Colin Hogg on television

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Colin Hogg: Death by hundred saw cuts

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As Aussie TV shows plunge to a new depth in banality, the biggest danger is overkill.

Scott Cam fronts The Block but there's only so much DIY a chap can stand. Photo / Supplied
Scott Cam fronts The Block but there's only so much DIY a chap can stand. Photo / Supplied

I'm just back from a few days in Australia, where the mainstream TV is dumb and getting dumber. There's a new show on the way over there - possibly the stupidest celebrity show to conquer the world so far. Yes, stupider than the dancing one.

It can only be a matter of time before it splashes down here too and I don't make that aquatic reference delicately. The new show's called Celebrity Splash.

As its title whispers, it will involve getting desperate and potentially insane celebrities to put on their togs, climb ladders above pools and hurl themselves from increasingly high diving boards for an excited national audience.

Rodney Hide may well be togged up and queuing already for the New Zealand version, though he might have to wait a little. The Australian one doesn't launch till the new year.

Australia's recent major contribution to the ever-evolving world of TV concept shows is The Block, a house makeover show involving couples competing for a big fat prize at the end - which is usually some way distant.

This cunning concept show whirls a breathtaking level of product placement and infomerciality into its particular brand of entertainment but that hasn't apparently damaged audience figures. It will be overkill which does that.

We've very recently had the New Zealand version of The Block on TV3 a couple of nights a week and last week the channel launched The Block Australia, three nights a week, Monday to Wednesday, at 7.30pm.

I have nothing against the show. It's a relief to see DIY shows rescued from the boring experts in checked shirts and given to entertainers in checked shirts instead.

The Aussie version of The Block is fronted by a big ham called Scott Cam, whose previous hits include Renovation Rescue and Backyard Blitz. The contestants all looked a bit the same - young, not particularly gifted and white.

Over the coming weeks and many episodes, four couples will do mighty DIY battle with four deliberately dilapidated terrace houses. I probably won't be with them too much of the way.

Three hours in three nights last week was enough for this couch DIY guy.

But TV's thing these days is overkill. Recently it's been death by a hundred spatulas with all those cooking shows and now, having dug DIY from its grave in the cemetery of old TV ideas, they're going to shovel that all over us till we've had enough and they can think of some way to disinter gardening or game shows.

Or perhaps find some even more exciting new ways to torture celebrities. Making them take diving lessons and dive from high boards won't be the end of it. There's a lot more that can be done with celebrities.

They're such willing victims they would do almost anything - as The Ridges only just started to demonstrate recently with their first series.

Next time round, maybe we can follow Jaime Ridge as she trains for Celebrity Splash NZ.

- NZ Herald

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