Splash II

Date: 6th May 2022

The second weekly blog provided to you by our Donald Stewart.

Splash II…

No licence fee for the BBC…

Selling off Channel 4…

The executives at ITV are in a panic…

Picture the scene…

It is mid-morning somewhere corporate looking in the middle of a metropolis that could be anywhere in the world but happens to be in…

Dundee…

Bosses at ITV in a bold or foolhardy attempt – depending upon your outlook – to diversify and bring the masses back to terrestrial television decided to democratise the process of making small screen entertainment. They spoke to each of the local stations and asked them to offer some form of specialism that they could bring expertise to. The station based in Manchester went for music, the south-west in Devon and Cornwall said they would take care of food programming whilst some bright spark, ironically driven on by the success of Grand Theft Auto, said they could and should handle reality television.

Suddenly, after their first meeting, people realised that I’m a Celebrity in Wales might actually BE exotic…

But now an enthusiastic punter has put together a complete package of one idea.

Bring back Splash…

The format ran for two seasons ten years ago and this young pup decided that it would be a great year for a revival. Nobody knew why and people who tried to fathom it all out, just suggested panic. But the guy with the idea was adamant. This was great and he had the perfect man to lead it…

A meeting had been called in these corporate offices with suits on one side of the table and the man with the plan opposite. The glass fronted building looking out to the Tay was gleaming, the sun was making an attempt to peak through the ever present clouds and the mood was generally optimistic, tinged with a degree of over-anxious worry that this was indeed just a panicky move.

So far all of the questions had been functional and answered with some ease.

“Is Tom Daly actually available?”

“Does he need the money?”

“If not, we can get one of the other divers?”

“Are there other divers?”

“What is their public recognition profile like?”

“Would we have to overspend on a publicity budget?”

“What’s a pie?”

The suits were not local so their questions tended to be framed in a way that showed their corporate thinking but did not really show their sensitive side. They were trying to be hard bitten, they were

attempting to reach for a stereotype but were falling short of being an authentic cliché. But they were trying…

The originator of the idea was fielding all the questions with a set of crude post it notes in front of him whilst the executives swiped their way through their iPads.

The list of Z list celebrities were questioned with some affection for their antics and then a tough discussion on whether they “added” anything to the idea. It was a question, not in terms of whether they were going to be any good or God forbid, be good enough to win the damn thing but would their “journey” be inspirational or would their belly flops be hilarious.

They were reminded that the very first winner had been…

Eddie “The Eagle”…

It’s a sobering experience hearing your entire career reduced to the questions of whether you can make viewing figures leap by making a complete fool of yourself. The irony is lost on everyone in the room, though as the possible contenders were not in the room, their blushes were spared.

The room goes quiet as the crunch decision looms.

The wee guy with the idea has an ace up his sleeve and a remote for the TV in his hand.

He begins. “Thank you for seeing me today. Dundee can offer much by way of great opportunity for the making of this programme. I have been doon the baths, like, wi a measuring tape and it is big enough and mair importantly like, deep enough fur the diving. But the piece of the resistance, let me tell ye, is the local talent. I have a wee video of one of the local guys we think will make this programme. In fact, his abilities are so good on land we reckon he shall make a big splash…” He waits for the laugh – it doesn’t come. “So, let’s see him in aw his glory.”

He presses play.

At the dive, the given time, all in the room lean forward with real admiration. They begin to chatter around the room in a manner that up till the had been missing. After a few minutes the head suit leans forward again and asks the question they all want answered.

“Have you signed this guy up? I mean that is Premiership level diving.”

The wee guy smirks and pulls his head to one side. “Oh, he will want to stay in the Premiership, let me tell you. Right now, he may be in a relegation dog fight, but we reckon we can convince him and given he undoubted ability, we reckon we can launch with just this clip in the Autumn schedules. We don’t even need an advertising budget. This is aw over yon You Tube awready, like.”

One of the other suits leans forward and squinting at his notes says, “can we meet this, Mr. ehm Adam?”

The wee guy smirks wider. “Oh aye, he says. He’s wan o ma uncles and he is outside.”

And so began the career of the greatest diver in the history of Dundee up until then and some would hope, ever since…

 

Whilst the author asserts his right to this as an original tale, there is no evidence that ITV are looking to bring back Splash!, unless you know differently, so this is clearly a work of fiction.

The fact is that in a game against St. Johnstone, Charlie Adam hit the deck as if he had been shot forma grassy knoll. The resultant derision has had quite an affect as he explained to the BBC website, “Wherever I go, everybody asks about it. My daughter was in school the other day and even young kids in the class are saying, ‘What happened to your dad falling over?’ Some people see the funny side but looking back on it, it’s not right and I’ve got to hold my hands up. It was wrong.” Aye but funny but…


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