CHRISTOPHER STEVENS reviews last night’s TV: ‘Aving a nip and tuck? Oh, that’s such a fag says Waynetta Slob!
Kathy Burke’s All Woman
Revolutions: The Ideas That Changed The World
That strange and unfamiliar sound — I haven’t heard it for years. Surely it can’t be . . . someone talking common sense on the telly?
Actress Kathy Burke, forever adored as the foul-tempered Waynetta Slob (‘I’m ’Aving A Fag!’) from Harry Enfield’s sketch show, was investigating the current obsession with surgically enhanced beauty on All Woman (C4).
She couldn’t see the point. ‘Some of us are lookers and some of us . . . not so much!’ she shrugged.
‘But just because I’m happy wiv me big fat self, doesn’t mean other women are.’
Kathy Burke (right) meets former Love Island contestant Megan Barton-Hanson
Trying to understand what compelled countless women to undergo expensive cosmetic procedures, she interviewed shop girls, plastic surgeons and reality stars — and ended up more baffled than ever.
Megan Barton-Hanson, an ex-stripper who found fame on Love Island, revealed she had her first nip-and-tuck as a bullied teenager, when she got her jug ears pinned back.
To blame all your woes on bullying is the modern-day lady’s equivalent of fainting from a fit of the vapours. It might all be an act but no one dares utter a word of criticism.
Bullies didn’t drive Megan to have a nose job, though — she did that because her mum was getting one done, too. Perhaps there was a two-for-one offer at the conk shop. She’s had her breasts done twice as well, and yet she still hasn’t been able to purchase complete happiness.
Kathy tried to be politely sympathetic, but the look of aghast bafflement on her face told its own story.
Listening to a Harley Street face-wrangler give her the spiel about ‘percentages of perfection’ and ‘golden ratios’, she was even less convinced.
What was the point, she wondered, of spending tens of thousands to erase your own unique beauty and replace it with something mass-produced and anonymous?
Megan Barton-Hanson, an ex-stripper who found fame on Love Island, revealed she had her first nip-and-tuck as a bullied teenager, when she got her jug ears pinned back
She might have added that because so many famous octogenarians have copious plastic surgery, any woman at any age who has ‘work done’ can end up looking like a pensioner. And a botched job could leave you with the face of a badly embalmed corpse.
Her heart went out to Laura, a 20-year-old shop worker who wanted to boost her bust from a B-cup to an E-cup. Kathy thought it was a terrible idea, and as gently as possible she said so.
At least Laura realised why she felt so inadequate without over-stuffed airbags under her T-shirt: social media was manipulating everyone she knew.
‘We can film and photograph ourselves constantly,’ she said. Identifying the addiction doesn’t cure it, of course.
The smartphone, with its all-in-one video camera and screen, is to blame, though physicist Jim Al-Khalili had nothing but praise for the device on Revolutions: The Ideas That Changed The World (BBC4).
Physicist Jim Al-Khalili had nothing but praise for the smartphone on Revolutions: The Ideas That Changed The World (BBC4)
He’s one of those scientists who could still be burbling about the wonders of harnessing physics even as an atom bomb goes off. As far as Professor Jim is concerned, science can do no wrong. Despite its lack of critical thinking, this has been a interesting series that selects disparate threads from history and weaves them together to show how an indispensable invention came to life.
The episode on cars was especially good, suggesting that the initial breakthrough in modern transport came not with the wheel but with the dog-sled.
This time he delved into Roman military codes as well as Alexander Graham Bell’s experiments with the ears of cadavers, which influenced the design of the telephone speaker — not so much the dog-and-bone, more the dead-and-gone.