This Great TV Idea was brought to you from the face of James Brigden
My Great TV Idea 2: Pope Idol
My next TV idea is truly inspired. When I pitch this to all the major broadcasters they will be asking for a miracle to be able to make this show in time. And, this time, God just might grant them that miracle, because this TV show is in fact aimed at hiring the Supreme Being’s floor manager on Earth: the Pope.
Yes, ladies and gents, my next show will be a true revelation. It will feature one man who is truly qualified to select the next Bishop of Rome: he went to boarding school, dresses in black and makes young boys cry? Can you guess who it is? No, he’s not a priest, but he’s God’s other Earth-dwelling rep, Simon Cowell!
My show will be a talent competition starring and executive produced by Cowell or Fuller or Ken Warwick or one of those dudes, with the purpose of finding the next Vatican Head of State. Yes, Pope Idol will hold auditions in Rome, Dublin, Mexico City and Chicago. It will invite cardinals from all over the world to come and deliver their best mass, explain their way of thinking and articulate their potential papal policies in front of the panel of judges. The panel will consist of a Catholic priest (Father Jack from Father Ted, none other), an attractive but totally unqualified female judge in the middle (Jordan) and head judge Simon Cowell.
Let’s imagine the first round of auditions in Rome…
First to audition at the altar is Father Luciano Capriati from Rome. 20 minutes in, Cowell raises his hand to stop short Capriati’s mass. Cowell breathes a heavy sigh and removes the chewed biro from his mouth. ‘That was the worst mass I’ve ever, ever heard. You’ve made my ears bleed. I mean…[gasps] what is going on today? I thought Rome would be the place to find impressive cardinals. You’re just a buffoon. And Father Jack, do you think about his moderate views and policy plans?’ Cowell gestures to Father Jack (aka Frank Kelly) at the other end of the table.
‘A loada gobshite!’ Father Jack splutters.
‘And what about his choice of mass?’
‘There we have it,’ Cowell concludes. ‘Your views are too liberal and your mass was shit, so get out!’ Cowell barks.
What about the next round of auditions in Dublin?
Slow, poignant piano music accompanies the calm, serious words of the narrator: ‘62 –year-old Cardinal John Murphy from Dublin is the youngest in the competition. He’s well-aware that his youth is his biggest obstacle.’
We cut to a shot of the Cardinal hugging his mum, then we cut back to one of him walking on a beach as he says these words: ‘I’m just a young cardinal from Dublin with a dream. All I’ve ever wanted to do is sermonise and speak to the people, and act as a sort of executive head, if you will, of the world’s largest religious institution,’ the youngster said as he skimmed a stone into the sea.
And when the big final night arrives, the winner is announced – John Murphy. Excitement…applause…BANG!…suddenly a gunshot rings out, and the new Pope is floored, clasping a gunshot wound to the chest. The gun is visible to the right of the stage, and the shooter steps from the wings…Dec. An act of revenge (so he later claims). Revenge for what? We’ll never know. But Dec’s pistol dropped to the stage, and white smoke was visible emanating from it. White smoke! A Pope has been chosen, albeit a dying one.
No change there, then.