Tag Archives: charlie brooker

Touch the Truck – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Touch the Truck – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Touch the Truck was a British Channel 5 endurance gameshow which aired in 2001.

It was hosted by Dale Winton[1] and involved a group of 20 contestants holding onto a truck with the last person left touching the truck winning it.

The show was filmed at the Lakeside Shopping Centre in Thurrock, Essex.

Jerry Middleton, 39, from Winchester, Hampshire, was the winner who managed to stay awake touching the vehicle for 81 hours 43 minutes and 31 seconds. He stated that he was going to sell the vehicle to fund a political party.[2] Middleton stood at the 2001 General Election in the Kingston and Surbiton constituency, but gained only 54 votes of a turnout of 49,093.[3]


According to the rules[1] of the competition, disqualification occurred when:

  • a contestant overran breaks which were 10 minutes every two hours, and 15 minutes every six hours,
  • a contestant removed both hands from the truck, or
  • a contestant fell asleep.

Contestants could also be drug tested to ensure fairness.


TV Go Home

TV Go Home.

TVGH -- Loading

TVGoHome was a website which parodied the television listings style of the British magazine Radio Times. It was produced fortnightly from 1999 to 2001, and sporadically until 2003, by Charlie Brooker. The site now exists only in archive form. TVGoHome columns also appeared for a short time in Loaded magazine, sometimes edited from their original web version.

The website gained a cult following, partly due to its tie-up with the technology newsletter Need To Know, and its use of strong language, surreal imagery and savage satire reminiscent of the work of Chris Morris. Regular targets for abuse were the Daily Mail, Mick Hucknall of Simply Red, and the TV presenters Rowland Rivron and Nicky Campbell. TVGoHome’s most consistent target, however, was fictional. Nathan Barley, an ex-public-school media wannabe living off his parents’ wealth, had his life chronicled in a fly-on-the-wall documentary series (in the TVGoHome universe) entitled simply ‘Cunt’. Detailing Barley’s life in comfortably wealthy Westbourne Grove in west London, the programme essentially mocked the “new media” scene and its population of middle-class web designers, DJs and magazine producers, their obsessions with absurd fashions and gadgetry, their inevitably feeble attempts at creativity and their tireless and ludicrous efforts to embody the cutting edge of urban cool. A spinoff book of the same title was later released featuring old and new material.

Brooker has cited the increasing absurdity of reality television as one of the main reasons he stopped writing TVGoHome. The ideas for real life shows such as Touch the Truck, in which contestants must continually touch a truck for 24 hours in order to win the truck as a prize, were the kind of idea that at one point would only have existed as a satirical creation of Brooker’s website. Now that they were becoming a reality, Brooker felt it was time to stop.


Has every conversation in history been just a series of meaningless beeps? | Charlie Brooker | Comment is free | The Guardian

Has every conversation in history been just a series of meaningless beeps? | Charlie Brooker | Comment is free | The Guardian.

…almost every monologue consists of nothing but the words PLEASE AUTHENTICATE MY EXISTENCE, repeated over and over again, in disguise. There has never been a single tweet that couldn’t be replaced with PLEASE AUTHENTICATE MY EXISTENCE. But then, it’s hard to think of a single human utterance outside of Twitter that couldn’t be replaced with PLEASE AUTHENTICATE MY EXISTENCE either. That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind, you say? Yeah, right. PLEASE AUTHENTICATE MY EXISTENCE.

If you could zoom out beyond the moon, beyond time itself, and picture the entirety of humankind since its creation to its eventual end, and somethow witness it repeatedly pinging the phrase PLEASE AUTHENTICATE MY EXISTENCE back and forth between itself, we’d probably resemble a squirming galaxy of bees endlessly performing needy little waggle dances in front of each other, minus the useful pollen co-ordinates.

Perhaps that’s a clue to the next stage of our evolution. We’ve already boiled communication down to acronyms, emoticons and shrtnd sntnces, all of which are simply more efficient ways of transmitting the PLEASE AUTHENTICATE MY EXISTENCE signal from the fragile core of our souls out into the wider world. Maybe the next stage is to reduce it all down to a single noise. I’d favour a short, electronic beep, not unlike the noise emitted each time Pac-Man eats a dot. Instead of having to think of an amusing Facebook update to impress your friends, each of whom is so consumed with agonising over their own update they’re only pretending to pay attention anyway, you simply push a button and transmit a little beep. Said beep is then automatically intercepted by your friends’ software, which broadcasts a brief “acknowledgement” sound effect in response. So all “conversations” would effectively run like this (I’ll translate as we go along):




Now that might seem robotic. Inhuman, even. But it’s polite, and it frees up your brain for more important tasks, such as curing disease or baking brownies. So don’t fear this inevitable future, but embrace it.