Why is it that a lot of people on TV or in the media – be they actors, documenters, contestants or interviewee – have to trawl out the old cliché of their experiences being a ‘personal journey’. Sure this simple phrase conjures up the romantic idea that someone has gone through some kind of spiritual or life changing experience, and that is fine when it’s used appropriately. But to just keep slapping it into sentences at will, as some people do, just becomes nauseating, and makes you want to just have a pretentious-twat shock-button on your TV remote to deal out swift justice.
The reason I’ve become riled, is thanks the use of this cliché by Ricky Groves - a prospective Strictly Come Dancing contestant and ex-Eastenders dullwit - in a pre-series interview. So then are we to assume that Strictly Come Dancing is a spiritual and life changing experience? I think this takes a lot of credence away from the idea of the ‘personal journey’ as, after all, taking this phrase to it’s logical conclusion makes everything as trivial as switching on a light, or listening to an old man in the queue for the bank complaining loudly about immigrants become a life changing experience as it, well, changed your life, albeit in the smallest way imaginable.
I realise that in some cases – especially on reality TV – that the events of the showcase in question will be life-changing; especially if you were to win, or get past the opening rounds of whatever karaoke, act off, or who’s-the-biggest-pratt competition it is in question. But to pretend that a z-lister celeb going on a z-lister dance off (let’s face it Brucie has a better celeb rank than some of these people) is going to be a magical journey of self discovery is frankly ridiculous. It just doesn’t have the same pezazz as talking about your travelling experiences in India, or how you learned how to love again, or something actually relating to a proper personal journey! What spiritual guidance does Strictly Come Dancing really offer? Keep your feet in time to the poor cover of A Town Called Malice, or Campy, Bitchy, and Oldy (the judges) will give you low marks, ah… there’s a moment of spiritual realisation there if ever I saw it, and surely Brucie is our ‘Spirit guide’. Still at least Groves wasn’t claiming that staring into the fat toady eyes of Andrew Lloyd Webber is akin to reaching enlightenment!