If you think the UK's recent crop of reality TV shows have been total disasters, spare a thought for the good people of RTE in Ireland, whose latest series has come to a spectacular, and entirely unexpected, climax.
Cabin Fever was supposed to be a bit like Big Brother but, instead of locking the participants in a house, they set them adrift off the coast of Ireland in a schooner.
But - calamity! After less than a week on air, the ship ... well, it kind of sunk. And it didn't just sink a little bit – the wretched craft is now in bits at the bottom of the sea.
Still, every cloud has a silver lining, and you would imagine that the episode dealing with the sinking would be a guaranteed ratings smash. Wouldn't you?
Well, actually, no. The camera crew had finished for the day and gone home, so the drama went unrecorded.
Undaunted by these minor setbacks, RTE have sourced another, hopefully more hardy, vessel, and hope to resume the series as soon as possible. In the meantime, the poor contestants – who might not actually be too keen to set sail again after their ordeal – have been sent home for a cup of tea and a sit down.
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According to Marxist theory, cultural forms such as opera, classical music and the literary works of Shakespeare all fall under the heading of high culture. Low culture refers to a wide variety of cultural themes that are characterised by their consumption by the masses.
We might not be Marxists, but we do know we loved Footballers Wives. If you do too, you'll know what this is all about.