Category Archives: TV Pitches

TV Pitches: Sonia

I had the pleasure of seeing Scouse popstrel Sonia Evans perform as part of the Hit Factory Live reunion gig the other day. She was tucked way below the likes of Steps and Jason Donovan on the bill, so what next for the chirpy songstress if this doesn’t relaunch her career? Here are some TV show ideas…

YOU’LL NEVER STOP ME LOVING YOU

youll never stop me loving you

Experimental science show in which Sonia is kept alive until the end of time to demonstrate the persistence of emotion. Long after her fella’s death she’s still telling herself that his refusal to answer her calls is no obstacle. After the earth is devastated by bio-nuclear war she still wanders to the site of his home in the hope of catching a glimpse or two. And following the eventual obliteration of our planet, billions of years into the future, she lingers – now evolved into gaseous form – between the stars. Finally the collapse of the universe into a singularity renders her video diaries useless. But we are left with a sense that Sonia’s love endures. Narrated by India Fisher.

LISTEN TO YOUR HEART

TV Jessen 1

Sonia teams up with TV’s Doctor Christian to learn the secrets of auscultation. Armed with only a stethoscope and a well-meaning grin she must correctly diagnose which of five celebrity volunteers has a heart murmur. If the pilot is successful a live roadshow series in shopping centres around the UK will follow.

COUNTING EVERY MINUTE

counting every minute

Endurance gameshow in which Sonia must count out loud to 1,440 in exactly twenty four hours, speaking once per minute and making no other sounds or movements. Throughout the day distractions come in the form of other popstars with time-themed hits. Five Star attempt to coax Sonia into not waiting another minute. So Solid Crew make an appearance to trick her into thinking she’s only got a few seconds to go. Finally the ghost of Whitney Houston will try to make Sonia focus on  a single moment of time only. Hosted enthusiastically by Alison Hammond.

ONLY FOOLS (NEVER FALL IN LOVE)

only fools never fall in love

Sonia must keep her wits about her in this new dating quiz show! She’s given the chance to get together with the man of her dreams, but if she fails a general knowledge test she must sign a legal document agreeing never to see him again. Piers Morgan presides.

BETTER THE DEVIL YOU KNOW

better the devil you know

Documentary series in which Sonia explores comparative religion to discover which faith’s afterlife punishes wrongdoers most severely. In the first episode she visits Sister Wendy Beckett to discuss eternal torment in Catholicism; later there’s an awkward moment when Donny and Marie Osmond tell her she can look forward to being cast into the Mormon “outer darkness”. Sonia’s smile slips for a second. But only a second.

TV Pitches: The Spice Girls

Their musical reunion at the Olympics was only temporary, every Spice Girl in search of an interview is telling us. So where next for the peppery pentahedron? Here are some ideas…

WANNABE

The concept: Ambition-themed gameshow in which the Girls audition potential replacements from a crowd of needy schoolchildren

Emma: And now it’s Kayleigh from Swindon’s turn! Kayleigh, which Spice Girl do you… “wannabe”?

Small child: I wannabe Geri!

Geri: Kayleigh, you’re aware that to become the perfect simulacrum, your established interiority is forfeit? And that you may pass from physical existence into a theoretical state of hyperreality?

Small child: I like the dress with the flag on it! Girl Power!

2 BECOME 1

The concept: Mel B oversees proceedings as the remaining girls pair up – quite literally! – to live as Siamese twins for a week. In the grand finale the winning pair undergo a full and irreversible surgical joining procedure.

Mel B: (bursting into room in which Emma and Victoria are sat glumly in a giant three-legged jumpsuit) Hi girls! How are you getting on?

Emma: (wriggling) I’m worried about what’ll happen if we win the challenge and have to live like this permanently.

Victoria: David says he’s alright with it. And I could get a new fashion line out of it.

Emma: (viciously) Stop fooling yourself Victoria!

Mel B: Chin up, ladies! It’s nearly time for the breakdancing challenge!

WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE

The concept: Undeterred that a programme of the same name already exists, the Girls present a fun exploration into the concepts of identity and consciousness.

Mel C: So you see Mel, the self is a narrative we create for ourselves, but an intangible one. Look at this hula hoop! Its centre of gravity is a point in the middle of thin air!

Mel B: Are we going to do hula hooping now?

Mel C: Well YOU’RE not, Mel! Being sporty is MY narrative!

Mel B: You’re really starting to episteme off.

VIVA FOREVER

The concept: Each Spice Girl tries out a different method of attaining immortality. Hosted by Esther Rantzen.

