Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Big Celebrity Sell-Out

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Big Celebrity Sell-Out

Article excerpt

Byline: VICTOR LEWIS-SMITH

Star Bazaar TV

Sky 698

I WAS driving down the A1 last week, thinking about opening a fast-food restaurant called Vic's Road-Kill Cafe (serving chapatti-shaped hedgehogs, feather-and-gristle frisbees in a bun, and other wholesome ingredients scooped from the hard shoulder of nearby motorways), when I noticed something odd about my windscreen washer. It seemed to have developed a prostate problem, because when I operated it, two jets of liquid spurted right over the roof of my vehicle and landed on the head of the driver in the red sports car behind, soaking him to the skin and demeaning him in the eyes of the woman next to him.

His humiliation reminded me of my own youthful hubris, when I, too, had bought a cheap open-topped sports car (yes, the word is indeed twat), and sat smugly at the traffic lights, revving so hard that clouds of leaded petrol fumes wafted into a school playground nearby (thereby instantly knocking 10 points off the collective IQ of class 4B), and posing moodily, as though I were the new James Dean.

When a small child walked by with his mother, saw my car, and cried, "Look, mummy!", my happiness was complete, and I preened myself in expectation of a fulsome compliment, only to be put firmly in my place, when he added: "It's Noddy."

At least my youthful hubris and self-delusion cost me only a few hundred quid (and my dignity), whereas investors in Star Bazaar TV may well lose a great deal more than that in the near future.

Some three dozen home shopping channels have already opened on the Sky satellite, and several have gone bust, yet this new outfit confidently opened its doors to the public yesterday, bragging about its "entertaining and informative programming," and rashly promisingto "change the face of shopping TV as we know it". Despite claiming to have " removed the monotonous aspect of traditional shopping TV", the same pitifully few promotions were continually repeated during the first hour of transmission, and what of its proud boast to offer viewers a "celebrity-led channel with 'need to view' programmes"?

Well, that turned out to consist of Linda Lusardi (who pretty much disappeared from public consciousness on the day her tits started to obey the law of gravity), and a man who thought he looked a bit like David Beckham, so with a line-up like that, this is clearly a channel with a serious case of mistaken nonentity.

Given the plethora of shopping channels (many of which don't even break even), why on earth did managing director Spyros Melaris (who runs Waterfall Studios in White City) decide to launch another one? Especially as rival channel Authentic TV has just called in the receivers, causing Spyros to accuse them in public of "not paying me", and berate them for never having advertised their own existence (an accusation one could equally well level at Star Bazaar). …

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