Tuesday, October 05, 2004

The Reverse Midas Illustrated

The Reverse Midas Illustrated

Johnny Vaughan. Once upon a time he represented lads' humour, was cocky, mouthy, and had one hell of a double act going with Ms van Outen on the Big Breakfast. He was gold, a real star of radio and TV whose off-the-cuff humour was well suitedto an early-morning slot on Channel Four. Then he, suddenly, and inexplicably, turned to shit.

Maybe it was killing the golden goose of the Big Breakfast. Maybe it was the collapse of the Lads' mag market. Or maybe he's just turned to shit. Everything he's done in the last few years has been cursed with the reverse Midas toch. Everything he's been involved with has gone down like a pork roast at a Bar Mitzvah. Unfunny chat shows, dreadful star-vehicle game shows. He's on a licence-to-print-money contract, and no bugger knows what to do with him (see also Graham Norton).

If you live in the London area, you may have seen the TV adverts for his breakfast radio show on Capital FM. Yes, despite his everything-he-touches-turns-to-shit reputation and a gor-blimey-guvnor act that he hasn't changed since day one, confused media bosses continue to throw money at him in the hope that Johnny'll turn out good again.

The TV advert, then, involves Mr Vaughan singing and dancing to "Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner" in the cheesiest manner possible in front of several of the capital's tourist traps. I am pretty sure (though not 100 per cent certain) that at one stage there are comely young ladies prancing about in sexy beefeater outfits and City Gents doing unfortunate things with bowler hats. Johnny does that cringeworthy hand-shaking, high-kicking dance that only the truly untalented and care in the community victims can do, and the whole thing is more frightening than Ann Widdecombe coming after you with a basket of king-sized sex aids.

It is, almost certainly, the most embarrassing thing I have seen on television for many a year, and the sound of nails being hammered into the coffin of a once promising career.

Johnny: take a year or so off. Go on a nice long cruise and write a book. Or pretend to write a book and get someone with talent to ghost it for you. Then come back, nice and refreshed with a few new ideas straight out of Roger Mellie's top drawer. Stardom beckons on Sky One, if only you stop trying to entertain the Sun readers. They don't need entertaining - heaven knows they've got enough tits as it is.

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