Saturday 24 September 2016

We don't always want to know what goes on behind closed doors

Published 24/11/2012 | 05:00

They say no one knows what goes on behind closed doors. Oh, if only that were true. Thanks to a collective case of celebrity over-sharing we now know more than we could ever need, or want, to learn about the intimate goings on in the lives of the stars.

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Such as this week when I learned presenter Eamonn Holmes and his wife Ruth Langsford had developed a penchant for videoing their arguments and screening them on YouTube for helpful viewer feedback.

Perhaps in these troubled days of the celebrity sex tape, I should have been thankful that their home movie revolved around contentious household issues like who takes charge of the TV remote and the almost Nietzsche-esque musings on pillows: what's the point?

Nevertheless, the footage makes for disturbing viewing.

In one of the three-minute slots, Langsford mercilessly lampoons Holmes's prowess in the kitchen before brandishing a pair of tongs and threatening to come after his sausage.

The segment on date nights, whether married couples should schedule an evening to keep the romance alive, got even more cringy and suggested Langford had even less appreciation of her husband's prowess in the bedroom than she did in the kitchen.

The 52-year-old Ulsterman's complexion turned increasingly florid as he aired his frustration on his wife's reluctance to partake in an evening that might "lead to other things".

Segment three, (the clips were oddly mesmeric) a lengthy debate on the importance of pillows left me wanting to take one of the contentious cushions and scream into it.

By the fourth instalment, this time on TV remotes, my attention had wandered so much that Holmes could have been sprawled on his sofa in his underpants and I wouldn't have noticed.

I was checking out their kitchen – minimal, nice lines, lots of light-reflective surfaces – and I was thinking, I wonder how often that pestle and mortar gets used ...

This is, of course, the inevitable consequence from being bombarded with celebs and their over-sharing.

Eventually one develops a sort of TMI (too much information) saturation and becomes immune to even the most intimate revelations.

The series serves to show that there is no filter any more on what should be for public consumption and what would be best kept behind closed doors.

My granny, God rest her, would have had a stroke at the idea of 'that nice Eamonn Holmes off the telly' airing his dirty laundry in public for all to see.

Not that her generation and its mantra of repression had it exactly right but it would be nice to have a discreet veil drawn over some aspects of what's now considered entertainment.

In recent years, we've had Karl Pilkington from 'An Idiot Abroad' getting a prostate exam on air and Kourtney Kardashian's baby born in front of the cameras.

It's considered de rigueur for faded celebrities to expose themselves physically and emotionally in shows like 'I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here' for the public's viewing pleasure.

'Tallafornia' and 'The Only Way is Essex' have shown us the nefarious underworld of 'vajazzling', 'Celebrity Salon' gave us the back, sack and crack wax.

Guests on Piers Morgan's life stories are encouraged to bare their souls, while every reality show under the sun insists on delivering unrestricted access to its stars.

Glamour model Katie Price aka Jordan's sole function now seems to be to reveal personal details about herself in return for publicity.

The message is simple: if you want fame, nothing is off limits.

Unquestionably in Holmes' and Langford's case, their foray into the world of screening their marital squabbles, looks to be a lesson in indulging their egos.

Not content with having their on-screen bickering confined to co-hosting the Friday slot on 'This Morning', the couple, who live in Surrey with their 10-year-old son, Jack, have taken their spiky repartee to a new forum.

Their request for viewers to hashtag their show on Twitter suggests a desire to prove their public worth and trend on the social media platform.

Sadly for them, the response has not been an unmitigated wave of adoration. "What monstrous egos you both must have to think that we'd actually want to watch MORE of your rows," fumed one poster.

On another forum, someone adds: "Too slimy for me, why do they need to ask the public? Yuk."

A sign perhaps that the tide is turning and audiences are growing weary of knowing what goes on behind closed doors. It may be time to shut that door and lock it for good measure.

Certainly, as if pondering the importance of pillows and gravity of barbecues wasn't enough, He Said She Said left me with a compelling musing of my own – why on earth am I watching this?

Irish Independent

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