The camel-coated brigade



"No matter how far off the pedestal a character falls, they’ve almost always got a second chance."

Over the next three weeks the British public will almost certainly witness the phoenix like resurrection of a fallen son. After a mere 7 hours or so of prime time TV, we are starting to see the signs of a man dragging the carcass of his career back from the mouths of the ‘vultures’ who tore it to pieces. 

Whether you are enthralled, disgusted, shocked, stunned or bemused, it’s difficult NOT to have an opinion. Like a car careering head long off a road, you know you really shouldn’t look.....but you just can’t help watch the drama unfold.

Between 1995 and 2001 Michael Ciaran Parker won 11 National television awards. His relatively simplistic TV programmes and quiz shoes captured the hearts and tube time of ‘average England’. Tens of Millions of viewers tuned in to watch him dance, sing, tell jokes and generally poke harmless fun at ‘ordinary’ people. People just like us. 

He had a quality you cannot manufacture in a TV presenter, a quality you cannot teach no matter how hard you try. In an industry dominated by nepotism and networking he rose to the pinnacle of his chosen profession primarily by possessing the ‘common touch’. 

Equally at home with rouges or royalty Parker, under his stage name ‘Michael Barrymore’ had it all, Money, fame, adulation and success. Television executives were eating out of the palm of his hand. Then, in a well documented ‘lapse’, he disappeared. Like so many before (and after) him Barrymore was gone. Wiped from the map. 

History has always treated scandal with a ‘vanishing act’ mentality Mr. Sheen would be proud of. 

John Profumo, Jeremy Thorpe, Charles Kennedy to name but a few from political circles. All ‘technically’ guilty of no crime, yet all left broken by their actions. 

In sport Ron Atkinson and Rodney Marsh have both been ‘sent to Coventry (not for the first time in Big Ron’s case) for remarks that at best were ‘naïve’, at worst ‘totally unacceptable’. But whether or not their comments warranted TOTAL destructive of both men’s careers is highly debatable. 

In Barrymore’s very own television and media industry we have witnessed John Leslie ruined for NOT being a rapist (apparently), Abbi Titmuss build a career for shagging the afore mentioned ‘innocent man’, and Richard Bacon survive teaching kids how to build a model ‘Tracy Island’ by day, and Snorting class A drugs by night. 


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Games Room
Peirs Morgan was forced out of The Mirror for publishing fake photographs of a true story. Yet, Bill Clinton held onto the most important job on the planet despite blatantly lying to the entire world. 

Whatever your take on things, it does appear that the British public and its accompanying media industry, are ‘fickle’ to say the least when it comes to the question of exactly what is and isn’t acceptable behavior by celebrities, sports stars, politicians and such like. 

Thus we return to Michael Cairan Parker and ‘Celebrity Big Brother’. Still available at 3-1 with most Bookmakers, Barrymore simply has to be backed by any self respecting punter, anthropologist, or casual media savvy observer. 

Aside from the blatantly ‘highly favorable’ edit Barrymore is currently receiving from producers Endemol, his ‘competitors’ (Maggot and Preston aside) are on the whole, doing their best to make him look the sanest one in there. 

Given that his two main rivals come from ‘Goldie looking chain’ and ‘The Ordinary Boys’, two very minor bands by national standards, is there anyone in the programme capable of beating a man with a fan base of television viewers which still must be, even conservatively, millions strong? I for one think not. 

Forgiveness, like revenge, is a funny thing. Ron Atkinson and Rodney Marsh’s time will no doubt come too, but not yet. For some, like Leslie, Morgan and Archer the day may (gladly) never arrive. Occasionally a lucky few, like Clinton, manage somehow to avoid the fall from grace in the first place. 

Yes folks, love it or hate it the fact is Michael Barrymore is back. Whether he wins the show or not, so long as he avoids a faux pas of epic proportions in the house he has probably already done enough to win back his place amongst TV’s ‘elite’.

In less than three weeks his comeback will be complete and he will be able to set about rebuilding his career and may even decide to take revenge on those in the tabloid press, who kicked him so viciously when he was down.

However, if I may be so bold as to end with a warning to Michael Barrymore. If he does rebuild his TV career he should get on with it quietly and be as dignified about it as possible. Should he decide to focus anymore of his energy on rounding on the press who abandoned him in his hour of need, he needs to be careful. Very careful. 

By the very nature of the man, by human nature, it’s a fairly safe bet that somewhere down the line Barrymore will make another gaffe. If he attacks the press now, when that day comes then they will ruthlessly take their revenge on him. There’s an old Chinese proverb about revenge he would do well to take heed of....................

“If you wait by the water long enough, eventually you’ll see the bodies of your enemies float by” 

Remember that Michael, remember that, and I’m sure you’ll be ‘Alwight’.

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