Saturday, August 23, 2008

The harsh face of reality

If you know that Max Clifford is the voice of reason, you can probably guess the sentence has to end "... in a conversation with Sharon Osbourne, at least."

The pair were on a panel at the Guardian's Edinburgh Television Festival debating reality TV, which was most notable for the way the pair were desperate to simultaneously destroy each other's arguments, while not offending their friends and paymasters:

"You know there's a line where people say you can't polish a turd," Osbourne said. "This is the man that polishes turds."

In a heated exchange, Osbourne added that she wasn't referring to Simon Cowell, who Clifford represents and who she famously clashed with on The X Factor, but instead meant his reality TV stars.

When Clifford said he advised his clients not to go on reality shows, Osbourne replied: "If you earn some portion of your living from these people going on these shows bearing their souls, don't knock them."

Osbourne also tried to correct the impression that she quit the X Factor over money (an impression created when Cowell said at the launch of the new series that she quit over demands for more money):
"The X Factor was the best experience of my life, I adored the show as it had done so much for me, but I quit because it was just time for me to go," she said.

"I was talking to a network in America about doing a show with my family and I couldn't do both," she added.

Although Simon Cowell manages to do X Factor, Britain's Got Talent, America's Got Talent and American Idol all at the same time. Even Piers Morgan manages to slime across shows on both sides of the Atlantic - Britain's and America's as well as the misleadingly titled Celebrity Apprentice.

Mark Frith was also on the panel, and to thank him for coming the Guardian finds space for one of his comments:
Former Heat magazine editor Mark Frith, also a panelist, said he had decided to leave the title as the world of celebrity had become "too dark" for him.

"I couldn't look at any more Amy Winehouse pictures with cuts on her arms and put them into an entertaining form," he added.

Frith spun this "oh celebrity has become so dark" line in his diaries, too - but why was he comfortable with running stories laughing at Leslie Ash and pointing fingers of fun at celebrities his magazine suggested might be suffering eating disorders, and all of a sudden decided it was too much? Isn't it surprising that you can run week after week of paparazzi coverage of Britney's breakdown - which, at the very least, wasn't exactly helped by the 24 hour coverage - and then to start tutting about how terrible it all is after you've left the job to pursue other projects? If you shit on the carpet, don't complain about the smell.

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