Not worth the Price

Signed by Katie Price (Sky Living, Sun)

THERE'S a lengthy and memorable stretch of dialogue in Jaws delivered by Robert Shaw's grizzled shark hunter Quint, who describes being attacked by sharks after the sinking of the USS Indianapolis in June, 1945.

"Sometimes that shark, he looks right into ya. Right into your eyes. And you know the thing about a shark? He's got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll's eyes. When he comes at ya, he doesn't seem to be livin' . . . until he bites ya, and those black eyes roll over white and then. . ."

And then . . . you realise that if you replace "he" with "she", you could be talking about Katie Price's new Sky Living vehicle, Signed by Katie Price, which sees the attention-predator circling the shallow waters of Britain like a Ronsealed Great White, searching for an equally fame-hungry wannabe she can devour, digest and vomit out in her own image -- or as she puts it, "someone I can make into a brand".

"It's taken me 17 years to get here," (wherever "here" is) says the dead-eyed, razor-toothed Price in her tumble-dryer monotone. "Wiv my help, they get to make it in an instant (whatever "it" is). It's a fast-track ticket to stardom" (stardom, as we know, not being what it used to).

To this end, Price, who looks more than ever like a computer-generated avatar of herself, and her team wash ashore in various cavernous, suburban shopping centres and -- to a mixture of amusement and bemusement from blameless shoppers simply trying to go about their daily business unimpeded -- take over the place.

A stage is set up, onto which strut various buffed young suckers of both sexes (depressingly, some 10,000 applied to take part in this rubbish). What happens next is, even by Price's subterranean standards, gobsmacking: a meat parade in which the meat is human -- although not necessarily sentient.

Price is flanked by fellow judges Bayou (eh?) Furlong, who's some sort of talent agent and sports a ridiculous Hare-Krishna-meets-the-Fimbles topknot, and a long streak of vinegar-flavoured nastiness called Glen Middleham, who's apparently a TV producer.

"I know what makes good TV," barks Middleham. "I know what makes a star."

A quick flick through Middleham's IMDb entry reveals his credits include The Royal Variety Show 2007, the talent show Dirty Dancing: The Time of Your Life, and a short film called Tug of War, about several people trying not to masturbate for a week.

The would-be proteges come on, answer a few dumb questions, are praised/insulted/humiliated (delete as applicable) by Price and her entourage, told to go off and come on again in their underwear, and are praised/insulted/humiliated all over again, before being told whether or not they've made it to boot camp. It's less The X Factor than The Why? Factor.

"The people wot don't like Katie are only jealous of her," squeaked a young Essex girl dressed, predictably, in white. This, mind you, was before she was told she looked 40, not 26, and was wearing the wrong clothes. "Sorry, it's a no."

Essex girl, irate, yanked up her dress and flashed her microscopic knickers, to show the judges what they were missing -- though since Furlong and Middleham are so screamingly camp they make Shirley Temple Bar look like Jason Statham, one suspects they were unmoved.

One of Price's criteria for inclusion is the wannabe "must be clever", yet there was one priceless -- or rather Priceful -- moment when a woman with a doctorate in philosophy and a masters in sarcasm turned up in her mortar board and gown to gush praise at Price. "You're my idol!"

"So this one is a professah!" snarled Price, every paranoid, anti-intelligence defence mechanism in her body bristling with threat.

"Who paid you to come here and make fun of my show? Leave my stage!"

Generation Idiot has reached its apex, and its ignorant, sneering, vulgar, hateful, shiny-faced godhead is Katie Price.

Weep, humanity, weep.

Signed by Katie Price 1/5