‘Trisha’ (books) was a pretty good televison programme. Where else could you see a bunch of crosseyed illiterate pikeys have a DNA test on their babies, with a man-hating fool as the ringmaster?
But it wasn’t perfect. The viewers at home were jealous of the squawking fat loudmouths in the audience who got to shout abuse at the people on the show; and also, disputes weren’t settled by a cash payment.
Thank goodness, then, for The People’s Court.
The premise of the show is a lot like Judge Judy (books). There’s a
defendent and a claiment who appear on the show to settle an old score.
All of the disagreements are presided over by a judge, and there is a
winner and a loser.
But that’s where the differences stop. Where Judge Judy herself
would be responsible for passing judgement over the case, The People’s
Court lets the television audience decide.
The show is live, and uses text messaging to allow court cases to be
ruled over by bored housewives and unemployed dirtbags across the land.
The host is Carol Smillie (DVDs/books) and, confusingly, the
judge is a Scottish woman who looks almost exactly like Carol Smillie,
but a bit more boggly-eyed. When the judge and Carol have a
conversation, it’s like the bit in Lord Of The Rings (DVDs) where good Gollum
talks to bad Gollum.
The judge (bad Gollum) has to rule over a number of cases in one
show. Today, the main case concerned a man who – gasp – didn’t really
love his daughter very much. As the woman and her Dad were laying out
their cases – basically "you don’t love me" vs "yes I do" – the viewers
can text in votes to say who they want to win.
And there is a seperate number for people to text comments to the
show, which scroll along the bottom of the screen. Comments like "He iz
RONG! – Maggie, Croydon".
The people at home decided that the man was in the wrong, by the
way. His sentence? £100 and a cuddle. And people say you can’t put a
price on love.
The other cases were a bit more legal, to be fair. There was a
bulldog-faced woman with a receeding hairline who broke her
bulldog-faced sister’s sofa by having sex on it (she lost, and had to
The last case was a contract disagreement between a nightclub owner
and an events promoter. Ten minutes later and the loser handed over
£1000. There could be the argument that 10 minutes isn’t enough time to
get a feel of the nuances of a tricky case like that, but The People’s
Court won’t listen to that kind of nonsense.
And if hecklerspray loves anything, it’s televised kneejerk courtcases.
The People’s Court is on ITV every weekday at 9.20am