Evidence of this new religion is very apparent in popular television. It used to be that so-called celebrities stuck to their day jobs as actors, comedians, newsreaders, models, singers or whatever. But now they are unbounded, exploiting their "celebrity" status in unfamiliar fields.
Though I try not to watch such entertainment, I am aware of "celebrities" appearing in cooking programmes, much-loved quiz programmes like "Mastermind" and "Pointless", "I'm A Celebrity Get Me out of Here" (ostensibly about jungle survival), "Strictly Come Dancing", "Dancing on Ice", "Celebrity Big Brother", "Through the Keyhole", "Top Gear" etc. etc.. There are celebrities everywhere.
I thought I had seen it all but lately I have become aware of two new celebrity programmes. In one of them minor celebrities compete against each other by diving from a high diving boards into (perhaps unfortunately) a swimming pool ("Celebrity Splash"). In the other, and quite astonishingly, they compete against each other at a winter ski jump. Quite bizarre!
Anyway this set me thinking about other possibilities for celebrity TV programmes and after much deliberation I have come up with four:-
1) Celebrity Teaching Assistant - In which a bunch of celebrities work for a year in tough inner-city secondary schools as teaching assistants - supporting the work of lead classroom teachers. The winner would be the last celebrity to succumb to tears or nervous exhaustion.
2) Celebrity Street Sweeper - In which celebrities are attached to road cleaning crews in several British cities. After six months, the varying weights of rubbish swept up would be compared and the winning celebrity would be the one who had gathered the greatest weight of rubbish. The celebrities - including Angelina Jolie and Justin Beiber - would be required to wear standard issue yellow fluorescent jackets, over-trousers and peaked caps.
3) Celebrity Monk/ Celebrity Nun - In which celebrities are sent - perhaps for five years - to remote monasteries or convents where the vow of silence is observed. The cameras would follow their self-flagellation, early morning "matins" and regular consumption of thin gruel. The winner would simply be the celebrity who lasted the longest. Initial invitations would be sent to Chris Evans (British TV and radio presenter), Roger Federer (suave Swiss tennis player), Sir Alex Ferguson (Glaswegian fitba know-all), Lady Gaga (flouncing and deranged American singer), Cheryl Cole (narcissistic Geordie moneygrabber) and Julie Gayet (The French President's latest mistress).
4) Last Celebrity Standing - In which celebrities enter an arena surrounded by a baying crowd. Hungry lions are released into the arena and the winning celebrity is the last one to be gobbled up by the lions. You might think that celebrities wouldn't volunteer for this but when I tell you that the prize money would be sent to the winner's nominated charity then you'll surely change your mind as we all know how charitable and kind all celebrities are compared with we non-celebrity nobodies.
If you have any other ideas for original celebrity-led TV shows, please share them. You never know - there could be money in this if we play our cards right. Mmm...Celebrity Play Your Cards Right - now that's another idea.