last Leg’s Adam Hills, for instance, is a helluvaguy. So are presenters like Nish Kumar, James O’Brien and all those other blokes who cannot stop wanging on, very publicly, about their feminist credentials and just how much they love the NHS.
While others might rely simply on empty words though, Nick Knowles preferred grand heroic gestures, right from day one in the jungle when he threw himself into the water to save four women who were in absolutely no danger of drowning.
The idea that Nick Knowles was every woman’s Sir Galahad, was clearly never in doubt then. At least not in his own mind.
The ever-so-slightly deluded David Brent-side to his character did not fully emerge, though, until the very last week when James McVey revealed Nick’s version of Make You Feel My Love had gone to number one in the iTunes chart.
A stroke of genius for production to let the news slip, obviously, and for someone to send an acoustic guitar into camp, so that Nick could delight everyone with an unplugged rendition, which Emily Atack described as “a viral moment,” much like Ebola.
Dec was clearly having the time of his life poking fun at Knowles as well, describing him as: “So good at DIY he’s even gravelled his voice.”
I need nearly hardly tell you what happened next then.
The public got rid of Nick Knowles, just as they get rid of any jungle contestant who’s ever shown the slightest inclination to act like an entertaining jerk.
This is a problem that dates right back to series one, of course, when livewires Uri Geller, Darren Day, Rhona Cameron and Nigel Benn were all voted out before silent Nell McAndrew, and it continues to prevent a genuinely great line-up from turning into a genuinely great series, even if this one did end with exactly the right winner in Harry Redknapp.
I don’t see any way round the problem, either. The voting public just seems to prefer self-absorbed young bores, on “a journey,” to genuine characters.
If any of us thought Nick Knowles was finished, the moment Dec read out his name, though, we reckoned without an eviction interview which will surely take its place in I’m A Celeb . . . folklore.
For it turns out Nick Knowles wasn’t in the jungle for purely personal or financial gain.
It was to heal a divided nation.
“We’re having such a hard time in the UK,” he told Dec, alluding to Brexit, “I thought, if we can get on, it might be a bit of a pointer to the nation.”
Gee, thanks Nick. I had been wondering why a cane toad was sat on your head, during the Wicked Warehouse task, but it’s beginning to make sense now. He wasn’t finished either.
“I’d like to say one last thing.” Go on . ..
“Please support veterans, support the police, support the NHS, support the emergency services.
"They have it a lot harder, on a day to day basis, than we have it in here.”
A hell-of-a-claim to make when you’ve reportedly just been paid £200,000 to sit around a television set, in Australia, with John Barrowman, but then Nick Knowles is clearly a helluvaguy.
Random TV irritations
- Emily Atack attempting to narrate I’m A Celeb . . . by taking up squatters’ right in the Bush Telegraph.
- DIYSOS host Nick Knowles apparently knowing more about the moon landings than Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong.
- Craig Revel-Horwood ruining his Mr Nasty act with that horrendously-executed spin onto the Strictly set every week.
- The Apprentice candidates making me eat my own teeth with embarrassment.
- And the show’s unlikely feminist heroine Karren Brady making a big point of saying: “We’re living in age when we want to empower women, not reduce them to scantily-dressed Santas.” As I’m sure she always told boss David Sullivan.
Rare Gem with gob closed
SO there was Gemma Collins behaving like a monstrous old boot as usual, last week, when fellow BBC2 diner Adrian Chiles silenced her with a simple question.
“Is there anything you can’t stop eating?”
At which point you could see Gemma disengaging from the conversation as she ran through the checklist: “Cakes, buns, crisps, Pringles, biscuits, pies, potatoes, cows, pigs, horses, breeze blocks, deep-fried landfill, light aircraft . . . ”
The silence couldn’t last forever, obviously, but it was a nice 40 seconds on BBC2’s I’ll Get This, a celeb dinner party show, that I hadn’t really seen the point of up until the arrival of Chiles, who has a streak of honesty that’s very rare among presenters.
Even by Adrian’s own standards, though, his response to the question “Why would you make the best chat show host?” was brutally self-aware.
“For a huge amount of money, a big hullabaloo, billboards everywhere, I went to ITV and did another chat show, Daybreak, at which I was s**t.
“I failed abysmally, humiliatingly. I looked miserable, I was sullen, I sat there like a bag of potatoes, I dragged everyone down with me, from the moment I walked in the door at 5am.
