Here at the roomyverse, where we have our own Mastermind Championship on the go, we like to keep abreast of any developments in the original TV show. We also like to keep our antennas tuned for any evidence that BBC Radio Five Live’s Victoria Derbyshire may really be a mere vibrating husk of a radio ‘personality’, and so our ejaculate almost struck the ceiling when news broke that Mastermind host John Humphreys had slammed Ms. Derbyshire for being ‘grotesquely irresponsible and stupid.’
I’ll let The Times take up the story:
“This week, in the midst of what Radio 5 bills as a “fresh and lively debate”, [Derybshire] told listeners that she had been invited on to Celebrity Mastermind and was offered a “crib sheet” to help her to swot up on her chosen subject.
“It was blatantly untrue and libellous of the junior producers on the show,” Humphrys told The Daily Telegraph. “The programme takes its integrity very seriously and to say such a thing was disgraceful.”
The day after her “crib sheet” comments, Ms Derbyshire issued a clarification. “What I meant . . . was the Celebrity Mastermind team offered research guidance,” she said. “Not answers to specific questions.”
Mr Humphrys was not appeased. If that most sacred of television quizzes was brought low, what hope was there for The Weakest Link, Eggheads, or even Bargain Hunt?
“She might have apologised but it’s too late now,” he said. “This sort of thing is damaging because people start to think, ‘there’s no smoke without fire’. There has never been help given to contestants, nor will there be.”
So it’s been a bad week for our Vicky, and tomorrow sees a new look to Five Live’s morning schedule. As predicted by the roomyverse some months ago (see ‘The People Who Hate People Party’ section of our Archive) Little Nicky Campbell is back helming an hour’s phone-in from 9am, knocking Victoria’s show back to 10 (although it retains it’s three-hour running time, with poor Aasmah Mir’s apparently ‘too labour-intensive’ Midday News making way for it).
Victoria’s show is still billed as a ‘phone-in’, but how that’s going to work off the back of Nicky is anybody’s guess. Certainly nobody seems to know at TV Centre. Vicky’s apparently unhappy with the changes, but unfortunately I think her boss, like me, may consider her stewardship of the mid-morning show to have been nothing but ear-dustingly pedestrian. Why else throw our old shellsuit shellacking Spartacus back into the pleb-wrangling arena, if not to give the morning schedule the arsekicking it needs post-Breakfast?
And I’m glad. I’m glad that Nicky’s back, and I’m glad that Vicky’s star is on the wane, because when I listen to her I just don’t hear any genuine human interest in her voice. Perhaps my opinion is tainted by the general rumours that she’s one of the most mercenary operators in the building, and maybe it’s just that I love Fi Glover, and Victoria stole her husband from right under her nose.
Fi has everything Victoria lacks – real warmth and a natural rapport with public & personalities alike - so it’s kinda heartbreaking for me to hear Fi fronting Radio 4′s Saturday Live once a week when Ms Derbyshire’s brawling such blatantly obvious cobblers as ‘Should Alex Ferguson retire?’ and ‘Should you pay to park at work?’ while sounding barely engaged every bloody weekday.
Check out this classic ‘dead-behind-the-eyes’ publicity still - Oh roll on Monday, and the unleashing of the far too-long-restrained Campbell beast, you lucky, lucky people.