So you may have noticed that things are somewhat quiet around here these days. Well, you might not. There’s just as good a chance that your life doesn’t revolve around sitting in your encrusted underpants with an internet browser tab open, Demon Pigeon set as an eternal homepage, furiously hitting F5 in the fervent hope of another nugget of glorious content thrown down at you from the dizzy heights of our unrivalled intellect.
Anyway, it’s been quiet. One of our illustrious leaders has fallen like so many other dear leaders, and he had the temerity not to name a successor. Noel has transformed, butterfly like, into a puddle of Ennui, his beard the only remnant, stuffed full of Pokemon cards. I have spent the last six months trying to break the Guiness world record for tallest fort constructed from soiled nappies. It’s been a bad time. You should feel sorry for us.
It was sometime in October when a beacon of light hit Demon Pigeon towers like a, um, beacon of light. I was watching that well known bastion of all things cult, edgy and now, E4. Suddenly, this happened:
Are you a blogger? it asked of me. And me a blogger! I couldn’t believe my luck. Just think of all the things we could achieve with unfettered access to the behemoth of cultural relevance that was once home to Rick Edwards. This was clearly the shot in the arm of glitzy bullshit that our flagging enterprise needed. No more mocking Death Metal fans for their very existence. No more for us the lukewarm praise of the uneducated for albums only ever heard by a handful of bearded men and women. I could maybe even pitch a Pokemon series to the channel and get our man Noel where he belongs. On the telly!
I could see it all, backstage reports from the set of Hollyoaks, interviews with the guy who does the voiceovers. Watching someone drawing those snappy idents! All of a sudden a world of possibilities stretched out in front of me. Red carpets. I could aspire to be the new Perez Hilton. I’d look ace with highlights, although I’d need to grow at least some of my hair back.
So off I went to the website, and downloaded the form. Scanning the questions I saw that it was going to take every ounce of my intellectual capacity to fill this form in. But what tone to go for? Well this is E4, right? So it’s all about the zany and weird. So I started typing. Only to discover that it was copy protected. I would have to print it out and fill it in by hand. By hand! I’m an old man and even I can’t write with a pen any more. What hopes the young whipper-snappers who would represent my main competition?
Question 1: Describe a time when you were the first to discover something that became stupendously huge.
I mean how the fuck are you supposed to answer that? I have never discovered anything. I wasn’t there in the Cavern Club. Still, time to put my game face on.
There was that time I was the first person to stumble on google.com, and all it could find for you was a grainy picture of an old man holding a paper bag or a slightly forlorn looking dog.
I know, get me with the humour. After I vomited with self satisfaction I decided to pitch to the E4 producers who seem so keen on knob gags.
Or that time I looked in my trousers.
Question 2: What makes you laugh, and why?
I reckoned I had already brought the funny sufficiently, so now it was time to flex the intellectual muscles. So I opened Wikipedia.
Generally funny things make me laugh, but I also respond to other stimuli such as stress or nervousness. I’m not a doctor but I believe this to be a physiological response to an emotional state.
Then I remembered that I’m supposed to be wrting from the persepctive of someone who likes E4, so I added;
Oh, and Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory. He cracks me up.
Question 3. What do you think your friends would say about you if we asked them?
They would say I’m funny, honest, extremely knowledgeable about a lot of things, a great writer, possessor of an excellent beard and someone who could be excellent at whatever he put his mind to. Either that or a pathological liar.
HAHAHAHAHA Again with the funny. I make myself laugh so much I have to cry a lot and rock silently back and forth in my chair for a bit while listening to Nine Inch Nail’s Ghosts I-IV and wondering where the fuck my life went so wrong.
Question 4. Tell us why you think people might listen to you about telly and stuff.
And stuff? AND STUFF? Oh fuck you E4. This is why I don’t actually watch your shows. But I don’t put that, obviously. But I don’t really know what to put.
Well I do watch an awful amount of the ‘telly,’ and I do like ‘stuff’ so I think I am well informed. I also like to pad out my reviews with jokes and ‘stuff’ and that seems to go down well, because nobody has ever told me otherwise.
