Life

TV review: You can't believe anything in the world of paparazzi and fake news

Paparazzo George Bamby and and his sidekick Bilko

Confessions of the Paparazzi, Channel 4, Monday at 9pm

It may come as a surprise to some that the modern day British paparazzi is not just about getting pictures of celebrities, but responsible for ‘creating' stories.

George Bamby has a whole collection of schemes to get the red-tops and celebrity magazines to buy his pictures.

“I don't just take pictures, I make stories,” he boasts.

Now the problem with a blagger like Bamby is that it's difficult to know what is true.

So when Bamby says he took a picture of a TV presenter and made up a story to go along with it, is he telling the truth or just blagging his way onto a television programme with a good yarn?

According to Bamby - who produced a National Union of Journalists card to prove his authenticity - a good day's work begins with an idea.

This will lead to setting up a scenario which will meet with a typical storyline of a tabloid or celebrity magazine.

Thus Bamby, and his trusty sidekick Bilko, staked out Katie Hopkins after she said she disliked people with ginger hair.

Bamby's plan was to get his Bilko, who was wearing a red wig, to drop his wallet in front of her and when Hopkins instinctively picked it up and returned it, Bamby would have his pictures.

Yes, that makes the grade for a story for some newspapers and magazines.

But not all Bamby's schemes are as harmless.

He also got his sidekick to give a bottle of wine to Judy Finnigan as part of an elaborate ruse which included a tale about a sick grandmother.

Bamby took pictures of Judy with the wine in a supermarket car park and she ended up on the front page of a magazine with a headline questioning her relationship with alcohol.

It was never explained why Bamby would go on television to reveal that his stories are fake. Perhaps he's winding us up, although it's clear that he's got an ego as big as Mariah Carey's and can't resist showing off his tricks.

And it's not as if Bamby believes there's any merit in what he's doing.

His defence of his actions was two fold: They're celebrities looking for exposure so they have to put up with it and it's all the fault of the readers.

“Get a life and stop reading the sh**e you see in celebrity magazines,” he declares with his Del Boy grin.

It was a highly entertaining documentary but it was part of Channel 4's Fake News series, so who knows if a word of it is true.

***

Superbowl LI, BBC 1, Sunday at 11.20pm

Americans may not be great at choosing presidents, but they sure as hell know how to put on a show.

The 51st Superbowl was a fantastic four-and-a-half hour spectacle.

I only managed to watch it live until half-time, calling it a night in the early hours of Monday morning. I caught up with the rest on the iPlayer though, after hearing the result.

It was a spectacular game, a fantastic half-time performance by Lady Gaga and the BBC presentation was excellent.

I know little about gridiron but Mark Chapman does and he chaired the analysis with wit and humour.

It must be one of the toughest gigs in sports presenting, because every time US television takes another huge advertising break, the BBC outfit are back live on air.

It's a credit to Chapman and his team of former NFL stars Osi Umenyiora and Jason Bell, along with journalist Mike Carlson, that I wasn't bored or distracted once.

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