Tuesday, August 24, 2010

From the Jungle to the Streets

New television shows must be an awful lot of effort and expense. To that end I have sympathy with production companies and networks having to commission reality show after reality show in order to keep costs low and ratings high. But now, as I’m sure you’re aware – the reality show is dying and as Big Brother breathes his last breath this week it is apparent that there is something new needed and, with respect, I believe I may have found the future of television.

Hark back if you will to the Nation’s brief obsession with the great outdoors spearheaded by likes of ITV and Five’s offerings: ‘Help, I’m a celebrity, get me out of here’, ‘The farm’ and ‘Log Jam’. All hugely popular in their day, but now little more than embarrassing smudges on an already sketchy and questionable broadcasting history. Channel 4 of course went a different route to feed our outdoor pursuits appetite and introduced us to the ‘Born Survivor’ Bear Grylls. Bear came with an impressive resume, having already climbed Everest, featured on advertising campaigns and joined the Indian Army for some reason. The programme saw him take on Mother Nature and hurt her viciously as he climbed cliffs, parachute, skinned animals; wrestled other bears and drink piss.

Now sadly the ship may have sailed on the survival fad, but the captain is ready and I’m certain that, given the correct vehicle Bear can make a triumphant return to the top of the ratings. I believe I have this vehicle and feel that now the time is right to put this bear in a new light. And so I would like to present my proposal for your new hit show ‘Bear Grylls Bare skills’!

In case you aren’t as fortunate as I am to be down with youth speak; ‘bare’ means ‘a lot of’. You see, the lexicon of ‘youth speak’ is specifically designed with view to exclude adults and functions as a code between peers. Therefore, my clever use of their terminology will maximise our potential viewing audience. You see, I believe that engaging the socially excluded young people of the country in imperative, and what better ambassador for this that than son of a Politician, Eton Educated, ex-Scout mater Michael ‘Bear’ Grylls?

The show will see our hero trade survival in the Jungle for survival on the ‘Streets’ as Bear will be plucked from his comfortable Hertfordshire home and placed in one of the countries’ many deprived neighbourhoods. He will need to think on his feet and keep up the persona of a street smart, savvy youth whilst living in an area with significant issues around anti-social behaviour, crime, teen pregnancy and drug use. Think the Secret Millionaire meets Jeremy Kyle.

Audiences will tune in weekly to see our hero adapting his unique survival skills to his new surroundings and its inhabitants. His experience using camouflage will render him unrecognisable in a ‘Hoodie’, the traditional uniform of the ‘yobs’. But he’ll keep his wits about him and use his instinct to communicate with the natives as he forages and fights for necessities such as food and weed – just as he would in the wild! His cub scout learned knife skills would be put to them test as he may be asked for ‘murk’ someone from a rival crew! Imagine the anthropological significance as Bear maps the behaviour of gangs as he goes tagging in the evenings with people sharing his postcode.

To keep things fresh and current, his challenges could be dictated by trends set by scare mongering tactics in the right wing media such as legal highs, the knife crime ‘epidemic’ and even benefit scum!

With low overheads and a minimal casting costs filming could start with immediate affect and though my preference for the show would be channel 4 - I have confidence that Sky one or Channel 5 would be all over this idea like a wetsuit.

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