Sending celebrities to be Famous, Rich and Homeless (BBC Two, Wednesday, 24 June, 9pm) was always going to send out mixed messages. On one hand, you’ve got an almost honourable line of wanting to highlight the plight of Britain’s homeless by drawing people in with the use of slebs… yet by the same token, it seems a bit trite to get someone to play at being homeless for a while before returning to luxury. It was these two feelings that coursed through me as I watched the show, as the celebrities showed raw emotion and empathy, along with occasional smuggery and shrugging.
Related: Famous, Rich and Homeless preview
For most of us, it’s pretty obvious that homeless people have an awful time of it. Violence, isolation and gruelling conditions make for an incredibly bleak life. The romantic vision of the wandering nomad, with photogenic lines in his face, laughing uproariously with a toothless mouth is the stuff of fiction. It isn’t living off the land, but rather, constantly staving off death.
This show, not through the celebrities per se, did show the grim reality of the homeless people of Britain. They’re a nation of people to themselves, all invisible to the rest of us cosy morons who are split into those hooting “scroungers!” or those fawning wet farts who feel great about offering a handful of copper coins.
At least Hardeep Singh Kohli had the nuts to admit that his donations to homeless charities were an attempt to avoid dealing with the situation first hand. Joining him in the show were Rosie Boycott,
Les Battersby Bruce Jones, Annabel Croft and James, Marquess of Blandford, heir to Blenheim Palace.
Of course, the celebrities had their own little dramas, usually revolving around the feelings that arise from someone who normally has money and a place to live (that’d be the guilt of begging or the shame of scrounging) but the two pivotal moments in the show focused on Croft and Idiotic Blueblood Shithead.
Croft, at a soup kitchen, saw just how mean the streets can be when an innocuous quibble culminated in someone pulling a knife out and threatening to stab the guts out of everyone. Who would come to help? Who would ring the police? On the streets, you can die and no-one would ever know.
However, that was all overshadowed by the Marquess who consistently refused to even try to be homeless. He mooched around a bit, sneaked off to phone his wife up to blub like a big hairy spoiled baby about how it wasn’t any fun and generally made me think the worst of the landed gentry all over again. Spoiled, inbred, thick, heartless, coal eyed, yapping dolt. I hope he chokes on his grouse.
I say all this because he quit the show and showed absolutely no feeling toward the project at all. He referred to the other participants as “contestants”, showing clearly that he thought he was starring on a reality show, rather than a depressing documentary. What did he expect? A cash prize at the end and some cheering fans?
Anyway, away from all that, the celebrities slept rough for three days only to be told that it wasn’t over by a long chalk. The closing ‘On The Next Episode…’ clip so some frayed nerves and shouting. Continues tonight.Join TVScoop on Facebook for exclusive competitions and gossip