Thursday, December 08, 2005

This is very cruel...

From the Telegraph:
They are not so much the Right Stuff as the Not-So-Bright Stuff.
Nine members of the public, specially selected for their gullibility, have been chosen to take part in the reality television series Space Cadets, one of the most expensive - and potentially the cruellest - practical jokes ever committed by screen.
The contestants, who have been hidden from all the publicity surrounding the show, believe they are being trained in Russia for a space mission. Instead, they are holed up in a disused RAF airbase near Ipswich.
Having already undergone weeks of so-called training, which the makers insist was at least 80 per cent accurate, the cadets think they are going to be blasted out of the atmosphere three at a time, the first British tourists in space.
In reality, they will not leave the ground. The illusion of taking off in a rocket and orbiting the Earth will be created by special effects and old Hollywood sets.
About 100 hopefuls replied to adverts calling for people to take part in the "ultimate thrill-seeking challenge". They were whittled down after a series of auditions and psychological tests to determine their suggestibility.
In the opening episode last night the contestants, joined by three actors, were introduced to Johnny Vaughan, the show's presenter, at Biggin Hill airbase in Kent. He told them their mission and then they boarded a plane which Vaughan said would take them to the Russian camp in Krymsk, south-west Russia.Instead, the private jet went out to the Bay of Biscay and then returned to Lydd airport in Kent where the contestants were transferred in a blacked-out helicopter to the airbase.
The old buildings have been carefully redecorated in Russian style and filled with Russian products and computers and old James Bond props. There is even a full colour portrait of Vladimir Putin hanging on one of the walls.
The cars parked outside have been given Russian number plates but the contestants, all under 30 and including a PE teacher, a student, a call centre worker, an electrician and a semi-professional footballer, may wonder why they are right-hand drive.

The inevitable court-case should be interesting.

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