Friday, 4 September 2009

The brain rot is setting in!

One of the dangers of being confined to a hospital bed is the onset of terminal boredom. At some stage one finds oneself turning to television in order to relieve the tedium of lying still while waiting to get better.

Now despite having some 40 channels available for my viewing pleasure I’m still struggling to find anything worth watching. I’ve tried holding out by restricting myself to highbrow documentaries but I’m afraid my brain has softened and I’ve now descended to watching the daytime televisual tripe that’s broadcast between adverts for ambulance chasing lawyers and cleaning fluids that can strip a penny bare in two seconds.

One of these dreadful daytime programmes has become an immovable fixture in my day. It’s a show called Dickinson’s Real Deal. For those not in the know, this hour-long viewing fest features the orange and impossibly perma-tanned David Dickinson, an antique expert of popular note. The show’s format is cleverly designed to appeal to that peculiarly British trait of pretending not to be interested in an item’s value whilst secretly harbouring the most base and greedy of intentions.

Members of the public bring their antiques and valuables along to a large hall rented by Mr Dickinson for the day and then they’re pitted like gladiators against celebrity antique dealers who try to buy the valuables from them for as a low a price as possible. If the seller doesn’t like the amount they’re offered they can turn down the deal and chance their arm by taking the item to auction.

And it’s here where the programme really comes into its own. There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing some nasty greedy little member of the public turn down a respectable offer for their piece of tat in the hope that it will fetch an impossibly high price under the hammer. The moment when these grasping little people fail to sell their junk for even half the money they were previously offered by the dealer is a moment of pure schadenfreude. There’s nothing to beat it.

Still, I can’t hang around here gossiping with you lot… Celebrity Crap in the Attic is about to start on the other side.


  1. That program is pure evil! The bit that makes me angriest is when they count out the money in front of them, while pretending like they are doing the punter a favour and not just attempting to hoodwink the poor grandma out of her family silver. Then, when it's something particularly valuable Dickinson himself emerges, like a vulture over some fresh prey to tell the gullible granny what a good deal they've got. As if he is the voice of ultimate authority on the subject, not just an orange-tinted sideshow conman!

  2. Harsh, Alex. My sympathies are with the dealers. Some of those sellers are totally demented and downright greedy.

  3. I can certainly see how this could be addicting.

    Do you generally feel superior to the contestants or do you try to figure out if the offer is a reasonable one...sort of like reading the last page of a murder mystery first ... so you can feel omniscient?

  4. I'm genuinely interested to see what value people place on items. The raw horse trading of the deal is fascinating to watch. It's a bit like poker.

  5. Celebrity Crap in the Attic? So Not Fair!! We here in the US watch the regular Crap in the Attic on BBC America. I want the Help I'm a celebrity and get this crap out of my attic (oooh sounds dirty).

  6. lucky you haven't got days of our lives over thats bloody addictive when ya bored