Monday, August 18, 2008

The secret diary of Mark Frith

Let us dip again into Mark Frith's diary, an insight into what life is really like deciding how much you should pay for a photo of someone from Big Brother in a bikini. Mark gets a call to step in front of the cameras:

Today, I filmed the 'celebrity' edition of The Weakest Link. Which is odd, given that I'm not remotely famous.

When I signed up to do this, the people on it alongside me were pretty impressive: Jarvis Cocker, Mo Mowlam and members of the So Solid Crew. By the time I arrived the line-up had become me, Edwina Currie, one of Bucks Fizz, the bloke who runs marathons in silly outfits for charity and Terry Christian, the TV presenter.

This is curious - given that Frith is editing the nation's celebrity magazine, surely he'd know that when researchers are trying to lure people on the telly, they tell them who else is doing it - but always, always, reading from the dream list drawn up during the official brain storm ("Archbishop Tutu! Gordon Ramsay! Kelvin McKenzie!") rather than the shorter list of those who've said yes (That bloke off the thing about hairdressing... the TV editor of the Daily Post... Bobby Ball, if Tommy still refuses to do Celebrity Donkey Punch...). Surely, though, even he must have realised that if they're reduced to ringing the bloke who edits Heat, they've pretty much run out of celebrity options and are starting to think about reworking it as an ITV Regional Weather forecasters Special instead?

Mark does go on - and beats Edwina Currie in the final round. He lists how much he won for his charity but, oddly, doesn't mention the name of the charity - which, you would have thought, would have made sense to have dropped in if it was a cause close to his heart.

Mark is so self-effacing about his lowly status throughout. And yet he dismisses the great Bernie Clifton as "the bloke who runs marathons in silly outfits for charity".

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