The BBC today revealed plans for a new reality show in which Andrew Lloyd Webber will seek out someone ‘special’ from among the general public to take on the coveted, but currently vacant role of absolver of all our sins. The show, entitled ‘They know not what they do’, has received thousands of applications but of them, only two exceptionally true and loving contestants will make it to the final where the prize of a long, slow, tragic but profoundly symbolic death by crucifixion on prime-time TV, for the good of man, awaits.
The successful contestant, who Lord Lloyd Webber conceded would probably be a vegan and drive a Toyota Prius, would shame us all by dying on the cross just before a trailer for Panorama because of our appetite for war, our indifference to the plight of those less fortunate, and our extensive use of plastic bags. ‘Through his noble self-sacrifice we’ll be able to carry on exactly as before,’ he said. ‘But he’d be there in our minds at all times, urging us to do the right thing and constantly reminding everyone – or at least the twenty five million who will watch it if the audience projection figures turn out to be correct – what great telly it was that night.’
Lord Lloyd Webber will once again be joined by show host Graham Norton and Denise Van Outen while John Barrowman will be on hand to offer advice on piety and how to ‘keep smiling through’. ‘It’s a ratings winner,’ said excited producer Jas Stevenson, ‘the build up throughout successive live shows will be tense for the competitors but it’s just going to be amazing at the end of each show watching their faces when Andrew tells them; ‘You… could still… be Crucified!’
The BBC also confirmed they are planning a book to tie-in with the series; ‘We’re looking at a number of writers; they might each give their own slightly version of events, just to keep the debate going that little bit longer.’
For those unlucky enough to be voted off, the remaining contestants will all movingly chant to camera; ‘Why hast thou forsaken him, Oh Lord?’ after which the rejected candidate will receive a damning critique from the judges of all their faults, clearly explaining why they haven’t made it through to martyrdom, glory and never-ending TV fame.
Ms Stevenson conceded that the humiliation of being sent home early would be a cross that some might find hard to bear, but said; ‘Counsellors are ready for if any of them get depressed and try to stage their own self-crucifixion outside the control of the show. Obviously that would take the edge off the suspense at the end of the series and we couldn’t possibly have that.’ The producers have also rejected an offer of having common criminals executed on either side of the winner. ‘Nice though it was of the Home Office to get into the spirit of the show…’
Red & Toast Not Ghosts