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Dean Whitbread 2013

Dean Whitbread 2020

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Written on September 6, 2004, and categorized as Secret and Invisible.
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Is it me or do breakfast TV presenters develop a more manic saccharine smile as the show grinds on towards the 9am-ish end point and their 4am start begins to show ? The cracks in the presentation start to widen and they look like they have been glued to the sofa.. and then, any opportunity for humour or pathos is lurched into with gratitude.. anything “human interest” that doesn’t reiterate the news dirge is grasped at like a straw by the hands of the desperate presenters, as they drown in the daily catalogue of human depravity.

These people often have journalistic pasts, so-called solid news behind them, previous lives in some more factual place.. yet here they are, stranded with the bright and breezey award-winning weather presenter Carol Kirkwood,

flapping about like stranded birds with grins as glassy and stupid as a shop window and as the coffee begins to fail, they secretly sympathise with John Leslie.. the drug-fuelled orgies.. the toothbrush around the bowl.. at least it kept him awake in the mornings..

Occasionally the veneer really does crack. Dermot starts to go fuzzy around the edges and the eyebrows do a dance of their own, unconnected to the news item or feature he is reading off autocue – so that suicide bombs seem to cause him some obscure sparkle of delight – and Natasha starts to cackle, the gap between the makeup and the face widens, the supressed anger vents like steam and suddenly the cruel little girl is back, laughing as her best friend gets a caning and a term’s detention for being caught in the school toilets in an embarassing navy-blue clinch.. as Dermot twinkles and shines and arches and winks his way to special quiet spidery place behind the set for his packed lunch, getting a mile away from the horrid boys who will hurt him with the cricket ball, Natasha’s no-longer fresh face shows the strain and she longs to pack the bags under her eyes, forget about Bruce Forsyth and that cringe-making out-with-the-ark Ballroom embarassment, and go lie on a beach somewhere, getting pissed and stoned, eating all she can, and shagging the dark-skinned waiters..

It’s tough at the top.

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