Guest blog! Nik Johnson!
Is there anyone who is even faintly impressed by Piers Morgan?
Anyone that sees his name and knows that his involvement is going to be a mark of quality? ITV seems to think so, and has thoughtfully brought us Piers Morgan’s Life Stories. It’s a tabloid TV show in the vein of his tell-all Daily Mirror interviews, where celebrities are invited on to shout their brains (or not in the case of this week’s guest, Ulrika Jonsson.)
Hosted in a blue-lit studio eerily reminiscent of a low rent strip club, Piers and Ulrika perch awkwardly on chairs in front of a giant picture of Ulrika’s gormless face, while a grinning audience applaud like seals at every terrible joke. Gladiators were fighting with giant cotton buds, you say? It’s like observational comedy. From 1992.
Plunging the depths of Ulrika’s life, the production team have left no stone unturned in tracking down anyone with the most tenuous of links to her. One of the Gladiators (but not the one she screwed), a friend of her mum’s and a bloke who once watched her buy a newspaper in Spar all offer their thoughts.
Oily, grimy Piers draws on all his newspaper experience to give the guest enough rope to hang herself with, asking leading questions – and getting a round of applause from the audience of hateful, hateful idiots for asking if she came close to sleeping with Prince Edward.
If you’re interested in every tedious facet of Ulrika’s childhood, then you should definitely watch the opening segments. But, if like normal people, you couldn’t care less about the intricate bickering and petty squabbling of two strangers going through a divorce, then congratulations. You’re right.
On a lighter note, Ulrika describes the time she was date raped, which is genuinely uncomfortable to watch. Hearing this account, coupled with horrible shots of Morgan, ensure a Clockwork Orange-style torture that even the most hardened Guantanamo Bay guard would have reservations about employing.
In yet another fun incident, Ulrika was kicked to the floor by notorious dogger and occasional footballer Stan Collymore. During this bit, the camera zooms unnervingly on her, showing every bit of make-up that’s been lovingly trowelled on her fragile face. But just try looking at her mouth without thinking about which bit of Sven has been in it.
Grimness over, we’re treated to an almost literal blow-by-blow account of Ulrika’s many, many, many, many, many lovers. A Gladiator, a footballer, a cameraman, an international manager in comedy specs, reality show contestant (called fucking Lance, of all things) – it’s like she got the I-Spy book of occupations and misunderstood the requirements for ticking them off.
Morgan’s interview technique actually helps the programme, and Ulrika has obviously been paid well enough to be open and candid. So, if you’re really, really interested in the banalities of her life and can’t muster the brain-power to read all 400 pages of her book Honest, then it’s a decent summary. But who the hell cares about Ulrika in that much depth?
The highlight of the entire hour is, incidentally, finding out that her mum is called Gun. How cool.
This was a guest blog by Nik Johnson from Shouting At Cows. His Twitter avatar is a Muppet, you know.