Jade: The Reality Star Who Changed Britain, is a pretentiously-titled, three-part documentary that charts the rise and fall of a pudgy, pug-faced prat who gained fame after appearing on the reality show Big Brother. The programme takes around three hours to convince its audience that Jade Goody was a victim of the media rather than a fame-seeking bigot, it even suggests that her racism was somehow defensible because she’s since popped her clogs. This show walks a fine line between nostalgia and revisionism whilst it employs a full spectrum of excuses; ranging from her dad was a bit black to she was a little bit poor. With has-been presenters and apologists Davina McSquall and Dermot O’Dreary never quite managing to say the word “racist”, it takes an actual ethnic minority in the form of Krishnan Guru-Murthy to say the word out loud.
For 40 year-old Blairites, I’m sure this shitty little documentary brings back fond memories. I’m certain that if you listened to Ali G & Shaggy as you cheered on the War On Terror, you’ll have a tear in your wrinkled eye, but for the rest of us, this non-stop noughties recollection will bring you out in cold sweats. Prejudice was widespread in the 2000s; Islamophobia was rife and sexism was in full swing, and wannabe reality stars were busy using their sob-stories to get to the next round of Pop Idol. It’s quite fitting then, that while Channel 4 recalls their mediocre past, they use these very same tactics to promote Jade Goody in the present day. With incessant reminders that Jade was a working-class girl from Bermondsey and that she died of cervical cancer, the show is essentially a drawn-out justification for her bigotry; it’s not her fault she was racist, she was young and foolish, and oh yes, she had cancer so it no longer matters she was racist, or something.
Channel 4 and fans of Jade Goody can talk about class all they want but let’s not bullshit about the bush, 2007’s Celebrity Big Brother was all about racism. Jade’s mother and walking misspelling Jackiey Budden, was first with her obvious prejudice. Her “difficulty” in understanding and pronouncing a simple, two-syllable name (“Shilpa”) which was composed of the Latin alphabet, was a tell-tale sign that she was of the xenophobic persuasion. This was well before the “servant” task was even introduced and before Budden was evicted so cut the shit with all the talk of familial emotions and classism. The day Jade’s mum was kicked out, Jack Tweed (Jade’s boyfriend) called Shilpa Shetty a “cunt” and Jade later called her “Shilpa Poppadom” (as well as something along the lines of “Shilpa Fuckawala”). Danielle Lloyd (another contestant) stated that she didn’t like Shetty touching her food because she didn’t “know where her hands have been”, she also said “I think she should fuck off home”. Apparently, in un-aired segments of the show, Goody, Lloyd, Tweed (along with Jo O’Meara) discussed whether anyone had said the word “Paki”. They then proceeded to recite limericks which featured rhyming words such as “tacky”, “nappy”, “crappy”, “yappy” and “strappy”. Nah, not racist at all.
After a shed-load of Ofcom complaints and a backlash against Goody, Jade apologised to Shilpa but it can’t be ignored that these sorts of public apologies by celebrities are never for moral reasons but rather regret that their careers will be affected. In a similar way to Mark Wahlberg and Eminem, it makes you wonder whether these tits would atone for their actions if their profile and profits were unaffected? If Jade Goody was in some council flat in Bermondsey shouting “poppadom” at her Asian neighbour, would she ever be sorry? I doubt it.
With Jade’s mother swinging her dead arm about screeching out some nonsense about how you can’t say “brown” or “Paki” any more, this entire programme was a strange thing to air. The only thing Jade: The Reality Star Who Changed Britain accomplished was to prove that Channel 4 is a declining station so filled with televisual effluence that it now reminisces about the worst periods of TV history. Given that the channel hypocritically moaned about racism in the ’70s (It Was Alright In The 1970s) it’s quite odd that they’re now defending similar opinions from just over a decade ago.
What this programme actually showed is that people (generally white people) have some sort of hierarchy when it comes to racism. If a celeb is antisemitic we’re repeatedly reminded of the fact (Mel Gibson) but if it’s “regular” racism (Prince Harry) then it’s condoned. I recall that on The Tez O’Clock Show, mundane D-listers Richard Bacon and Fay Ripley had a number of excuses for Prince Harry ranging from the frequently-used “he was young” to the ever-popular “have you never said anything racist?”. It seems that if the target of prejudice is east, west, north, or south of Israel, the celebrity in question is defended.
With Twitter also awash with praise for Jade, this shit-fest proves once again that the media can coerce any kind of response by airing one-sided opinions edited alongside an emotive score. If they can convince the masses that Michael Jackson was a paedophile by compiling anecdotes from two wankers at the behest of a bald, bug-eyed hack, they can easily make you look at Jade Goody and Big Brother with a wistful sense of fake-nostalgia. With continual reminders that “if you’re affected by the issues raised you can go to channel4.com/support”, I was hoping there’d be a helpline for those horrified by video footage of the noughties. I think I need some anti-depressants after watching this shit-show, I’m getting flashbacks of Northern Rock, Leona Lewis, and Madeleine McCann.
You know when you can simply look at someone’s face and tell that they’re racist? As soon as you saw Jackiey, Jade, Jack, Jo, and err… Danielle’s body language and expressions (almost had an alliteration there) you could tell they were hate-filled twats. With Bermondsey, Liverpool, Romford, and Essex represented by these imbeciles, it’s confirmation of where not to go if you’re travelling around Britain.
To close, it’s peculiar how the Shilpa Shetty incident didn’t affect the careers of everybody else who were involved. Jade’s mother, a white chavvy Abu Hamza, Jack Tweed who looks like a rectal thermometer used on wild boars, Danielle Lloyd, iCloud cocksucker and Pringle enthusiast, and ex-Shite Club 7 and glass bottle magnet Jo O’Meara were just as racist as Jade and yet they never received any criticism by the mainstream media. Maybe if they’d all contracted some terminal illness, there’d be a whole season of shows dedicated to the lives of these fucking cum-stains courtesy of Channel 4. As it stands however, we only have one tribute to one nobody because only one of these ballbags contracted something life-threatening. Yes it’s horrible that Jade Goody suffered and died from cancer but the “C” word when it comes to all those involved with this show is “cunt”.