The celebrity reality show circuit is an industry in itself. You name it, British TV has made a famous person do it for the public’s entertainment: dating, farming, learning to drive and, of course, as fans of ITV’s short-lived and arguably unfairly maligned Splash! will recall, competitive diving.
All worth a punt, I suppose. You never know what will take root in the Great British psyche, as recent successes like The Masked Singer and Apocalypse Wow attest.
There is, however, something of a hierarchy that organises these shows. The level of prestige that surrounds stalwart properties like Strictly and I’m a Celebrity is, after all, not something you get with Celebrity Come Dine With Me.
This is largely to do with the fees celebrities are paid for the most established programmes (Strictly can reportedly earn you up to £100,000, while I’m a Celebrity’s highest-paid contestant ever, Harry Redknapp, who won the show in 2018, netted £500,000) and, perhaps more importantly, what an appearance might do for their career in the long term.
These shows, if celebs play their cards right, can bring them to the public’s attention, change perceptions and, occasionally, create legends: just look at Gemma Collins’ tour de force on Celebrity Big Brother in 2016, a star-making turn from which the former Towie star still profits (she sells hoodies with quotes from the programme printed on them to this day).
Elsewhere, the former Inbetweeners star Emily Atack won hearts and minds on I’m a Celebrity three years ago to the tune of her own ITV2 comedy series, while singer and presenter Alesha Dixon impressed so much when she won Strictly in 2007 that she landed herself a spot as a judge on the programme two years later, before heading to Britain’s Got Talent.
The spoils involved, then, can be significant. But which celebrity
reality show is most helpful in boosting a star’s public profile? I measured the most recent winners of big hitters I’m a Celebrity, Celebrity MasterChef, Dancing on Ice, Strictly Come Dancing and new kid on the Saturday night schedule The Masked Singer, against the benefits they took home in the aftermath – inflated Instagram followings, book and podcast opportunities, endorsement deals on social media, and subsequent showbiz jobs – and gave each programme a corresponding Celebrity Career Ladder rating (patent pending) to work it out.
‘I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!’ (ITV)
The last full series of I’m a Celebrity, ITV’s end-of-year throw-it-all-at-the-wall festival of ritual celebrity humiliation, ended last December, when blogger, writer, and podcaster Giovanna Fletcher took the crown.
Fletcher now has a massive two million Instagram followers, and while she was already an author before entering the castle, she announced her novel Walking on Sunshine a month after winning, and it made the Sunday Times bestseller list upon its release in early November.
For Fletcher’s next move she’ll be replacing Lily Allen in the role of Jenny in the play 2:22 A Ghost Story when it transfers to London’s Gielgud Theatre from 4 December.
Seems like knocking back a sheep’s eyeball or two is probably worth it.
CCL Rating: 4
As Fletcher and other past Jungle Queens – such as Jacqueline Jossa, who went on to launch her own fashion line after the show, and host of BBC One’s Sort Your Life Out with Stacey Solomon – prove, I’m a Celebrity can be a serious launchpad. I give it four steps up the career ladder out of five.
‘Celebrity MasterChef’ (BBC One)
Kadeena Cox, four-time Paralympic gold medallist and this year’s Celebrity MasterChef champion, only emerged victorious this September but she’s already entered the I’m a Celebrity castle and won an ambassadorship for next year’s Commonwealth Games. The jury’s still out, however, on whether it’s harder to compete in world-class athletics and cycling or impress Gregg and John with your flavour combinations.
CCL Rating: 2
Is it the best programme on TV? Yes. But is it going to launch you to stratospheric fame? Not unless your idea of that is a cookbook deal. Two steps up the career ladder out of five.
‘Dancing on Ice’ (ITV)
Series 13 of Dancing on Ice saw Capital Breakfast radio host Sonny Jay gliding to sequined, Spandexed victory in 2021. Jay now has an audience of 88,600 on Instagram, where he recently endorsed the men’s formalwear brand Moss Bros. He has also had regular telly gigs since his time on the skates, having appeared on Celebrity Karaoke Club, Celebability and Weekend Best. The ice has been kind.
CCL Rating: 2.5
Dancing on Ice is a pretty reliable cog in the celebrity reality machine, and has recently reintroduced us to stars like The X Factor’s Jake Quickenden and EastEnders’ Joe Swash. Two-and-a-half steps out of five.
‘Strictly Come Dancing’ (BBC One)
Bill Bailey, the dark-horse-turned-people’s-favourite of Strictly 2020, has had a big year to back up his big win. A veteran of the UK’s festival scene, he took to Latitude’s main stage this summer, followed by a residency at London’s Royal Opera House, and a week as the MC at Proud Embankment’s Cabaret All Stars, all of which he shared with his 241,000 Instagram followers.
Perhaps the bigger story here, however, is that of Bailey’s dance partner, Oti Mabuse. Their victory was Mabuse’s second consecutive Strictly win: she also tangoed away with the title in 2019 alongside Emmerdale’s Kelvin Fletcher.
Following the win, she has launched a podcast and become a panellist on ITV’s The Masked Dancer, as well as achieving the most hallowed honour in British reality TV: serving as a guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK.
CCL Rating: 4
Four steps up the career ladder out of five for the Drag Race thing alone.
‘The Masked Singer’ (ITV)
In early 2020, The Masked Singer, adapted for British TV from a hit South Korean format, swept the country into a collective fever dream involving Alan Johnson wearing a Britney mic under a pharaoh costume. Its latest series saw a win for soul singer Joss Stone, who performed for eight weeks dressed as a saveloy, under the guise “Sausage”.
Stone boasts 442,000 followers on Instagram and recently released a new single; back in April, she also appeared on American Idol to duet with one of the show’s finalists. Great stuff for anyone, let alone a person who spent two months on telly dressed as a reformed meat product.
CCL Rating: 3.5
While The Masked Singer hasn’t been around for long, it makes an impact: series one winner Nicola Roberts returned to judge this year’s final, and joined the West End musical City of Angels following her win. A respectable three-and-a-half steps out of five.
Unsurprisingly, Strictly and I’m a Celebrity promise the heftiest real-world gains, owing to their prime time slots, longevity and ability to pull in big names, which in turn encourage viewers to tune in. Next is The Masked Singer – you’d have to be decent craic to wear those costumes, plus audiences are invested in guessing the stars’ identities.
This is followed by Dancing On Ice (again, this tracks: the final of The Masked Singer 2021 pulled in over 10 million viewers, while 4.22 million watched as Dancing on Ice concluded). Finally, Celebrity MasterChef, which is more of a TV stepping stone than a juggernaut in its own right.
As my watertight analysis indicates, if it’s social media success and TV personality status you’re after then I’m a Celebrity is your bag, while if it’s prestige and the power of a judging panel slot you covet, then Strictly’s the way to go.
In any case, if channels and celebs are mutually interested in maximising engagement, may I suggest they combine all of these shows?
Hear me out: celebrities perform ballroom dances on ice skates, inside a presumably haunted listed building, disguised as the foodstuffs they will later be required to cook, for a joint ITV and BBC broadcast across three weeks. I really think it could be the next big thing.
Either that, or bring back Splash!
Struggling to find your next favourite TV series?
The i on TV newsletter is a daily email full of suggestions of what to watch as well as the latest TV news, opinions and interviews. Sign up here to stay up to date with the best new TV.
‘ Este Articulo puede contener información publicada por terceros, algunos detalles de este articulo fueron extraídos de la siguiente fuente: inews.co.uk ’