“So if I ever get the chance to host another chat show, let’s be honest, unlikely, I will be the best chat show host ever, ’cos I know what it’s like to succeed and I know what it’s like to fail, dismally.”
A confession that I expected to be met with stunned silence but it was actually greeted by spontaneous applause, from fellow celebs, and a faint whirring noise from Gemma Collins’ brain: “Doritos, kebabs, dips, mini eclairs, maxi eclairs, Jenny Eclairs . . . ”
Great sporting insights
- Alan McInally: “These days, the managerial roundabout swings a lot faster.”
- Paul Ince: “He took a second touch and hit it first time.”
- Chris Kamara: “Ryan Sessegnon has been a little bit invisible.”
- And Paul Merson: “Last week, I was at the game two weeks ago.”
I PARTED company with Celebrity Antiques Road Trip the moment the commentator announced: “Russell Kane’s heading for an auction at Penkridge.”
Anyone know how much he fetched?
UK’S Strongest Man. Best dead-weight lift was, of course, won by Declan Donnelly . . . who carried about 55 kilos for three weeks.
Great TV lies and delusions of the month
- This Morning, Phillip Schofield to Gillian McKeith: “You look very glam.” (Tinkerbell, the care home years).
- I’m a Celeb, Emily Atack: “Rita is one of the best actresses ever.” (She meant Simons, not Hayworth).
- And The X Factor, Robbie Williams: “If The X Factor was a stick of rock it would have Anthony Russell written all the way through it.” As it actually says “Best before December 2010”.
- Channel 4’s heart-breaking North Korea: Life Inside The Secret State documentary. Michael McIntyre’s very funny and beautifully executed Unexpected Star feature, in The London Ghost Experience.
- GMB’s Piers Morgan making mincemeat of the indignant Guardian fun sponge who wanted Baby, It’s Cold Outside banned on grounds of sexism.
- Every single show broadcast on Sunday night, just ’cos none of them was a live May/Corbyn Brexit debate.
- And Dec making bricks without straw as he introduced the Wicked Warehouse trial, featuring some cane toads and Nick Knowles: “Leathery skin, beady eyes, uses a deep croaking noise to attract mates . . . ” (Turns to camera two, smiles) “You’re ahead of me here, aren’t you.”
Quiz show dough-balls of the week
- The Time It Takes, Joe Lycett: “Which artist painted dozens of Rembrandt self-portraits?”
Graeme: “Van Gogh.”
- The Chase, Bradley Walsh: “In 1905 Ludwig Roselius invented the method for decaffeinating what drink?”
- Tipping Point, Ben Shephard: “On the eve of which World War were the famous Keep Calm And Carry On posters first printed?”
- Bradley Walsh: “In a 2009 film which French fashion designer was played by Audrey Tautou?”
Ben: “Gok Wan.”
Don't mention le war
FRANCE is burning, Paris is in lockdown and its government’s on the brink.
So how many mentions do you think TV’s fearlessly impartial satirical news shows, Have I Got News For You, The Mash Report and The Last Leg, gave it, on Friday?
Correct. None. Because these inconvenient facts don’t fit the narrative and agenda of the BBC and Channel 4, which believe Britain is a basket case and Europe is our only salvation.
So it was simply ignored and all three proceeded with the same lazy and witless anti-Brexit and Trump routines they go with every week.
There were some slight variations with the other material, obviously.
The Last Leg and HIGNFY, ably hosted by Danny Dyer, both invited panellists to be outraged by alleged sexism at the Ballon D’Or awards, held in Paris, ironically.
While the final Mash Report of the series offered Rachel Parris lecturing viewers about poverty, as only a privately-educated, Oxbridge graduate truly can, before smug-bucket in chief Nish Kumar closed the show by saying: “We’ll be back next year, if the will of the people demands it.”
Which is almost the very last thing the will of the people will ever demand.
The Mash Report will be back, though. The political agenda of the BBC demands it.
Who said the following last week: “Oh my God, there’s a cockroach having dinner on my butthole.”
A) John Barrowman doing the Rotten Retrieval trial on I’m a Celebrity?
B) Tyson Fury during his Good Morning Britain interview with Piers Morgan?
Sent in by Connor David. Picture research: Alfie Snelling.
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