Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Celebrity Messiah

"With Big Brother ending, we see this as the perfect replacement," says TV executive Kevin Frooker, introducing his latest format - Celebrity Messiah - to the press. "It's got everything - the reality TV aspect, celebrities humiliating themselves, interaction with the public, and religion!" The proposed TV series would see a group of celebrities charged with creating their own religion. Each week, the celebrity with the least followers would be kicked off the show. "They can try and persuade people any way they like, short of beating them up or paying them, obviously, to convert," enthuses Frooker. "Each week they'll be set a task - performing a miracle of some sort usually, like feeding five thousand homeless derelicts with only a tin of sardines, or healing cancer patients with the laying on of hands. Of course, we wouldn't expect them to perform real miracles, just convince people that they had. Some weeks we might skip the miracle, get them to do something humiliating like washing their disciples feet, or even better, wipe their arses. That'd be great!" According to Frooker, the participating celebrities will be free to devise any theology they choose to be the basis of their religions - barring those based on race hate, misogyny or child abuse. "We want them to be creative in their religions," he says. "The more bizarre the belief system involved, the better the entertainment! You'd be surprised the kind of weird shit people can be persuaded to believe in!"

Indeed, during the pilot shot for the proposed series, self-styled impressionist and comedian Bobby Davro succeeded in converting over two hundred people to his Church of Latter Day Naturists, which offered salvation through nudity. "Mind you, creating a religion is far more difficult than most people realise," warns Frooker. "For every L Ron Hubbard, there are a thousand David Shaylers - sad deluded self-publicists confusing cross-dressing with spiritual epiphany." He points to the fact that in the pilot one-time pop star Kerry Katona found it impossible to attract more than six followers to her cult devoted to the worship of he holy trinity of Father Smirnoff, Junior Cocaine and the divine Iceland giant prawn platter. "It left her an emotional wreck," says Frooker. "Although I can't help but feel that rather undermined her cause by continually consuming the entire trinity, leaving nothing for her acolytes." Similarly, after an initial surge of enthusiasm, top heavy model Jordan's breast-worshipping mother cult quickly lost popularity. "I think her disciples were a bit disappointed that it was a huge stone effigy of her knockers they had to jerk off over as their act of worship, rather than the real thing," the TV executive muses. He warns that the object of the show isn't for celebrities to actually create their own religions for real. "We don't a repeat of Jim Davidson's attempted Jihad," he says. "That led to an instant disqualification. Really, this isn't an exercise in egotism, just cheap entertainment."

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