Celebrity VAT Inspector
Last night Trickshot Weaselcheese, the daytime soap star, became the first ever winner of Celebrity VAT Inspector, C4’s new reality show. Blatantly stealing ideas from such programmes as The Apprentice and Dragon’s Den, which in themselves are basically just It’s A Knockout in business suits, where the programme makers get contenders to do various pointless things for no discernable reason, C4 then added the vital ‘Celebrity’ angle to make this a hit programme.
No doubt the heady glamour of Vat Inspection also added a certain excitement to what would otherwise be another dreary episode of otherwise tedious ‘experts’ patronising and humiliating the wide-eyed hopefuls eager for the holy justification of television to shine its empty meaning into their lives.
Of course, the rather contrived ‘tasks’ the contestants are made to perform are not often encountered by real VAT inspectors as they go about their normal business. Such ‘tasks’ as sorting out invoices whilst seated in a paddling pool filled with lukewarm custard, by way of example, is not that common an occurrence for VAT inspectors, certainly not brand new trainees anyway. Such perennial favourites of the TV programme too, such as the swimsuit round, are rarely used these days top train modern VAT Inspectors. Although, to be fair, when VAT was first introduced that method of selection was indeed used in order to fill the senior managerial positions in the nascent VAT departments of the time. However, these days professional VAT Inspectors, as civil servants, are chosen by their ability to whip up a Salmon Soufflé whilst sitting semi-naked in a jungle swamp under the constant glare of TV cameras and lights as they are mercilessly interrogated about their understanding of the politically-correct diversity requirements regarded as essential in their new career. This is a scenario that the makers of Celebrity VAT Inspector have already promised to introduce into the next series. Mainly, this is seen as a way of boosting flagging ratings whilst continuing with the illusion that the programme and reality are not the complete strangers to each other that they seem to any but the most sautéed couch potato.