Celebrity Big Brother came to an end last night and was striking in two regards. Firstly it has turned out to be a big ratings winner for Channel 5, peaking at about 3.8 million viewers for the final.
So successful were the ratings for Channel 5 that the programme was extended by four days, and I suspect if it weren’t for fear of charges of forced imprisonment being levied against them Channel 5 would have kept the celebrities ‘locked’ up longer.
The other big surprise was the winner. In a field with reality TV stalwarts like Sam Faiers (The Only Way is Essex – TOWIE) and Ollie Lock (Made In Chelsea), well known figures from Pop Music Lee Ryan (Blue) and Dappy (N-Dubz) plus other older but entirely palatable celebrities like Lionel Blair and Linda Nolan, Jim Davidson would not stand out as your likely winner.
Not when you consider the supposed voting demographic of shows like Celebrity Big Brother, not when you consider media coverage he has received in recent years, but win he did!
I am not not sure what propelled him to victory? It may be that the voting demographic is not as skewed towards the younger tech-savvy teenagers most people imagine, it may be that with too many celebs aimed at the the yoof it could be that a dedicated brigade of matronly voters were able to seize the advantage of the divide in the the opponents ranks provided and voted their man to victory, or it could simply be that viewers of the The Generation Game are just so damn loyal.
Well he has won and and unlike his last appearance on Reality TV on Hells Kitchen, this time around he has done so with little or no controversy. The question is will this mark a turnaround in his fortunes, will his phone be ringing off the hook as offers flood in?
Michael Barrymore went though the same sort of redemption of Celebrity Big Brother, but the revival was fleeting as the reasons why stars are no longer stars do not disappear from the general population simply on the back of a reality TV win. It may they have been mired in controversy, it may be ageism, or it may be the public’s taste has just simply moved on. Ultimately success in Reality TV shows is a “success of now” an ephemeral success that begins to dissipate from the very moment you are crowned.
Even less contentious winners of shows like The X-Factor, The Voice quickly realise how transient their popular appeal can be. So is this redemption for Jim Davidson? No not likely.