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The Beauty Of Unscripted TV

It’s a quiet afternoon, you’re watching the same old shit on the flat screen that was donated to your house by someone’s uncle, who would expect the next thing you see to go down in television history? Well, that’s the beauty of unscripted TV, anything is possible.

Unless you’ve had an extreme New Year’s hangover or you’ve been hibernating under your duvet refusing to come to terms that Christmas is over, you would’ve seen that girl on Pointless who gave the answer ‘Paris’ to the question: ‘Countries that end with two consonants’. And then you would’ve seen the intense side-eye-sigh her best mate gives her in reaction to her stupidity. Presenter, Alexander Armstrong said he “wouldn’t be surprised if there aren’t several 100 scorers in this round” and I wouldn’t be surprised if that friendship was terminated there and then.

It got me thinking about all those other moments on unscripted or reality TV that go down in history as being absolutely absurd, cringe or just comical. Like, it’s been one year since that guy on Come Dine With Me, Peter Marsh, announced Jane as the winner of the weekly competition, and then continued to say she had the “grace of a reversing dump truck without any tyres on”. Which was just one insult amongst his bad-loser rant. Is there anything more awkward than being sat on someone else’s sofa whilst they call you out for basically sabotaging the scores and then say you have zero decorum? I don’t think so.

That isn’t the only golden loser on Come Dine With Me. Heather from Basingstoke dealt with losing the same way I deal with most things, by crying and retreating to bed. But not before calling someone else’s food shit and saying how peed off she was. In all honesty, I’d say it was Heather that had the grace of a reversing dump truck.

How can anyone be so self-involved that they think people purposefully scored their nights down so they would lose and have to announce that they lost in their own home – can’t they come to terms with the fact that maybe their food was more pub grub than Michelin star?

But when it all goes wrong, sometimes confrontation is some people’s only way to deal with it. Remember in 2010 when best mates Abbie and Lisa auditioned for the X Factor under the imaginative band name Ablisa? It didn’t all run as smoothly as the merging of their names. Lisa shouted “shut up” at the crowd before they’d even began their rendition of Shayne Ward’s ‘That’s my goal’ and then she proceeded to ask Natalie Imbruglia “Sorry, but who are you?” It was one of those auditions where you cringe in your seat – at their singing, at their attitudes and a lil bit at their outfits. To top off their train wreck audition, upon leaving the stage, Abbie thumped her best mate in the face.

I wonder what being the girl that got punched by her mate on the X Factor/the girl that punched her mate on the X Factor did to their friendship. Are they still mates? Do they still sing Shayne Ward together? Does Lisa know who Natalie Imbruglia is yet? These are the pressing questions created by unscripted TV…

It happens across the pond too. King Curtis, a 7-year-old whose family was on Wife Swap USA in 2009, really does speak for the people. When wife-swap Mum, Joy, tried to take away his streaky goods, he exclaimed: “Bacon is good for me”. It’s good for us all King Curtis. His sass can resonate in us all, and his unscripted genius means he is still worthy of his crown 8 years later.

And it’s not just for the common folk, or “sorry people” as King Curtis would say. Gillian McKeith’s constant fainting on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here is another piece of reality television that has gone down in history. Gillian obviously had huge phobias when she was in the jungle, but during that live trial, her well executed faint on her walk to Ant and Dec after being nominated for yet another trial was a little too strategic. Although one positive came from her falls, it was the most screen time jungle medic Bob has received throughout all 16 series of the show. Congrats Bob.

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Words by HQ

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