Look around you, the season of Christmas is the most romantic season of all
Ah, the Christmas Special – a British tradition going back from when baby Jesus was born on the Morecambe and Wise Christmas Special in 1977 in front of 28 million open-mouthed TV viewers.
Take Me Out followed this tradition – a Christmas Special. For four series now Take Me Out has rumbled on and it seems we’ll never go back to the halcyon days of series two. This blog, too, with its increasingly unhinged commentary, is going to be packed away now along with those bits of shit plasticky tinsel and that ugly bauble Aunt Janet gave you in 1996.
Now, it should be said that the title of the show was Take Me Out Celebrity Christmas Special, so expect the same calibre of gentleman that graced TV’s own hellmouth Celebrity Love Island.
On with the show.
Much like Scrooge, we were visited by the ghosts of Take Me Out past, present and, actually, just past and present. Piri, Lois and Caroline from the most recent series! Rian from series one! RIAN! Remember? YEAH? Picky Peggy from series three! Friend of the blog Heidi from series two! And the most beautiful, talented and friendly girl ever to grace the TMO stage – Natalie – who we definitely did not insult when she was on series two and who definitely doesn’t bring it up at every moment possible.
The Boys Celebrities Boys
The first celebrity boy out of the Christmas love lift was the mystery man “Joe from London” who was disguised as Santa and kept all 30 lights. But who on earth WAS Joe from London?! IT WAS JOE SWASH. Yes! TV’s JOE SWASH! He won I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! in 2008! He presented I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here, NOW! in 2009!
Before I could even finish wikipeding (that’s a word now) ‘Joe Swash’, we were onto round two. Joe has the whole Cockney find down to a tee – in his video he was wearing a flat cap, went for a fry up and reveals how he “lahvs me mam”. He’s got a mate called “Nick the Greek” with whom he goes golfing, and there’s been a roight ol’ tear-ap san, he went and lost a few lights but there are still 19 left before his sister Shana reveals that Swash can’t drive. But he’s got a date! Lois was still available and got in her customary boat-reference. Surely it was a no-brainer for Joe – Natalie was still in? Well, Joe defied reason and kept Lois and Krista. Lois, who enjoys a vegetarian fry up, headed off for a date with Joe Swash. Joe Swash. Joe Swash was on Take Me Out. Who on earth was next? Perhaps Peter Kay?
Before the next fella came out, Zsa Zsa was back! Remember Zsa Zsa? Bit mental? Actually, very mental. She was a bit, er, mature.
The second man was, um, wait, I needed Paddy to actually tell me who this guy was. I’m as clueless as Piri and Peggy, who whispered to the girls’ side, “Do you know?” Turns out it was “Matt Johnson from a television programme called This Morning”. I was still clueless, but luckily the penny dropped for series two (and Shouting at Cows’ overlord’s favourite) Celine with an enthusiastic “Oh yeah, him!” He kept all his lights, as he has one of those handsome faces I’ve heard about. No one knows who he was, and you could see his little soul dying behind his eyes – especially following Peggy’s “I don’t know who you are.”
Hold on! Paddy spotted Simon from Blue in the audience with a series one girl! We moved on and I started to think I had actually been involved in some kind of awful accident and I’m actually in a coma and all my stupid brain can do is make up a celebrity special of Take Me Out featuring a celebrity I had never seen before.
Eamonn Holmes featured in his video and we find out Matt collects wrestling figures. Right, I’m definitely in a coma. There is no conceivable way that a This Morning presenter has a fully packaged Macho Man Randy Savage figure. That’s my brain turning to mush.
Matt has dozens of lights left including the Amazing Natalie (her new nickname for this paragraph) who believed that a positive testimony from Eamonn Holmes was a good basis. Just as an aside, Eamonn Holmes once called Jonathan Wilkes as a “retard” on live TV and as such his judgement cannot be called into question.
Matt whittled the lights down to Fenella and Wonderful Natalie. Fenella already knew – how could she compete with Natalie? Especially when Stunning Natalie yelled “Take Me Out!” in a rock-voice. Matt is a man of exquisite, refined and perfect taste and picked Natalie. I nearly turned off the show at this point – what’s the point now that Natalie was gone? Somehow I had to carry on.
Our final bloke was Leigh Francis as Keith Lemon. I wish it was Leigh Francis as his Michael Jackson from Bo’Selecta – you know when he was fairly funny and relevant – or Leigh Francis as a mute. That would’ve been good too.
Keith, or Leigh, whatever, kept all 30 lights, with Piri looking on the verge of tears. I know how she felt. My accidental must’ve been traumatic, as Keith/Leigh made a period joke, then a pussy joke. And I smirked. I may even have laughed. Oh God – this is the end isn’t it?
Keith/Leigh then sexually assaulted every girl on the show on a sofa shaped like lips. The coma must be serious – my brain is regressing from four series of watching this and working towards using the blog to somehow seduce them all, into this. Keith/Leigh worked it down to Picky Peggy and Piri. Keith/Leigh asked, for comedy value, whether he could see other girls behind their back. Piri said yes and Peggy, and this is true, I’ve watched it four times, said: “I hope we’re similar, in that I’m a one-woman man, and I hope you’re a one-man woman,” which professional comedian Leigh Francis didn’t notice, nor did professional banter-merchant Paddy McGuinness nor, presumably, a gallery of editors, directors, producers and a studio audience. Keith/Leigh picked Piri!
Joe Swash and Lois went quadbiking and he tried to kill her. They went for dinner and arm-wrestled (Lois let Joe win). No second date though.
Matt “Who?” Johnson and the Outstanding Natalie were up next. They went on a champagne boat-cruise before dinner. Matt is a fan of Dita von Teese and gets her style and even bought the Fantastic Natalie a present. And they may have had a second date. Did you Natalie? Well?
Keith/Leigh and Piri and they went to a spa – the final bikini klaxon of the year – and went for a swim. They have a staged dinner, and it turned out Keith/Leigh took a call from his girlfriend, or an actress, or, oh, I don’t know anymore.
For four series we have sat open-mouthed and entertained by Take Me Out. But surely they can’t carry on? Not just for the benefit of my mental health, but for the show itself. The format hasn’t changed in all that time, and now they’ve done a celebrity special bringing back girls of past-series surely the time is right to stop it – at least just for a few years?
I’ve loved the show more than is healthy – I even had a turn working on Take Me Out – The Gossip when it was just an online spin-off before ITV2 got their grubby hands on it – but when you love something you should let it go. ITV should just leave the show so we don’t grow tired of it and bring it back in a few years’ time. They should, but I am almost certain that Take Me Out series 5 will be the start of your Saturday nights before X-Factor again in 2013. Either way, this blog won’t be seen again – my community service order for my appalling crimes has come to an end and I am free.
Lights out, all out.