16. Biggleton

OK. I have a game for you. I will play the writer and you play the executive. I am going to pitch a tv show to you. You decide whether to commission it or not.

“The programme is called Biggleton. We dress up a load of kids in adult’s clothes; business woman, fireman, police officer, you get the sort of thing. Yeah? They walk around for a bit, doing grown-up sort of stuff, for like five minutes or so, then Eamonn Holmes tells them it’s, ‘time to wiggle’, and all the children do a dance in their grown up clothes.”

I’m guessing you said, “No.”

You did, didn’t you? It was the wiggling, wasn’t it? It was Eamonn Holmes telling children to wiggle. It just, post-Operation Yewtree and all that, seems a bad look, a grown man telling children to wiggle. We have to accept that times have changed. That some of the innocence of childhood has been forever lost. We have to be aware of the dark element always present in the contract between the watcher and the watched: that we don’t know who is watching, or why. We must, as a society, oh I don’t know, think fucking twice before making television programmes where a middle-aged man tells children it is ‘wiggle time’.

Clearly, obviously, there have never been any unsavoury allegations made against Eamonn Holmes. Nor, for a second, do I think there ever will there be. He is a good man, a fine man, trying to make a living like anybody else, doing some voiceover work for the BBC. But for fuck’s sake, Eamonn, use your fucking brain. Don’t sign up for a television show in which you tell children to wiggle. There is no situation where that doesn’t sound creepy. No situation at all.