Confession time for all you telly addicts out there; a long time ago I used to watch bad television as a means of sedating myself out of life. It's well documented that in times of despair and destruction people turn to drugs to drown out their melancholy, but me, I flicked onto BBC3 and pumped up the volume on 'Britains Missing Top Model'.
Alone in my high rise bedsit, I'd wake from my usual stupor around 5pm and pop airbubbles in the rotten radiator until freeview kicked on BBC3 on my portable. Then for the rest of the night I'd sit with my eyes pointed down the barrel of my not inconsiderable nose, clad only in my pants, kebab sauce dotting my chest as if the rats had just formed a militia and gunned me down with tiny condiment filled paintball guns.
I'd pull the old faithful mohair rug around me for heat and then later dig welts of it from where it had intermingled with my wiry body hair which, by that stage, began to huddle predominantly around my nipples for warmth (If you were to describe my room as a person you'd use the words 'Bright and Breezy'. Bright - as the curtains didn't pull to and had holes in 'em and Breezy because the walls didn't pull to and had holes in 'em - sadly what would be wonderful human traits really don't make for a good shelter).
It was during an episode of the aforementioned 'Britains Missing Top Model'(a show devoted to finding the most beautiful, physically challenged lady.) that something odd occurred. Wayne Hemmingway, the semi-famous fashion galloot and panel member of the show, was making an impassioned but wince inducing plea to the rest of his peers about how they were all being discriminatory when they booted a disabled model with one arm off the show and kept in another who had all her limbs intact (except her legs didn't work. And they kept forgetting about her at photo shoots, leaving her propped up against walls in the baking sun obscured by smelly old bins.). As Waynes rage increased and his bile soaked spittle flecked out against the sad sack faces of his fashionista buddies, I found myself feverently agreeing with this louche Mancunian prophet, probably pumping my fist languidly through the damp mold air of the bedsit, glassy eyed and exhaling under my breath;
"Yeah Wayne, you tell 'em bud, lets make Britain care again"
Suddenly I was spurred into action - grabbed my laptop and rested it on my gut - destination - the BBC 3 Next Missing Models Web Forums - the only place where my loyalty to Wayne and his self righteous, shite-on viewpoint would be appreciated. I posted under the pseudonym "BedriddenSympathiser22" and argued through the following weeks with all those who would damn a one armed woman and the utopian vison of Mr Wayne Hemmingway. After many heated exchanges with rival forumites (Where are you now CwabbyCwipple?) and a post count in the high thousands, the show came an end, as did my tenure on the forums.
I feel much better nowadays, I have a job, a wife and several cats - I no longer smear kebab sauce on my chest as a stimulant, I eat my kebabs on a friday night like a normal alcoholic. Each day, as I intentionally pass by electrical store windows and catch glimpses of BBC3 idents, I'm reminded of that dark time, what I now refer to as the single lowest point in my existence. Some people huff on a cock for blow - in 2008 I rallied an invisible army of forums posters to the point that BBC administration had to step in and shut us down due to a 'security threat' we posed to the models on the show. The forumites were only joking when they said they'd break her legs - and I 'spose technically she wouldn't even notice if they had done.
As well you know, after the verdict during the highly publicised trial (covered in the BBC3 Documentary "Me, the Model and BBC Three") I was officially banned from watching television due to the unhealthy way in which I conducted myself and incited hatred in others towards minority groups - the Daily Star of course referring to me as "Shit-ler".
And that's how I gave up TV.