The Weekend's Television: Katie Price - the Jordan Years, Sun, BBC3
enidorm, Sun, ITV1
Boom and bust survivor
Monday 01 June 2009
I don't know about you but I find it a little strange that Dr Jeya Prakash still has Jordan's first set of breasts in his desk.
Dr Prakash is the man who took Katie Price from 3C to a 3D and though he turned her down when she came back for her third augmentation he clearly has fond memories. When Richard Macer went to interview him for Katie Price: the Jordan Years, a hasty cut-together of old footage designed to cash in on the Love Split of the Decade, he coyly reached into his top drawer and invited Macer to palp the implants that helped propel Jordan from just another glamour model to a pin-up girl for canny self-empowerment. Come to think of it, you might also find it a little strange that Macer has more than 200 hours of film of Jordan to work with, an assembly that sounds less like documentary diligence than the kind of obsession that has to be quelled by legal injunction.
Judging from the footage you saw, Jordan or Katie was perfectly happy to have him around, sometimes using him as a kind of court confidant and at other times as a friendly punchbag. A lot of sequences ended with a slurred voice telling him to turn off the camera and Jordan's hand wavering uncertainly towards the lens, but she always seems to have let him come back for more. This collage of old material intercut with more recent interviews with ex-colleagues and managers was presented as an attempt to dissect the mystery of her celebrity, but if there is a secret recipe it wasn't uncovered here.
Towards the end of the film, someone said that she was inspiring evidence that if you really want something, belief alone will eventually secure it for you, a poisonous cliché that allows unattainable dreams to supplant perfectly achievable ones in far too many people. But the truth appeared to be that Jordan wasn't an ordinary girl at all, but possessed of a raucous, blousy charisma that very cleverly combined sex appeal with cartoonish unreality.
She came across as rather likeable here, starting out as a precocious girl with a distinctly Jade Goodie-ish cast to her face and slowly transforming herself – with the help of scalpel, slap and paparazzi lightening – into a celeb-mag fixture. You might question the aesthetic wisdom of her third breast job, which look as if they're going to induce serious spinal injury in the long run. And you might feel that it would have been better if she had not thrown herself quite so eagerly into the drunken club nights that helped extend the Jordan franchise. But her unflustered commitment to her first son, born with serious disabilities, and the complete lack of pretension with which she has assembled what's said to be a £30 million fortune were impressive. It's faintly ludicrous that she should now be seeking privacy, after a career entirely based on reckless self-exposure. But even that is likely to pay off in the long run. Her first autobiography was for a time the best-selling autobiography in British history.Since then she's managed to scrape up enough material for two more. So just imagine what kind of advance number four is going to command if she can successfully hold back some beans to spill later.
Jonathan Ross said of Jordan that she is "as common as muck and we love her", an affectionate remark that suggested that the love came not in despite of the muckiness but because of it. You could say something similar of Benidorm, I suppose, a sitcom with a Jordanesque brashness about bodily appetites that has been a modest hit for ITV. I've laughed at Benidorm before now, but last night's special was a distinctly laboured affair. "There are no strangers in Benidorm, only friends you haven't met," said the oily Spanish waiter at one point. "What bloody Christmas cracker did you get that out of?" replied another character. The same one where they got the jokes, I take it. There were thudding malapropisms ("The doctor thinks you might have percussion," said to a man who's just had a blow to the head), comic misunderstandings (a man called Wheedon is addressed as Senor Widdle by a doctor) and creaky physical comedy (man rushes to open door to stairs only to find that it's a broom cupboard). Let's go somewhere else next year.
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