Reality Bites: Love, marriage and Celebrity Wedding Planner

Stuart Baggs on his experience of planning weddings and wading through the mire of this week's reality TV

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“You could never win Big Brother, Stuart.” An obvious, if not still slightly insulting, statement. Were these the words of a friend or colleague, I could perhaps have ignored them. Sadly, however, the instigator on this occasion was my own flesh and blood: my mother. It’s a valid point.

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Reality TV is strewn with the shattered dreams and bruised egos of those who dared to chance their luck. While the pay cheque for appearing may soften the blow, experience tells me that falling foul of the British public is an extremely uncomfortable feeling. 

Joining that select club of rejects this week is former EastEnder and Big Brother housemate Natalie Cassidy, a person I had the pleasure of meeting when appearing as a panellist on Big Brother’s after show, Bit on the Side. 

While she was certainly well mannered and polite, she could never have won – for the same reason my mum gave me. People with opinions never win reality TV shows.

The theory certainly holds true when looking at previous winners of the show. Craig Phillips, Brian Dowling and Kate Lawler may all look the part but they are hardly synonymous with confidence, self-belief and polarising opinions. Perhaps we only have ourselves to blame when the inevitable lowest common denominator wins the show. 

I do, however, freely admit there is such a thing as overconfidence. A point aptly proved by Channel 5’s Celebrity Wedding Planner, starring yours truly and Raef Bjayou. For the show, we were given total control over a couple’s wedding. As you might expect, things didn’t go quite according to plan, with tears, tantrums and trauma throughout. 

If sarcasm is the lowest form of humour then anything starring me must surely be the lowest form of television. I’m pleased to report, however, that Celebrity Wedding Planner was a heart-warming hour of television. It aptly showed that, while I may be useless at wedding planning, deep down at least, I do have a heart. 

From one presenting duo to another, this week’s Dancing on Ice saw Mark Rhodes voted off, ending the onscreen rivalry with his CBBC colleague, Sam Nixon. Sam, who performed a daring backflip, couldn’t contain his excitement when he executed the manoeuvre flawlessly. 

However, the only risk Mark took was that of boring the audience, a point that led to heavy criticism from the judges. He would have been better equipped wearing football boots than ice skates, as he barely moved from one position during his entire routine. 

Playing it safe is not a strategy I’d advise when relying on the public vote to save you. With the finals of DoI and Big Brother looming, this will surely be a nervous time for all involved. Spare a thought then for the rich, famous and (mostly) good-looking celebrities whose fates quite literally hang in the balance. 

Until next week,

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