Jade Goody

“It’s all bollocks!” was my considered response to a colleague when I found myself skating towards a conversation about Jade Goody I didn’t want to engage in.  

I didn’t mean the Jade Goody machine per se, more the story in which the OK! production team defended the early publication of “that” tribute issue saying that the Goody family supported it. It did all seem like bollocks to me. Bollocks because it was a redundant act. I didn’t want to hear about it.

Marina Hyde’s column in the Guardian on Saturday reassured me, indicating the family’s feelings may not have necessarily been as accurately portrayed in the OK! press release as first thought. Who knows. I mean really. Who knows and, given that Goody died this morning. who really cares now?

Paddy O’Connell on Radio 4’s Broadcasting House described the Big Brother star as someone who polarized opinion, something borne out even this morning on Twitter by @almostwitty. @rfenwick tweeted this account of a Bishop giving his view on Sky News.

There are others, of course, who don’t necessarily feel the same way. At the time of writing a an emerging trend on Twitter was “RIP Jade Goody”. People might be tired on celebrity news and celebrity exclusives, but it seems as run of the mill and relatively common experience death is, it is her final act which is connecting people. The Canon at Motherwell church invited prayers to be said in her memory during Radio 4’s morning service this morning.

What BBC London’s Leslie Joseph described as the “sweet irony” of Goody’s death coming in the early hours of Mothering Sunday makes her relatively bizarre life to some extent even more enthralling.

Born in South East London, plucked from obscurity and thrust into the bright lights of the mainstream media as a result of an appearance on Big Brother in 2002, Goody exploited the notoriety she achieved as a result of the personal traits she was criticised for.

We became hungry not just for the salacious detail or the disparaging comments (itself nothing more than a way to feel better about ourselves), but also to figure out whether we were being conned by a well-oiled, self-publicising machine. Was she really that dim? Or did she know exactly what she was doing and was milking it for all she was worth? Little wonder some people’s views are negative this morning.

As much as some may wriggle uncomfortably at the success she has achieved and the way she has achieved it, as well as the attention her life will continue to get, in playing out her death in the mainstream she has succeeded in doing one of many things.

Apart from the obvious financial benefits for her family after her death and the raised profile for cancer prevention and treatment in the UK, Goody has held up a mirror on society, forcing us to look at the way in which they react to her and the Goody machine.

Did she deserve to be on Big Brother? Did she deserve to get the media attention she did because of it? Were we applauding mediocrity and did the industry feed the mediocrity? And in dying did we owe her more respect or might she have forgiven us for being a little bit bemused and confused about how it was her life panned out ?

TV: Graham Norton Show Episode 5.3 BBC Two

Gervais on Norton, originally uploaded by Thoroughly Good.

Not the best episode of Mr Norton’s show I’ve seen this series although still quite special to see fluffy Ronnie Corbett taking pride of place in the number one seat on Graham’s sofa.

Interesting thing from Ricky Gervais about Extras talking about how another season probably isn’t likely.

The real star of the show was, of course, our cat Cromarty who can be heard fully in the clip above.

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Eurovision 2009: About Jade’s hair

I’ve been in email contact with the producer of the BBC’s Eurovision website today. In part to join in a thread about something fairly inconsequential, but also in a bid to keep tabs on his plans. You know .. just to make sure they’re doing everything right. Us Eurovision fanatics are so very picky and so very quick to judge.

He was quick to point out to me that UK representative Jade featured heavily on the Eurovision homepage today and that if I’d take the time to watch the accompanying video I would see not only that the BBC’s Eurovision website team are working very hard indeed but that adorable Jade was presented in a very positive manner.

Such shameless self-promotion on his part struck a chord with me. Largely because I had, only a few hours before, watched the video myself. 

Frankly, I wasn’t happy with the way Jade was presented in the video. There was something fundamentally uncomfortable about the whole affair. I had originally intended to keep quiet about my concerns, but in light of being prompted to go and look at the video again, I vowed to the producer I would write a blog post about the matter and point him in the direction of it when it was published. I’m just as good a shameless self-promoter as he is, you see.

My problem? It’s Jade’s hair in her latest Eurovision interview. It’s a little too curly for my liking. It’s a bit of a problem for me. She does rather look too young. I preferred the straight hair she had.

If it seems I’m being terribly picky it’s only because I feel maintaining momentum is important.  It’s vital everything is absolutely perfect for the big night. So, I consider it equally important I take every step to ensure that measures have been taken to prevent anyone thinking the hairstyle she has in the video is acceptable in Moscow.

Normally, I would leave such superficial matters to other equally superficial Eurovision fans – of which there are plenty and none of whom I connect with – but on this matter I feel it’s my responsibility to lay it on the line.

We need to spend a little more time thinking about how Jade will look. You know what the rest of Europe is like. If they see an opportunity to have a go they will. If they do, then we’ll do badly. And if we’ll do badly I will be miserable as sin. And if I’m miserable as sin I will let EVERYONE at work know about it. 

And in case you’re one of those unfortunate people who are outside of the UK and can’t watch the video up on the BBC’s Eurovision site, then take a look at her appearance in Bosnia & Herzigovina. She has the same style there and .. whilst we’re on the subject, that pink outfit has to go as well. I don’t like that one bit.