2017 minus 51: The Bubble

Posted: 11 November 2016 in 2017 minus, media, politics, world
Tags: ,

A few years ago, there was a tv ‘panel show’ called The Bubble; it was a success overseas but never really rose above mediocre when put on in the uk. Partly it was because the main news media refused permission for the programme to mock up news items purporting to be real. Why would that be needed? Well, the simple but very good concept was this:

The Bubble asks three celebrity contestants to separate true news stories from fakes after spending four days locked away in a country house with no phone, TV or internet access.


The host will present them with a mix of news reports, headlines and images from TV, newspapers and celebrity gossip magazines.

And “all” the contestants have to do is say which stories are true and which have been made up.

The obvious thought is: “ok, some stories are obviously going to be true and some are obviously going to be false, it’s going to be the one that could be true that will be the tough ones…”

But I always think in response “No, it won’t. It’ll be the utterly ludicrous ones…”

Suppose instead of four days, the contestants had been locked away for the best part of a year. I’ll exclude deaths because every year has people die unexpectedly. And I’ll similarly exclude health scares like Zika and terrorist attacks – sadly, they happen every year. But suppose when exiting, the contestants are given the following: 

  • Leaks of tax avoidance and evasion name top politicans around the world
  • Russia boasts about interfering in the US Presidential election
  • In a movie about Captain America fighting Iron Man, the universally acknowledged star was Spider-Man
  • Britain votes for Brexit
  • The FBI interferes in, but most definitely doesn’t boast about doing so, the US Presidential election
  • Boris Johnson is Foreign Secretary
  • The final videocassette recorder is manufactured
  • David Cameron leaves The House of Commons
  • The KKK formally endorse a major party nominee in the US Presidential election
  • Liam Fox is back in the Cabinet
  • Michael Gove isn’t
  • Shami Chakribarti is in the Shadow Cabinet, as was – briefly – Paul Flynn
  • London elects its first Muslim mayor
  • China ratifies a global climate agreement
  • A British MP is murdered
  • Americans know who Nigel Farage is
  • British people know who Tim Farron is
  • Great Britian does better in the 2016 Summer Olympics than they did in 2012
  • Sepp Blatter quits as FIFA President under a cloud of corruption allegations
  • David Davis is back in the Cabinet
  • The British Leader of the Opposition loses a confidence vote of his MPs 4:1, then stays on, faces a leadership challenge, wins and is stronger than ever, even though most of his MPs still think he’s crap
  • Samsung phones blow up, as do their washing machines
  • Donald Trump wins the US Presidential Election.

I think a few people would be repeat-pushing the “Made Up Story” button, don’t you?

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