Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Boyzone, Spice, and everything nice - is it all for Children in Need?

How often do you switch on your favourite chat show and find a celebrity you don’t often see interviewed sitting on the sofa, chairs, or other household appliance currently deemed fashionable for interviewing guests on?

‘Oh that’s interesting,’ you think, ‘I don’t see them on TV too often.’
But very quickly into the interview, you realise that they’re there for a purpose. Which is? To plug their latest book, CD, film, perfume, or luxury toilet roll range - and you begin to feel ever so slightly cheated, as if you’ve been duped into listening to their sales pitch.
It’s almost akin to the product placement that goes on in the cinema and television these days . If you’re not aware of this – then you're definitely being duped!
It mainly happens in American movies and TV shows, when for example, the lead in the movie buys (or if he’s really cool, just nudges the machine in the right spot so it drops him a free one) a can of Pepsi from a vending machine. Or when the cops are on a stakeout, and they sit in their car eating donuts – watch as they casually lift them from a Crispy crème or Dunkin donuts bag. See what I’m saying?

This is all very well and good – I’m sure when I’ve got a book out (you notice I say when, rather than if!) I’ll be all too happy to sit on Richard and Judy’s/ Fern and Phil’s/ Jonathan Ross’s sofa, and chat to them about how wonderful my forthcoming novel is. Gosh, I’ve just realised they all have sofa’s, who has chairs these days except Parky - and he’s retiring?
Anyway my point is – this is all fine, and an excepted part of TV interviewing these days. But what happens when it’s a charitable event and there’s still ‘plugging’ going on?

This Friday sees the long awaited (by their fans) and anticipated (by the media) return of Boyzone to our TV screens.
They will be performing together for the first time in nearly eight years on the BBC’s Children in Need show.
And just how have their fans reacted to this news?
Well, if you log on to Ronan Keating’s message boards - with eagerness and excitement mostly. There is the odd doubter, a fan that doesn’t approve of the reunion, and wants Ronan to only continue with his solo career. But what’s the betting you’ll still see the Doubting Thomas’s sitting on the front row of Wembley arena next year, waving their glow sticks (will someone please explain why these are necessary in life?) and singing along with the rest of crowd?
But why have Boyzone chosen to make their comeback TV appearance on the BBC’s Children in Need show at peak viewing time on a Friday night?
Is it, as they and other acts would have you believe, solely to support this very worthwhile fundraising event? Or is it in fact, because they can at the same time ‘plug’ their new song, and in this case their new tour, which coincidentally goes on sale on Monday morning?
Ronan Keating and the other members of Boyzone I know do an awful lot for charity. In Ronan’s case it’s mainly through the Marie Keating foundation in Ireland, and Cancer Research in the UK, so I would never knock the Boyz overall commitment to charitable issues.
But are we really to be duped into believing that Friday night's big comeback is all about the ‘Cheerity mate’?
The Spice Girls are already booked to appear on the same show, they’re singing the official Children in Need song this year. I caught a bit of their video today, and I really don’t think that Posh gyrating about in what amounts to bondage gear, and Mel B rolling around in her bra, really fits in with the general ethos of Children in Need, does it?

But maybe I'm being too cynical, and there will be no mention of future albums or reunion tours, and both groups will just sing and enjoy the company of the big cuddly one on Friday night.
Oh, and alongside Terry Wogan, will be that Pudsey fella too ;-)

Til the next time,

A x

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