Archive | June, 2012

Lorraine Kelly. Our only hope for a better future

29 Jun

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I love Lorraine Kelly. Much like Alex Ferguson and my perpetual feelings of self shame, Lorraine has always just been there. She is a sturdy backbone in a rapidly evolving society where, if the Tories are to be believed, everyone is now an entrepreneur or small business owner.

 I am not an entrepreneur. I can’t even spell entrepreneur without the aid of trusty old spellcheck – and even that has trouble, offering only ‘entrapment’ as an alternative when I right click on my red, underlined monstrosity of an attempt. I don’t own a business and I have not at any point applied to be on ‘The Apprentice’ so am therefore, in these times of ill-advised austerity, a failure. Even Paris Hilton calls herself a ‘businesswoman’ these days. And although I still harbour my doubts about that, what is clear is that I have failed to follow this decade’s golden rule – that life equals profit, and everyone else can go fuck themselves.

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Yep. All business

But despite now being an arduous drain on society, I can count on Lorraine to never pour scorn on me. On the contrary, Lorraine has made a career of telling those of us who are now able to watch television between 8:30 and 9:30am on a weekday not to worry about anything and that it will all be just super in the end. She offers a slice of morning comfort before Jeremy Kyle begins his daily dose of incessant screaming at the poor.

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 A typical showing of “Lorraine” begins with a morning paper review, alongside two guests from the world of broadcast journalism. These can range from the New Statesmen’s political editor Medhi Hassan to ‘Celebrity Love Island Extra’ host Mark Durden Smith. With this being Lorraine rather than Newsnight, the paper review is usually made up of a ratio permitting one story covering the main political issue of the day to three about the perils of childcare, Jennifer Aniston or whatever rubbish study Mumsnet have orchestrated . Arguments are generally kept to a minimum and conclusions always fall in to the categories of “isn’t that nice” or “oh dear”. It is the most upbeat and smiley newspaper review on television, even if faced with a major natural disaster or a new government proposal to introduce extra tax breaks for cabinet ministers.

 After the obligatory “ring us to share your worthless opinion on today’s stories” piece, Lorraine asks if I would like £30,000. Before I can say “yes please, thanks Lorraine!”, a forgotten star from TVs golden past (Tim Vincent! Jenny Powell!) is on screen wondering around a swimming pool and telling me what I could do with the money Lorraine has just kindly offered. Sadly though, just as I think my day couldn’t get any better, it transpires that I need to answer a devious brainteaser before Lorraine will let me claim her gift. The show swiftly moves on from there as I tear my hair out; Lorraine knowing full well that I will never know whether “A big fuss over a small matter can be described as “A Storm in a…

  1. Teacup
  2. Hiccup
  3. Buttercup

There are a couple of ‘real life’ story sections of the show, in which a person or persons is gently asked about a horrible thing that’s happened to them recently but it’s all ok because now “things are looking up”. This is of no interest to me, as I’m too busy deliberating over whether I should ring in and have a stab at C) Buttercup.

Later on, we’re treated to advice/chat from a varied selection of contributors who are experts in their chosen field – Lorraine can’t be expected to know everything, after all. These sections can be about fashion, diets, celebrity gossip, soap news, food preparation or the study of quantum physics, with only one of these being a lie. There are two co-presenters that I have a particular fascination for above all others – money man Martin Lewis and self-styled ‘Fashion Guru’ Mark Hayes.

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Martin Lewis

Martin Lewis, not to be confused with stern 1990s newsreader Martyn Lewis, is a money saving expert who has seen demand for his expertise rise tenfold since the banks fucked the world up. The man is made entirely from money off coupons and free samples. It is believed that Lewis only buys produce if it offers a full refund if you’re not 100% satisfied, claiming only 90% satisfaction and his money back every time. Lewis has reportedly never been in a pub when it wasn’t happy hour or £1 VK bottle night.

If I were so inclined, I imagine a date with Martin Lewis would either be the best or worst thing ever. On one hand, he has so many vouchers saved up he could probably take you around the world for three weeks for the price of a Cornish pasty. Alternatively, he could quite possibly spend all night arguing with staff at a branch of Prezzo who can no longer take his excessive abuse of their “2 for 1” deals.

But with such economic mastery, comes great power and Lewis’ enthusiastic approach to scrimping has nearly destroyed me on many occasions. This morning, he bounded on to my screen to excitedly tell me that Marks and Spencer had reduced the price of its school uniform by 20%. Beside myself with glee, I immediately rushed out and bought 36 pairs of primary school shorts. Surrounded by small shorts and unable to afford food for at least 2 weeks, I now realise that the dastardly cheapskate has snared me again.

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No chance of that from Mark Hayes, a fashion expert who on today’s show was brought on board to calm our fears about looking flabby on the beach, usually while surrounded by three or four skinny models. I have no doubt whatsoever that Mark Hayes knows his subject area very well, but I find that I never listen to a word he says due to being hypnotised by his choice of haircut. As a male on the wrong side of 25, I’m often concerned by the rising temples that make up my hairline. However, Hayes seems to fully embrace his, embodying a style comparable to a shorn, hardened Tintin that screams “Look at my massive widows peak!” He also (much like myself) has a rather awkward stance when standing still, which he has to on a daily basis at the beginning of each episode, surrounded by pretty models as Lorraine informs us who this evil Tintin is and what the fuck he’s doing there.

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Ross King

After Hayes, we may be treated to a bit of Ross King, who sits in front of a picture of the Hollywood hills and talks about the famous people he’s met that week. While this is sold as celebrity gossip, it is actually just a vehicle for King to tell those of us watching at home that he’s having a far nicer life than we are. While some may consider that Lorraine is sticking the boot in at this point, I would argue that this is completely necessary. Lorraine is preparing us, if only slightly, for the foul and loud abuse Jeremy Kyle is mere minutes away from unleashing. Ross King is an orange stop gap between the “be confident, fatty” mantra of Hayes, to the “Kill yourself right now you dumb piece of shit” philosophy of Kyle. Going directly from one to the other would provoke riots on our streets, and Lorraine Kelly, with nearly 30 years of broadcasting experience under her belt, knows this all too well. 

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The Jeremy Kyle riots of 2011 brought the country to it’s knees

And so concludes Lorraine for another day. As the closing theme music plays, I am left contemplating about how much discounted school uniform I could have bought with the £30,000 offered earlier, or whether I could form a small business based around throwing bricks at Jeremy Kyle. As ever, she’ll be back tomorrow, fresh with a new set of tips for looking acceptable on the beach and telling Posh Spice to cheer up a bit.

When the sad day comes that “Lorraine” is to be no more, replaced by her inadequate Friday stand ins, they’ll be no need for hell. We’ll already be there.

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Yep