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Peter Andre’s 60 Minute Makeover

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Yesterday I watched Peter Andre’s 60 Minute Makeover. There are lots of home makeover shows, and this one tries a different angle – using Peter Andre as the main hook. I am interested in him because he is so naive, and it’s interesting to see how he bumbles through his programme.

The episode I watched was the first episode of series 11. A teenage girl, and Peter Andre fan, has asked for a home makeover for her father. Her father is a fireman who had grumbled to his kids that their house was too boring to host kebab night for his workmates.The home makeover takes place whilst he is at work.

Peter Andre has a loose idea of what a fireman is. He decides it is a sort of sex symbol, similar to himself, but involving a lot more fire and water and stuff. He proceeds with the makeover with this as the main anchor in his mind.

They make a number of odd choices, including covering the walls in dark laminate flooring. Peter Andre and his team go a bit dolally over the woodglue, but in the end they do create a convincing, if very ugly wall.

The teenage daughter optimistically has her nails transformed into long, ornate icicle things. Unaware of this, Peter Andre already has thought of what the children can help with. He employs the teenagers as miniture train track assemblers. The poor girl, finally sat within kissing distance of her hunk, now unhappily attempts to piece together the track with her Edward Scissorhands manicured fingers. She cannot give up, because that would seem rude, but it is obvious that she feels defeated. Her once cool celebrity nails, now create the one obstacle between her and her dreamboat, who obviously considers her a child anyway. Peter Andre and her brother are very polite, and act like nothing odd is happening, as she scrabbles at the little pieces of track with her blue claws.

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Next we see everyone painting wooden chairs. The girls claws have mysteriously disappeared, and been replaced with small, pink human fingernails. Both the teenagers warn Peter Andre that their dad might not like him painting the chairs. But Peter Andre has his big vision, and energetically proceeds to paint all the nice wooden furniture, with the rest of the team nervously following suit.

He had some cushions greyly printed with antique fire engines, to make his theme explicit. Ever sensitive to the sexy fireman world, he gets someone to make furniture with burnt wood. Because what fireman love to see, when they get home, is a coffee table of burnt wood. Nice touch! But he doesn’t stop there. With the element of fire clearly represented, his thoughts turn to the firemans hose. In one of the plastic wood walls, he plonks a big bubblely water feature. He hopes that will remind the fireman of putting out fires too. It lights up at night, so has the redeeming feature of reducing the impact of the rest of the room.

Peter Andre lives in Australia, so he wanted to bring in some Australian plants. About half of the programme involves Peter Andre talking to the plants, in various different rooms, whilst his co presenter gets increasing worried for his mental wellbeing. When this gag ends, Peter Andre paints his thumb with a permanent marker and prints it on the freshly painted wall, and generously signs his name too. His shamanistic plant communications seem to have led him into this ritualistic behaviour, and he tells himself ‘The thumb bandit strikes again!’, quite forgetting he is presenting a home makeover show, and not signing books for fans.

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Keen to maxiumise the drama on this reality show, they decide they want the fireman to arrive in his big firetruck. This leads to him being told at work ‘There’s a problem in your street.’ A very worried fireman arrives and sees his family standing outside his house. When he clocks Peter Andre he visiblely relaxes, greets the celebrity with ‘You are not setting fire to my house.’ His workmates have been enjoying all this, and I can only guess that they made the most of the ‘prank’ on the journey there. It does seen incrediblely immoral to lie to a fireman, about a problem in his street. I guess the childlike Peter Andre just wanted to see a firetruck, arriving at the scene, and no one thought to challenge the ethics of it.

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Fortunately the fireman boldly enters into this insanity, without feeling incrediblely, incrediblely bitter. He can see his kids set it up, because they wanted to help him, and this softens him. He says he likes the customised burnt furniture, the grey fire engine cushions and fancy water feature. Peter Andre coyly says that the children were worried about painting the chairs. The jolly fireman says that the chairs are meant to match the ones at his parents house – so they can have big dinner parties there. Peter Andre takes this in, and the fireman reassures him, brightly saying ‘It’s OK, now I have celebrity chairs!’

The fireman raises slight concern about the white sofa. Peter Andre’s vision of a fireman is as squeaky clean as himself, and the idea of soot, dirt, dust etc, never really entered into his mind. But again, the fireman reassures Peter Andre saying that he can stand in the doorway, and admire the madeover room from a safe distance! This alarms both his children, but they get the joke eventually. His son defensively reminds him about how whingey he had been about his boring home, and the father chirply agrees that it was a bit of a millstone around the neck.

I don’t think it was a fair test of if he really liked the room or not, because 5 minutes ago he was worrying about what ‘the problem’ in his street could be. From this standpoint, its too difficult to have a critical eye on DIY. He was just happy everyone was safe, and so much so, that the various alarming artifacts in the room, each became a source of joy!

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‘The Endless River’ by Pink Floyd

I am really enjoying Pink Floyd’s new album ‘The Endless River’. People have critised it for being constructed out of old, previously unused material. I don’t think this is a useful critism. In French bakeries you can get all kinds of carefully constructed cakes, desserts and breads, but one of my favourites is the bread that they make with the leftovers.

It was invented for ecomonic reasons, but actually the French everything bread is amazing. They use all the different leftover dough, and make a bread that has many tastes in one. I think Pink Floyd’s new album is a bit like that bread.

I sometimes struggle to listen to Pink Floyd’s other album’s because they demand so much attention. Sometimes they are just plain frightening or their love of chaos takes over and I feel like I’m being battered by it. They normally do some chilled out music after a storm, but the previous pain distracts me from it. I sometimes skip to the more relaxing tracks. For the most part ‘The Endless River’ is without such storms, and this makes it a great album to listen to whilst drifting off to sleep.

Because there is nothing that commands we listen to it, and only it, I feel like the subtlely of the music can make its own journey. It can make it’s unguided journey into the secret places of the mind which are hard to reach and therefore neglected. This album is truely a trip, and on repeat listenings, we know the place better and better. ‘The Endless River’ has a real drifting quality on every level, and the bounderies between the songs are blurred and the music is unanchored.

It reminds me of watching baby spiders floating on the breeze. It’s nature’s solution to all the spiders being in the same place. The music drifts like baby spiders on their silk, and every time I listen to it they seem to land in a different place to build their webs!

Sometimes I think the lyrics on the album are a missed opportunity, and I’m sure they are lots of writers who would want to make a big statement on the album. Pink Floyd have a massive following, so writing the lyrics on their return album

is appealing in many ways – artistic freedom, a big audience, and fantastic music which leds the listener further into the words meaning – even if the words are just ‘Pink is a colour.’ But interestingly Pink Floyd decided not to make the words the main thing on the album. The words point beyond themselves. Don’t look at us, look at this – the music, that’s where the truth is. I think it’s fine. I think if there was some big political statement hovering over the album, then it would feel too much like a mind programming CD. I feel grateful for the emptiness that the lyrics have, because I really enjoy the music itself, and it’s plotlessness and freedom. I feel highly suggestable listening to it, and I prefer to be highly suggestable to myself, rather than someone elses philosophical statement. If you want to add philosophy to the album then just think about it whilst listening to it. It is flexible!

It’s a great album. I think if you are unsure about it, give it a fair trial and listen to it a few times. It gets better!

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