TV Dinner Disasters

The grossest shows to watch while eating

Joseph Yossarian

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a view looking down a circular tunnel in a sewer, with lights at the top
Down in the sewer (Photo by Martin Brechtl on Unsplash)

There has been a lot of hoo-ha in the media over Matt Hancock’s decision to participate in this year’s I’m a Celebrity . . . Get Me out of Here. Quite how his constituents will respond to their MP abandoning local issues in favour of humiliating himself on the world stage, time will tell. One thing is almost guaranteed though: due to Hancock’s unpopularity, particularly after his role in the Covid crisis, he will be a prime target to be Appletoned.

But I shan’t see any of his discomfiture, unless there are edited highlights online, because I never watch the show. Over the years, nay, decades, I’ve witnessed Ant and Dec’s once vibrant repartee deteriorate into stale and predictable patter, so that’s a turn off for me. But my biggest problem with the show is the celebrities themselves, as I have a low tolerance threshold for vacuous self-centred witterers.

While I occasionally watch shows such as Who Wants to be a Millionaire and The Chase, I avoid their celebrity specials like a Tory government avoids scrutiny. I have absolutely no interest in soap stars, weather presenters, pop sensations, or any bright young thing from the world of entertainment, and even less for washed up old has beens, who have abandoned their dignity in exchange for a final payoff, with a hoped for rekindling of their faded popularity.

But, now that I’ve got that off my chest, I shall get to the crux of the issue.

I rarely watch television these days, and when I do, it usually serves merely as an accompaniment to something I am eating from my trusty TV table.

Nothing too visually demanding, you understand, just something to hold my attention as I chew — perhaps a rerun of Family Fortunes, an episode of Minder, or even The Simpsons, if it’s an early one. The sight of some nonentity gagging and retching as they attempt to digest a hideous animal body part, would serve as a major handicap to my mealtime enjoyment, so I’m a Celebrity is out.

You see, I grew up in a simpler age, both televisually and culinarily. In those days, we had neither the seemingly endless list of TV channels that are available today to watch (there were three), nor the vast array of ingredients that are readily available in…

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Joseph Yossarian

Freelance writer and blogger from the north-east coast of England, specialising in true crime, childhood memories and whatever takes my fancy.