One of the interesting things about not working in an office is the ability I have now to watch a bit of daytime TV if I wish to. It’s something of a twin-edged sword though because so little daytime stuff is any good at all. There are endless programmes about buying or selling houses successfully which are extremely annoying as you can imagine. I think most people know I can curse and swear emphatically even when I’m in a jolly good mood. But when I hear some bald-headed git or smart-ass lass with hoover bag legs telling me how easy it is to sell our home by painting everything soft peach (it already is), creating an attractive garden (got one thanks), locating in the middle of a quaint market town commutable to London (we’re here) and emphasising the house’s charm (do you mean our 200 oak beams, 400 year old cottage with aga, twisted stairs etc etc etc?) I start spitting words that would shock a back street Columbian gynaecologist with a heroin problem.
So if I need a break from the laptop, I shift channels to the whatever-else-is-on stuff and have come across this little (soft) peach of a programme on ITV1. It comes on after Loose Women which has 4 women chatting away about, well, women’s stuff (I’ve written before about my fascination with problem pages in women’s mags). None of them strike me as particularly loose to be honest although Denise Welch, who I’m strangely drawn to, has to constantly tell the world about her affairs, depressions, drug-taking, alcohol and other addictive problems, her father’s transvestism and so on. She does it so openly and honestly and amidst lots of general frivolity and chat about buying shoes, useless men, problem kids, applying mascara whilst drinking glasses of white wine etc. How do women do that? I’m in awe to be frank. But anyway, my new little gem of a prog seems to be on most days around 1pm and it’s called Have I Been Here Before? It’s tempting to silently answer ‘don’t know love, where are you?’ whenever the credits come up.
Strap yourself in. It features real minor celebs (we’re talking Conference League level guests like Eddie Large, Kerry Katona, Charles Ingram, Rebecca Loos etc) who undertake regression sessions (ooohh) with ‘experienced’ therapist Andrea Foulkes. Now according to the ITV website Andrea is a specialist in the field of inner child therapy (?), ancestral healing, aura and chakra healing. Eh? You know the sort of mumbo jumbo that the girls on LW should be asked to discuss. I can just see Denise saying with all sincerity that ‘Chakra really helped me chuck the Charlie’. I digress. Andrea puts the guests into an hypnotic sleep condition where she asks them to tell us about their earlier lives. The guests lie on a couch in this trance-like state rabbiting on about what they were doing in the 14th century or whatever.
Now I’ll come onto the guests in a second but the amazing thing is the voice of Andrea, probing deeply with this child-like monotone questioning. I can’t do it justice but please turn on, tune in and tell me what you think about THAT VOICE. It scares the sh*t out of me. I’m starting to have nightmares about it.
As for the guests well they come up with complete tripe. David Seaman, ex Arsenal goalie, imagined he was Richard I of England or some other King called Richard living in Windsor back in the middle Ages. Well you came over as a royal dick all right. I ask you. John ‘likes the chorus boys’ Barrowman was a clown – big shock there then. Hannah Waterman was a promiscuous minx having a torrid affair with her teacher. Ummm.
To validate the dream-like ramblings is Jules Hudson some poor sap of an historian and archaelogist who, must be being paid a princely sum to put his name to this rubbish. He checks whether a Richard I of England did live in the 15th century and played in goal for Ye Forest Green Grovers. Sadly, but not really surprisingly, he always suggests that perhaps the guest’s fact trail is hard to nail down from land registry records .
Back to the studio and who’s this? Only Philip Schofield having dashed hot foot from the heaving bosom of lovely Fern Britton on GMTV. Is it just me but I have to admit I had Philip down for summers at Camp David when early on in his career he had his hand up Gordon the Gopher’s opening. But he’s as rosbif as they come they say. In this prog he leaves behind the souffles and make-overs to probe the guests when they ‘return’ from Andrea’s probings back into the real world. Amidst a darkened studio full of candles and with spooky Hitchcockesque music playing lightly in the background, he shows them a recording of their ramblings and complements it with Jules’ dismissive historical findings. Ah ha, he then moves swiftly from trying to suggest that ITV had found incontrovertible proof that we have been here before, and instead switches the point of attack to the guests. So Kym Ryder, you imagined yourself as a maid bending over the kitchen table for his lordship. (I made that last bit up). What do you think this says about the real you Kym, given that jaundiced Jules cannot find one fact to substantiate your regressed story? Of course he gets them all to break down just a little and admit that whilst they do like it doggy fashion (and that bit) they all believe that they’d been here before in a previous life as the memory was so vivid. That’s Angela for you. Her auto-suggestive voice would make you believe you were a great goalie even if you’d let in some freaking howlers over the years, not least against frigging Brazil in the WC QFs, you sad pony-tailed tw*t.
So there it is. The last guest I saw was the quite lovely Kathryn Jenkins and I have to admit that my mind did begin to drift towards thoughts about Philip S having this beautiful woman hypnotised on a couch in front of him. But then there’s Angela in the corner squeaking ‘and then what happened?’ Even Gordon the Gpher’s blood would run cold.