Taking it to the people

I want a new career.

I've decided that I am going to be a television mogul. I'm going to grow a ponytail in my middle age and do too much cocaine at lunch time. I'll drive a fast convertible with the top down in the rain, and speed everywhere I go so people will notice me. I'll be the kind of guy who is filthy, stinking rich and doesn't give a damn who I step on to get where I'm going.

In short, I'll be your average, run of the mill TV Producer.

All it takes to get ahead in TV is one great idea, and mine - which I'll share with you now if you promise not to tell anyone - is a pearler. Like all good television ideas, I have merely taken an existing product and 'improved' it, like taking an ordinary household item and putting a clock in it.

The only thing that doesn't work with, by the way, is clocks. My uncle Graham went nuts, and broke, trying to market his 'double clock' to wary consumers. He should have stuck with 'Clock-a-doodle-doo', the alarm clock in the shape of an angry Bantam Rooster. But I digress.

To complete my rise to superstardom in the world of television production, I'll be taking Reality TV to the Third World - the single largest untapped television market on the planet.

I have several ideas that I think will work well, starting with Big Brother. Like all good Reality TV shows, it needs a twist to hook the viewers and contestants alike - and this one's a beauty.

Not only will it be the first time ever that the contestants have lived in a house, let alone a building with electricity, the inevitable boredom will be staved off by the necessity of arming themselves against the gang of insurgents who are hell bent on breaking into the house to steal the food.

Survivor - The Third World will come next. Except this one's different. Given that our contestants are used to performing outlandish tasks with no food, we've switched it around. They will be required to eat as much rich food as possible and sit around doing nothing. Of course, because our contestants haven't the faintest inkling of how democracy works, the 'vote each other off the show' segment will be removed, replaced with this simple premise: The last one to have a heart attack caused by too much fatty food, wins.

But maybe they're not ready for Reality TV. Maybe we should just settle for game shows...

Take, for example, my idea of testing our starving impoverished third world populations' general knowledge on Who Wants a Bowl of Rice?. They'll have the same lifelines as the regular contestants on Who Wants to be a Millionaire? - they can ask the audience, go fifty-fifty or send smoke signals to their tribal chief for the answers...

Or how about Wheel of Fortune? The very first time a contestant asks the question "Can I buy a click please Gary?", we'll know that TV has finally found a place in the developing world. Family Feud should be a beauty - we all know how much fun it is to watch when two tribes go to war...

I envisage that in its first year, any of these shows will reach 19 televisions in their home countries, representing an audience reach of at least 28 million people. I can see them now, crowded around the flickering Cyclops, yearning to be 'On the Telly', just like their heroes.

Of course, this will be a very expensive exercise, but I was really lucky this morning to open my email inbox and discover that help has arrived from an unlikely source.

I got an email from Dr Mtumbe Panuba. Dr Panuba was a minister in the previous Nigerian government, and he's got $30,000,000 stashed in a Swiss bank account. The only problem is, he can't get to it without my help. I've sent my $10,000 to him to help bribe the officials... and now all I've got to do is sit back and let the money roll in.

What do you think, did we get it right? Comment here...