I’m not sure I entirely managed to keep my sneering tone in check for that one. But there it is in pen and I’m not about to print out another copy and start again. So I plough on.
Question 5. What would be your dream job and why?
I’d like someone to pay me to write stuff. Preferably on a computer though because this the first time I’ve used a pen in ages and it’s making my hand hurt. If we’re shooting for the moon though can I say Superman? Not Welling Superman though, because I know he’s on your show but he’s a bit of a pussy though. Maybe Adventures of Lois and Clark Superman. Although Kristen Kreuk is a hottie, I’ll give you that.
It’s all starting to go wrong at this point. Maybe because I’ve realised that I’m only on page two of six.
Question 6. What are you currently shouting about?
Well my hand hurts but not so much as to cause an audible yelp.
I appear to have tried to start a running gag on an application form, and the worst part is that it isn’t even a good joke.
The next few questions are all about what my internet use is like, which sites I write for, which sites I visit. If I’m honest I probably shouldn’t have put Wimps and Posers, Leave the Hall above E4.com. By the time I get to end of these though I seem to have run out of enthusiasm.
Question 11. What do you search for online?
My last five searches were for; Ryan Adams discography, Theo Walcott and Melanie Slade, Homeless Cylon, How long do you steam chicken breast for, Harriet Wheeler. I can’t even remember who she is.
Question 12. How do you stay ahead of the game?
I have a car.
Question 13. Think about your favourite E4 characters, past or present. Tell us why you love them.
They weren’t Rick Edwards.
Question 14. Now tell us about your worst E4 characters and why you just can’t stand them.
Rick Edwards again. I just don’t like his face. Or anything about him really. Oh, you don;t have Fearne Cotton do you? I don’t like her either.
I really don’t though.
Question 15. If you were the boss of E4 for a week what would you do?
Fire the person who made this application so long. I mean my hand really hurts!
Question 16. is there an E4 show you;d sell your Gran for? Tell us why.
Well both my Grans are dead. So thanks for bringing up that memory.
I feel I may have lost the gig at this point. Or at one of several earlier points.
Question 17. Is there an E4 program you can’t stand, and if so what would you do to improve it?
You drastically improved Friends by not showing it any more. I suggest the same remedy for Hollyoaks.
Question 18. What are your interests/hobbies apart from loving E4, obviously?
At this point I may have done another little retch and felt a little bit more of my soul shrivelling and dying.
Filling in questionnaires
Then there’s some more stuff about my likes and dislikes. I’ll save you that. I’m quite impressed you’ve made it this far though. WELL DONE YOU!
Question 22. What would you bring to the party as an E4′er?
Enthusiasm coupled with a crippling sense of Ennui. And a sore hand.
I BROUGHT IT BACK AGAIN. YOU KNOW, FROM EARLIER?
Then some more guff, until finally;
Question 26. Any additional comments you’d like to add?
I realised that I may have lost them a bit at various places in the application, so I thought I’d round off with my now trademark running gag, and a sudden burst of youthful enthusiasm.
You owe me an ice pack for my hand. PICK ME!!!
I think the three exclamation marks really added the requisite gravitas.
Readily enthused by finishing, I rushed to the scanner and uploaded the finished result. The deadline was to be a week later, we were promised a response if successful two weeks later.
And what a rollercoaster the next three weeks would be. During that time I managed to convince myself that we would be victorious, and dreamed of a site overhaul to match the corporate purple of the Fatherland, and where I would put the big sign on the front page screaming ‘AS APPROVED BY E4!!!
But then the strangest thing happened. I didn’t get the response. I figured they had extended the deadline, so I waited some more. The site seemed to close down for a bit. I attached my form as an email and sent it to every mailbox on the E4.com site. I sent paper copies. I cried a lot, and then I retreated into myself, pausing only to occasionally read the Pokemon letters and wonder what could have been.
It is only now that I can really admit the truth to myself. E4 doesn’t want us. We’re not going legit. I don’t know how I’ll break it to Noel. He’ll be devastated.