Flockstars, episode one, review: 'embarrassing'
Not even Alan Partridge would have come up with this reality TV flop, says Christopher Howse
When Alan Partridge suggested the programme idea Monkey Tennis, he did not go far enough. The idea of Flockstars (ITV), already known in our household as WTFstars, was simple: a jazzed-up One Man and His Dog. Stars, or at least TV celebs, competed in sending sheep round a simple (indoor) course by calling commands to a sheepdog.
The first competitors were Brendan Cole, 39, from Strictly, with his bitch Hoggy, two, versus Amanda Lamb (yes, I know, the name) from A Place in the Sun, in red wellies with a dog called Midge, taking turns to herd some attractive black Hebrideans (sheep). By all that’s woolly, I wept with vicarious embarrassment as if lemons had been stuffed into my sinuses.
Stars from future episodes were forced to watch the misery in the orange-floored arena. Lesley Joseph, Tony Blackburn, Fazer from N-Dubz, Kéllé Bryan and Lea Pearson CBE sat as though awaiting some Iranian hudud punishment.
Flockstars is not as evil as Channel 4’s Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners, which demeans people with a mental illness. Rather than belonging to the Bedlam school of television, Flockstars takes a piece of culture and screws it up.
Next month we’ll see StarLord’s, where teams of celebs learn to play limited-over cricket to loud music. In the autumn ParpStars begins, with special guest John Buttifant Sewel invited to break wind in the Whispering Gallery of St Paul’s Cathedral. Next year Sky at Night is replaced by RapStars, in which Dappy and Kanye West numbers are played to an invited audience in the former London Planetarium while Gabby Logan makes jokes about Uranus.
Until then it would be more interesting to stare at the stains on an old padded tea-cosy for 27 minutes than to be trapped into viewing the ovine F-word of all reality TV flops.