Reality TV: Compete for a Kidney


UFO Hunter
WHO dies? You decide. At first I thought I had misread it. Then I checked the date on the paper -surely it was an April Fool's joke. Nope, it really is true - popular entertainment has sunk to a new low.

After swapping wives, locking people up and discovering enough useless singers to sink the Titanic, reality TV has reached a depressing and sickening level.

A new macabre show, airing in the Netherlands from Friday, will see three ill people compete for a life-saving kidney.

The Big Donor Show, from Big Brother creator Endemol, will show them pleading for the healthy kidney from a terminally-ill cancer patient.

Then the public will, literally, decide their fates by text message.

It's understandable the woman donating the kidney wants to know the person whose life she will save, but does it have to be filmed?

And what about those who lose out? How will their devastation be dished up to tea-time viewers? And this is not the view of a reality TV hater.

I admit that, although every year I vow I won't, I get sucked into the vortex that is Big Brother. And America's Next Top Model is my guilty secret.

But apart from those, I would rather go on Big Brother myself than watch the plethora of lazy - and ultimately boring - reality shows out there.

If they aren't choosing leads for musicals, finding the next big star or humiliating people with low IQs, they are showing parents how to raise their kids, following newly-wed celebs, dancing on ice or doing jigs and reels.

But at least these shows only feed off the humiliation of people who put themselves forward for fame, this new concept is a totally different beast.

It's almost impossible to put into words how disturbing it is to exploit people's illnesses for ratings. Anyone who has watched someone they love die will no doubt agree. Why not cut to the chase and put viewing rooms on cancer wards or video car crashes and replay them to children at play school? This is on the same level of intrusion.

And the only way for the public to show their complete and utter disgust is to switch off.


these shows are disgraceful, but obviously there is an audience for them or they wouldn't be on.


Reserve Grader
I heard that there are plans for an australian version. Except that it will be for a heart transplant.

The three contestants will be Jason Ryles, Michael Witt and Phil Blake.

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