Esther: Well I think we can all agree Geri’s quietened down A LOT since we put her into cryogenic suspension. We’ll be checking back in ten years to see how she’s getting on.

Emma: How much more of this disgusting black fungus water do I have to drink, Esther? It tastes like the bottom of a carpet. And I’ve got terrible shits.

Esther: It’s Ling-Zhi, the Chinese mushroom of immortality, Emma – keep going and don’t be a baby! Victoria, how are you getting on uploading your intelligence onto that floppy disk?

Victoria: I’ve written my name on the label already!

HOLLER

The concept: The Spice Girls call for help repeatedly from the centre of an existential void. But no-one ever comes.

TV Pitches: Muse

Will Muse’s rock career be alright after billions of people around the world have heard their official 2012 Olympics song Survival? I mean, it’s awful, isn’t it. It’s ridiculous. (Yes, it’s both those things but I love it.) Here are some TV pitch ideas for the lads in case they have to step back from music after this.

Muscle Museum

The concept: Horrific documentary in which the boys investigate body parts left behind by serial killers.

Dom: That’s a nice peroneus longus you’ve got there Chris.

Chris: Yes it’s in very good condition isn’t it. Shame they couldn’t salvage the mucous sheath after this poor fella got flayed.

Matt: I can’t find my guitar. What’s happening?

Sunburn

The concept: Ill-considered revival of the mediocre Michelle Collins vehicle. Nicki and the gang are back from the Med and working on the pier in Muse’s home town of Teignmouth. Matt and the boys play amusement arcade attendants who get into all sort of hilarious scrapes.

Chris: If we don’t find that bag of 5p coins before Brian Conley gets here Nicki’ll have our guts for garters!

Michelle Collins: I heard that! Go and clean out the Penny Falls machine with a toothbrush.

Chris: (muttering) At least no-one’d ever make a shitty tv show out of Penny Falls.

Plug In Baby

The concept: The boys get their own shopping channel segment selling electric baby substitutes to the lonely and/or barren.

Matt: And THIS one will crucify your enemies!

Dom: No, Matt! That’s the gentle tears and real nappy action model.

Matt: (flipping baby roughly over) Aha! I’ve exposed your lies, baby! The underneath is no big surprise! Now it’s time for changing! And cleansing everything!

Dom: (sigh)

Time Is Running Out

The concept: Sapphire and Steel spin-off in which the boys chase the physical embodiment of Time through a building and try to stop it “running out”.

Matt: Bury it! Why can’t we bury it?!

Chris: We tried that Matt. It regressed us all to toddlers and made us dig it up again.

Matt: Murder it then. Why don’t we murder it? Or smother it! Or–

Dom: I wish we could take time back to before the Olympics.

Supermassive Black Hole

The concept: Science exploration show in which the boys join forces with Professor Brian Cox for some fun with astrophysics.

Matt: Oh baby, don’t you know I suffer?

Chris: That’s because the Schwarzschild radius is directly proportional to mass, while density is inversely proportional to the volume. Since the volume of a spherical object (such as the event horizon of a non-rotating black hole) is directly proportional to the cube of the radius, the density of a black hole is inversely proportional to the square of the mass, and thus higher mass black holes have lower than average density.

Dom: You got that off Wikipedia.

Professor Brian Cox: Hey you do all realise this song sounds exactly like Do Something by Britney Spears, don’t you.

TV Pitches: Radiohead

Will Radiohead ever release another album? Who knows. They’re so bloody secretive about it. But with a four-year gap between releases becoming standard, there’s time for them to embrace some TV projects before the next spectacular in 2015. How about these?

CREEP

The concept: Game show in which the boys play a live version of Grandma’s Footsteps. Hosted by Vernon Kay.

Vernon: Oh bad luck Ed! Thom saw you creeping when he turned round then, so it’s back to the start for you! [audience erupts with laughter]

Ed: That’s not fair! Jonny dropped his guitar and made that noise again. It’s distracting.

Jonny: You think you’re so f— [glances at cameras] very special.

Vernon: Alright lads, calm down. The rules are the same for everyone. Everybody… [audience chants along] You don’t want him to notice, when he turns around!

HIGH AND DRY

The concept: Investigative science show in which three band members take drugs while the others stay sober, before embarking on a series of creative and practical challenges.

Phil: Bollocks, I’ve dropped my sugar nest.

Colin: [gurning] It’s smashed, Phil! You smashed it! Smashed it!

Phil: I’m going on to the musical challenge instead. How’s your symphony Jonny?

