This insipid show, in which C-list celebrities strap bodycams to their pooches and send them sniffing round the house, has finally, gladly come to and end
At the beginning of lockdown, 43 years ago, it was announced that Channel 4 had come up with the countervailing-est ruse of countervailing ruses to ensure that its portion of the entertainment on which we have come to depend could continue to pour untrammelled into our homes through the small screen. Its plan? They would affix cameras to the backs of dogs owned by celebrities and send them off to wander round said celebrities’ homes. We would then try to guess, assuming we had not gouged our eyes out by this point, who owned the houses and, by extension, the dogs. Or vice versa.
The Ruse – which may yet be capitalised in a footnote to a particularly extensive history of the arts during corona times – was greeted with derision. But Channel 4 hung tough, and hung its cameras on various dogs owned by people who, by stretching the word to the very limits of its already considerable elasticity, could be described as celebrities – and then it unleashed the hounds. It chopped the results into four half-hour episodes, found someone to do the voiceover – Kevin McCloud – and gave the results a name: Celebrity Snoop Dogs. There was doubtless some kernel of optimism that the results would afford the channel a kind of cult, so-bad-it’s-good hit. Who could resist, I suspect the thought ran, a canine-inflected Through the Keyhole? Kernels of optimism, of course, may be the largest contributor to human misery the world has ever known.