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Home > Culture and Society

Pin Me Up, Let Me Down

23 April 2006

Poor Dominik Diamond. It is perhaps the greatest test of one's faith, finding yourself pilloried in the media for doing The Right Thing. Especially when The Right Thing involves crying like a girl.

Making a television programme about getting yourself crucified in front of a huge crowd, who are, in the main, there to see grown men suffer extraordinary amounts of pain, is not, when you sit down and think about it, the best idea you're ever likely to have. You may want to justify it as a spiritual journey to test your faith in God; or even, at the basest level, cutting edge TV with a potential global audience running into at least double figures, with a pleasing trickle of repeat fees. Either way, it's hardly the kind of feel-good television that'll draw the masses away from Heartbeat.

It probably sounded a great concept at the pitch meeting: 'I know, let's crucify that bloke off Gamesmaster!' But, cut to Mr Diamond dragging a big lump of wood through the streets of some foreign land, that meeting must have seemed a very long time ago, with Dominik suggesting that it might not be too late to film a life of Mother Theresa, pretty please? If you were to make a TV programme called 'Crucify Me', we strongly suspect that the viewers would want, nay demand, the talent nailed to a tree in the final reel and nothing else. Anything less might be seen as a bit of a let-down in televisual terms.

So, making a sweeping statement not backed up with the slightest shred of evidence, we would say that TV viewers - especially those tuning in to that paragon of good taste, Channel Five - don't, in the main, want to see grown men crying and not actually being crucified. Compounding the situation further, not having Bonnie Langford or Jade Goody as a last minute stand-in is an unforgivable oversight that should see producers Ginger TV flogged senseless. Then burned at the stake.

The viewers don't want blubbing, they want red hot DIY action - hammers, nails, and a smoothly planed and professionally joined crucifix put together by craftsmen who take a pride in their work, the whole nine yards. In short, they don't want to see a programme called 'Please, Please, Please Don't Crucify Me, I'll Give You Any Money'. Nor do they want a prolonged advert for No More Nails, for that matter, because that would encourage shoddy workmanship and make Handy Andy cry.

Diamond's climb-down is perhaps even more embarrassing considering that we're not even talking about crucifixion 'to the death'. If anything, this is just 'play crucifixion'. A weird afternoon out. Bit of fun. One chap's been up there every year for the last two decades. They don't even have to hammer the nails in anymore - they just use the existing holes and he's as happy as Larry. Ultimately, we should imagine that Diamond would probably describe his experience thusly: 'Pants.'

Already a veteran of reality television - 'B&B with the Bardsleys' and 'Extreme Celebrity Detox' may have vaguely registered on your don't-give-a-crapometer - Diamond's trip to the Philippines may actually turn out to be gripping television, if it weren't for the fact we are looking directly on one man's crack-up neatly packaged to fit in between the adverts. Whether the programme should be shelved, or even shown to a far wider audience than Five could ever have managed is a moot point: Diamond put himself in a no-win situation which leaves him, as far as the public are concerned, in the same bracket as David Icke. Pants, indeed. Big, purple ones.

We don't want to start any blasphemous rumours... but as tests of one's faith in God go, Diamond had rather painted himself into a corner. Get nailed up, and you return to the UK as That Nutter Who Got Crucified, unemployable forever, even on TalkSport. Pull out at the last minute, and you're a chicken, a waster, a yellow-belly, which will, if you're lucky, only last until the next time Pete Doherty shows up. We're prepared to wait for the finished product, but Dom's probably got off lightly.

Now, it would be all too easy to stand and point, laughing, at footage of a sobbing Diamond realising the enormity of his undertaking in the face of a burly Filipino clutching a big hammer and a box of Screwfix's finest six inch clouts. And it would also be far, far too easy to put the boot in further by speculating over the following scene as Diamond tries to find a room for the night.

Hotel manager: Can I help you, sir?

Diamond (puts handful of nails on the counter): Yeah, put us up for the night.

So we won't.

Poor Dominik.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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