Hypereality TV heroes John and Ann Armstong, stars of BBC's The Armstrongs and the people behind U-Fit (the local force in upvc conservatories windows and doors) and Usignia (signs and that), have now finished their glorious docusoap run. (It feels like Bill Nighy should be reciting this post)
Like many people I had spent the first few episodes of The Armstrongs convinced that I was watching an improvisational comedy or a subtly-scripted drama-documentary, possibly so subtle in its execution to actually be a hoax. Perhaps the key characters such as John, Ann, Basil Meanie, Michael Handel et al were actors and those around them were real people reacting as best they could.
I'd even thought about staking out their Coventry factory for photographic evidence of the existence of the Cast (not having heard of webby search tractors until a few days ago it hadn't crossed my mind doing some desktop research on this ...)
Of course the extraordinary truth slowly dawned - these people are real! Possibly exaggerated, with scenes set up or recreated in places, and true 21st Century media manipulators, but real all the same.
And I'll miss them!
Or so I thought, before discovering their personal blog! Fantastic stuff - all of the twisting streams of thought and blunt rants that you'd expect from the Armstrongs... probably the best blog in the world, in fact. So this is what he was doing on the telly in all those shots where he's sitting on his computer at the back of the office!
Random quote from Gollum-lookalike John:
"Human kind cannot stand very much reality" TS Eliot
A very strange thing happened yesterday.
I was shopping in a store where they have one wall covered in televisions...there was about 50 of them all showing the same channel. All of a sudden 50 of ME appeared as a trailer came on for the programme.
It was a strange feeling...but I found the fishfingers and that's all that matters.