I was listening to a podcast the other day of Noel Edmonds being interviewed on the Simon Mayo show. Like most right-thinking people I have long since loathed Edmonds, partly for his smarmy manner and partly for his immense self-satisfaction at a body of work all of which is thoroughly dispensable. But I listened to the interview because I wanted to see whether, having gone through a patch when nobody gave him the time of day, he would have acquired some perspective and humility. If Michael Portillo can do it, surely Noel Edmonds can.
Fat chance. I’ve never heard such a solipsistic, deluded individual. He made Oprah Winfrey sound self-effacing. You’d have thought ‘Deal Or No Deal’ was a work of such cultural significance that our lives have been indelibly altered by its arrival on our screens. You wanted someone to walk into the studio, slap him and say “It’s only a game show, you bearded ego!” This reached its apotheosis when, after about ten minutes of the interview, one of the principles of the game was explained for anybody who hadn’t seen it. He interrupted what he clearly considered to be an unnecessary aside to say – and this is a quote – “I don’t in any way mean this to be a statement of personal arrogance, but everyone in the country has seen the show. There isn’t anyone in the country who does not know ‘Deal Or No Deal’.”
So now I’m glad I listened to the interview, because no matter how strong my own sense of self-loathing might get, I will at least have the consolation of knowing that it’s better than being Noel Edmonds and believing myself to be the essential companion to modern living.
Sorry to say, I have actually seen ‘Deal Or No Deal’, three or four times. I don’t think I’ve sat through an entire episode, because it is a profoundly tedious show which would drag at half an hour, let alone 45 minutes. Plus the endless attempts to convey some sense of strategy to a game which is 100% pure luck are risible. However, if Noel Edmonds is reading this, what I really mean is that I think it’s the most tense entertainment imaginable and I’m considering giving up my job in order to be at home to see it.