Jonny: [staring] I’ve got an Ondes Martenot!

KARMA POLICE

The concept: The boys patrol Facebook and Twitter correcting people who use the term ‘karma’ wrongly.

Colin: I’ve got another one! This woman just said that spilling her Starbucks must be due to bad karma from being rude to her intern last week.

Jonny: I’m on it. Telling her now that the concept of retributive enforcement only applies between lifetimes, not from one day to the next.

Ed: I’m going to set this up as an auto-reply. It’s getting silly typing it out every time.

Jonny: In the Jainist interpretation, it’s exactly that sort of lazy attitude that attracts karmic dirt.

Thom: FOR GOD’S SAKE THE FRIDGE IS STILL BUZZING WON’T SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING

NO SURPRISES

The concept: Surprise Surprise returns to ITV screens later this year with Holly Willoughby, and the boys are drafted in to host the ITV2 spinoff. Shellshocked guests who’ve just been reunited with long lost relatives/met their hero Jessie J for an inspirational chat etc. are ushered into a nice quiet room for a comforting sit down with the lads.

Phil: And now let’s bring in Sheila from Swindon. Sheila, you’ve just seen your sister from Australia for the first time since 1952. How are you feeling?

Sheila: (sobbing) I can’t… I just… can’t…

Thom: Don’t worry Sheila. The more the world is changing, the more it stays the same! Would you like to wear my diving suit? You’ll feel safe.

Phil: It’s leaking again Thom.

NUDE

The concept: The boys parade proudly around in their natural splendour. Available on pay-per-view only, but – in a modern twist – the amount you pay is up to you.

Colin: I’m so cold.

Ed: I did wonder.

Thom: Quiet. Nobody said breaking the chains of capitalism would be easy. We’re symbolising a decaying business model here.

Jonny: [glances at Thom] Well you certainly are.

TV Pitches: The original Sugababes

The original line-up of the Sugababes – the shaft of the philosopher’s axe, if you will – are rumoured to be working together again on new music. But what if it doesn’t work out? Here are some ideas for TV shows they could collaborate on instead…

Overload

The concept: The group have 60 minutes (technically 44, once you allow for the adverts) to stop a nuclear reactor going into meltdown. Brian Dowling hosts.

Keisha: NO, Mutya! You’ve ejected the control rod!

Mutya: Control rod, control rod – that’s all you fucking talk about these days.

Brian: Hurry up girls! You don’t want your molten core to penetrate the reactor pressure vessel! [looks to camera] Though I wouldn’t say no after a couple of shandies.

ONE TOUCH

The concept: Late night discussion panel show in which the group discuss the thematic use of the idea of ‘one touch’ in the 2006 series of Doctor Who.

Keisha: …literally or metaphorically!

Mutya: Yes! And with the Abzorbaloff, the werewolf scratch, the New Earth plague carriers and even the Genesis Ark it’s clear that RTD was fascinated by The Empty Child‘s concept that one touch could scarily change everything and used it as often as he could.

Siobhan: Don’t forget the Oods’ little balls!

Keisha: Shut up Siobhan.

NEW YEAR

The concept: New Year’s Eve Hootenanny special in which the girls sing their original hits, with special guests including the acts they’ve collaborated with on their subsequent solo material.

Keisha: Nearly time for the big countdown!

Siobhan: And then I’m going to sing my big song from Rent to see in the New Year!

Mutya: Sorry Siobhan we didn’t get the rights to the backing track in time. But Damage are coming on instead!

Siobhan: Happy bloody New Year.

RUN FOR COVER

The concept: Survival warfare gameshow in which the girls are dumped in a battlezone and have to dodge gunfire and explosions in order to make it to a recording studio in time to record a cover version of ‘Get Sexy’.

Siobhan: I’m tired. So tired.

Mutya: Look if we can just make it to the bunker we get another twenty points. And a chance for the Autotune bonus!

Siobhan: It’s not enough, Mutya. We’re supposed to be keeping it real.

Keisha: Fuck that.

SOUL SOUND

The concept: ‘Ghosthunting with…’ special, hosted by Yvette Fielding, in which the group try to record a song in a collaboration with the ethereal sounds of departed souls.

Siobhan: I honestly don’t believe that’s Kenny Everett sighing.

Mutya: It’s giving me the willies!

Keisha: Shut up you two. I’m trying to concentrate. Dusty Springfield’s a bit sharp.

Yvette: Hang on ladies, I’ve got the ghost of WH Smith coming through over here! He says if the song doesn’t work out he’ll order some Sugababes wrapping paper.

