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« Lights, camera, action ... | Main | Nigel Farage: follow the leader »

Why the winner of I'm A Celebrity made me proud to be British

How reassuring to see Stacey Solomon crowned 'queen of jungle' on I'm A Celebrity last night.

You can carp long and hard about the vacuous nature of the programme but it's only light entertainment (think Generation Game with bugs) and year after year the majority of the voting public gets it right with their choice of winner.

This year the public got it spot on again, right down to the last four of Dom Joly, Jenny Eclair, Sean Ryder (a very worthy runner-up) and Solomon herself.

"Dippy" Stacey was a revelation from start to finish. Good-natured, humorous and actually quite smart, she never had a bad word to say about anyone. She radiated warmth and her feel good personality was a tonic for everyone, including viewers at home - an extraordinary achievement.

On a parochial note, it was good to see Ryder, the only smoker in the group, reach the final. OK, that's not the reason people voted for him, but his habit wasn't held against him.

In fact - and this is something I've often noticed about "reality" TV programmes - smoking is rarely an issue among contestants or the voting public. (Politicians and anti-tobacco campaigners, take note.)

In I'm A Celebrity 2010 the only person to have a pop at Sean Ryder for smoking was the truly awful Gillian McKeith. Again, the public did exactly the right thing. They voted for the "World Renowned Holistic Nutritionist" while she entertained us with a combination of hysterics and alleged fainting fits, and then dispatched her to Z-list oblivion as soon as she had outlived her usefulness.

Thankfully, the woman who dominated the headlines in weeks one and two did not even come close to winning. Instead the finalists were two incredibly honest, likeable, down-to-earth characters and the public rewarded them with their vote.

Seriously, it made me proud to be British.

Reader Comments (5)

When I stood on the issue of choice for the election, I found that even the most hardened anti-smokers ultimately didn't give a damn about an amendment to the blanket smoking ban as long as they had the choice "not to be forced to breathe in foul smoke".

My experience has told me that it really is a very, very small minority making a very, very big noise because of the cultivated access they have to naive and prejudicial MPs who share their personal dislike of smoke that is enforcing this upon us against the general public's wishes.

I found even among those anti-smokers during my campaign that there were far more important things to worry about and despite their hatred of smoke, keeping the blanket smoking ban was not an issue that affected their vote. They still voted UKIP for other reasons despite it's promise to amend the ban they loved so much.

For most smokers it was the ban that decided their vote, however. One rang our constituency to ask about UKIP's stance on the ban because he would only vote for a party that amended it, others asked that question before signing in support.

The denormalisation and hate campaigns have had to follow the ban to get some of the general public onside by creating unfound fear of smokers and hysteria at their very presence. That is why denormalisation must be beaten. This is not just about where we can or can't smoke.

December 5, 2010 at 17:33 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

Totally agree, Simon. Stacey was a total poppet!

December 5, 2010 at 20:56 | Unregistered CommenterRose W

I never watched a minute of the program BUT are you sure the British public got it right?
Are we allowed to be right?
Maybethis program the highest level of choice allowed for the British electorate.

December 5, 2010 at 21:55 | Unregistered CommenterChrisB

Yeah right Simon, who needs people like Joe Jackson doing their best to help smokers get their rights returned to them when we could be safe and warm watching telly and voting for airheads like this "Dippy" Stacey you speak about?

It's why wer're all here aint it, you know what I mean....mate?

December 6, 2010 at 9:18 | Unregistered CommenterJack Straw

Jack, there are plenty of blogs/websites for single issue fanatics. This isn't one of them.

December 6, 2010 at 9:28 | Unregistered CommenterSimon Clark

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