It is, in these trouble times, perhaps not quite what we need right now – another MTV reality show (following in the footsteps of Kerry Katona, Flavor Flav, him out of Poison and countless other non-entities), this time however focusing on that lovable rogue / hapless fool (delete as appropriate) Pete Doherty. MTV though are so cock a hoop that they have decided to show it, not just once, but every night this week at 10pm.
So what do you get for investing an hour of your life? Surprisingly, given his history, very little. The last time Doherty appeared in a similar documentary on the BBC he was a train wreck in the extreme, trashing the cameras and squirting a syringe full of blood at a TV crew. This time round he came across as nothing more than a lost soul. Living alone in his new gaff, a house – a very big house – in the country, he spent his time on film wandering aimlessly from tatty room to room, trying on a succession of hats and picking up one of the many cats that seem to be his only company. There was the occasional gem (tales of next door neighbours inviting him to go horse riding, the discovery of a wing of the house that he’d completely forgotten) but it was a largely forgettable encounter.
You sense that MTV realised this too, throwing in an extra element – a behind the scenes expose on a fashion show being staged by some of Pete’s pals, at which he is booked to perform. However, it soon becomes clear that said ‘fashion show’ is actually taking place in a pub in Camden (where else?) and said pals have all the organisational skills of a limp cabbage. Apparently forgetting to book any models, they discover that the show is due to take place during London Fashion Week and, unsurprisingly, finding someone to walk the runway isn’t that easy. Idiots.
It all builds to an apparently thrilling crescendo, will Pete make it in time to perform? Not to spoil the ending but, well yes he does – just in time, mind, you wouldn’t want to lose the suspense. He emerges from the back room of the boozer to huge cheers, wielding a Union Jack that he manages to smack into the face of one of the hastily arranged amateur models. Your heart sinks, feeling that you have just wasted an hour of your life. Then something magic happens. Doherty picks up a guitar and starts to sing and for all the nonsense surrounding him, you realise that he does have something about him. Then he is joined by ‘surprise guest’ Carl Barat for a charged version of ‘Don’t Look Back Into The Sun‘ and when they stand there, sharing the mic so intimately that they are almost kissing, it is all worth it. So tune in certainly, but maybe leave it till 10.50.
Watch the programme.