Mutya: Bollocks.

TV Pitches: Steps

It’s been a long, long decade since that fateful Boxing Day when Steps announced their break-up. But now they’re back! A forthcoming docu-reality show on Sky Living promises to reunite the group and explore the reasons behind their split, the jealousy behind the scenes, etc, etc. What if it doesn’t go to plan though? I’ve investigated some other telly options they could bear in mind…

5,6,7,8

The concept: The group explore the wacky world of numbers, joined by an aging Johnny Ball as “The Professor”.

The Professor: So you see, Lisa, the number of nicknames you’ve got for Claire is a prime number, while Lee’s is a perfect number.

Lisa: I still don’t get it, Professor. My nicknames are definitely better than Lee’s.

The Professor: Let’s not worry about it now. Time for your dance routine!

ONE FOR SORROW

The concept: Sitcom. The troubled group adopt a pet magpie in the hope it’ll bring them closer together. But they soon find it brings nothing but misery…

H: Quick, Maggie’s got out of her cage again!

Claire: If Maggie’s eaten my macrobiotic millet then all the laughter that we shared will be just a memory. She’s going in a pie.

Lee: It’s alright guys – I’ve stunned tougher birds than Maggie!

[laughter]

TRAGEDY

The concept: The group travel the world, arriving each week at a different humanitarian disaster, where they attempt to cheer everyone up with a bit of a song and a dance.

Faye: Why aren’t they smiling? Why aren’t they smiling?

Lisa: We’ve got to smile harder! Harder! Keep doing the moves!

Faye: Let’s surprise everyone in the refugee camp with some free body glitter later.

Lisa: Oh Faye that’s brilliant.

DEEPER SHADE OF BLUE

The concept: The group split into teams in an attempt to invent a new colour. H & Claire head to New Jersey to meet the pigmentologists at the Pantone corporation, while Faye and Lisa join the Dulux dog in an exciting chromatic adventure. Lee hosts, and gets to play with a special colourwheel football.

H: I’m pretty sure that’s it!

Claire: (chuckling) No H, that’s just phthalo blue again. Look at mine! I’ve mixed Cobalt-60 with Vimto and…

H: Claire you silly sausage! That’s radioactive!

Claire: (sadly) We were active on the radio, once.

Lee: I fucking hate you two.

STOMP

The concept: The group compete to see who can storm out of a room in the flounciest huff.

Actually I suspect that’s pretty much what we’re going to get from the forthcoming show on Living. Looking forward to it!

TV Pitches: Pet Shop Boys

On the sad day when Pet Shop Boys finally call their music career to an end, what will they do next? I investigate some of the options.

OPPORTUNITIES (LET’S MAKE LOTS OF HONEY)

The concept: Neil and Chris compete in the beekeeping industry.

Chris: How are you doing Neil?

Neil: Well I’ve been putting a lot of thought into it.

Chris: How about your beehive?

Neil: I’m afraid it doesn’t work.

IT COULDN’T HAPPEN HERE

The concept: Neil and Chris solve murders by a process of elimination, in yet another attempt to revive the Cluedo format.

Neil: But of course! There are no windows in the library so the murderer wouldn’t have been able to throw the revolver into the garden!

Chris: What are you saying Neil?

Neil: I’m saying that it couldn’t happen here!

Chris: That’s another room off the list! And this case almost seemed impossible. Congratulations!

SOW HARD

The concept: Chris and Neil take on the challenge of seeding crop fields, only to find that — yes — it’s not as easy as it sounds.

Neil: Why the furrowed brow, Chris?

Chris: I’ve had it with this, Neil. It’s just too difficult.

Neil: Well why don’t you try?

Chris: Fucking hell. Pass me that seed drill.

I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU WANT BUT I CAN’T GIVE IT ANY MORE

The concept: Oblique gameshow in which Neil and Chris, blindfolded, must try to fail shopping tasks in a supermarket without actually being told the rules. Presented by Davina McCall.

Chris: Okay, one more try. Have you got… the third item on my shopping list?

Neil: (chuckling) I think we must be out of stock. Davina – I don’t know what he wants but I can’t give it any more!

Davina: Oh Neil, you were so close. Actually the third item on Chris’s list is freeze-dried fish food – and you’ve got that in your pocket.

Neil: It’s lucky you can’t see my face.

DID YOU SEE ME COMING?

The concept: There’s an unexpected twist to the audition process as Neil and Chris seek to protect their legacy by finding “the next Cicero”.

Neil: What did you think of Barry from Bolton?

Chris: Messy.