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Brown and benders

June 12, 2007

24 hours is a long time. Just look at what Jack Bauer can achieve in a day. Actually don’t – the last series was terrible. Even a few hours can feel like days sometimes and an evening of just the right amount of booze and the right kind of people can yield some great conversations. I remember when I first met my brother’s girly a few years ago, after a few white wine spritzers I was in some kind of verbal diarrhoea and told her all about our strange family and all the issues that surrounded it. We bonded.

So if she can learn that much about me in three hours, imagine what you can get from someone in 24. For a week now, I’ve been looking forward to 24 hours with… a series that is nice and pure in the sense that it puts one interviewer in one room with one celebrity for 24 hours. The first (last night’s) episode was Bobby Brown and if you’ve been floating around on YouTube for the last few weeks you’ll have heard about (and seen) the ‘explosive’ clip where Bobby threatens Jamie Campbell because he thinks he’s gay and is trying to come on to him.

Aside from the bigotry, the actual interview was very dull. A half hour slot was never going to be a good representation of 24 hours, especially with an ad break half way through. Had it been an hour, or even 90 minutes, the viewer would have perhaps had some sense of the claustrophobic atmosphere of being with the same person in the same place for that long. We didn’t learn anything more from Brown than we already know – he was tipped to be the next Michael Jackson, fell into drugs, got arrested and has a strange relationship with Whitney Houston. There was one touching moment where he confessed his love for the warbling singer, but then the interview was cut and we watched them fast forward, in a Chapman-film stylee.


The ‘explosive’ argument really wasn’t anything like as crazy as the media (or indeed the Radio Times) described. Brown did show himself to be a threatening, homophobic character. You could argue that the incident demonstrated the difference between British senses of humour and the American er… wit. The good ol’ US of A still arne’t ready for dry sarcasm yet. But I also think it shows what happens when you’ve had too many drugs. The fact that he really thought a professional journalist who was being filmed for ITV would ‘jump him’ when he was asleep showed how paranoid Brown now is thanks to his drugs and living his life in the spotlight. But then maybe something happened in jail that we don’t know – Campbell wasn’t prepared to dig that deep in his 24 hours with Bobby Brown, it would seem.

The one shocking revelation in the interview was that Campbell isn’t gay – that certainly had my jaw hitting the ground with shock.

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