Last Night’s TV – Katie Price: The Jordan Years

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Filmmaker Richard Macer has, rather disturbingly I thought, more than 200 hours worth of footage of the ‘phenomenon’ that was Katie Price who then became Jordan and who is now Katie Price again.

His film last night smacked not so much of journalistic endeavour as stalking but what was evident throughout was one thing; Macer had rather hastily cobbled together the ‘best bits’ of those 200 hours to take full advantage of Jordan/Katie’s headline grabbing split from Peter Andre, so, friend/stalker/video biographer of Katie’s he may be, but his pocket is his first love…

The film started out with brief glimpses of Katie as a buck-toothed child then her first 2001 appearance in Macer’s archive and with images of her ever increasing chest and details of her exponentially increasing bank account. We saw her naked and covered in whipped cream for photo shoots then alternately cradling her children as fans of Katie’s told how she’s role model and someone to be admired… erm, ok, if you say so – some – people of Britain.

The upshot of the film was that she’s not unlike the other reality TV phenomenon of our times, the late Jade Goody, who, it should be noted, Jordan/Katie couldn’t stand. How are they similar? They both made a very lot of money from having nothing more than a certain charisma that captured the public’s imagination, and in Jordan’s case, gigantic knockers.

Apropos of which, a rather creepy moment in the film was when her boob augmentation surgeon, Dr Jeya Prakash, produced from his desk – and invited Macer to grope – Jordan’s first set of breast implants which were superseded by an even bigger set of implants. This struck me as not only icky weirdness, and probably some kind of hugely questionable ethical issue, but my first thought was that they may well turn up on eBay someday when Dr Prakash needs a few extra quid.

However, before that queasy event, we heard from a variety of people who have ‘helped’ Jordan’s career, and for helped, you can mostly read ‘leeched on’ as innumerable hangers-on who’d “contributed” something to Jordan’s career then made a small fortune off her one way or another. And as is fairly typical of those who worship the water such golden eggs walk on, they were gushingly crass about her ‘talents’. Personally, I would have to argue to she has no talent other than that which has been crafted for her by surgeons and make-up artists and those who peddle soft-porn.

Macer’s interviews with these people were laughable attempts at serious discussion; for instance, during his interview with Samantha Bond, the exec of the first modelling agency who took Jordan onto her books at just 17 years old, he tried to sound truly interested in whether Sam thought Jordan would’ve become so famous if she hadn’t had her boob jobs, to which Samantha replied with equal pseudo-seriousness that she didn’t think Katie ever needed a boob job in the first place. She said it with all the sincerity of a tiger with a zebra in its jaws who’d promised not to chew, particularly given that the interview was conducted in front of a poster in Bond’s office showing Jordan’s planet sized gazongas.

However, about the only thing I have ever admired Jordan/Katie for is her unwavering devotion to her disabled son Harvey. Her love for him and her other children is arguably the only genuine thing in her life, with perhaps the addition of a hide like a rhino off which insults and criticism simply bounce. Aside from those two facts, just about everything else has been manufactured for the camera, including her personality, if in fact a real one exists.

But it also can’t be argued that she’s managed to amass an alleged £30 million fortune, so despite the fact that she’s almost entirely non-biodegradable and has the personality of a shallow puddle, she’s got to be doing something right.

And to be fair, it’s not always been easy for her – quite aside from her terrible traumas with Harvey for which she does have to be commended on managing with stoicism – there was also footage in last night’s film of a time when her home had been burgled, her car stolen and insults written on walls and mirrors about her. Macer – who it had by now become clear had a real talent for stating the glaringly obvious – said of this intrusion, “It was as if the intruder had targeted the Jordan they’d been reading about in the papers.” Well, duh! What did he expect? That the intruders should really have taken the time to get to know the ‘real’ Jordan first before invading her home and stealing her car and writing insults in toothpaste? Pillock.

What worries me is that she’s apparently viewed as a role model and young women aspire to be just like her; that’s quite frightening. To think there are legions of young girls just waiting for the gods of page 3 to shine down on them and turn them into living Barbie sex dolls is worrying indeed. She was even described as a “female icon” and someone near the end of the film said, “I think she is a good role model. I can think of far worse role models” but tellingly, this lady wasn’t invited to offer up suggestions for who those “worse role models” might be. Kerry Katona perhaps? She’s about the only one I can think of.

Jonathan Ross – who is like sh** in a field at the moment, you simply can’t avoid him – added his twopennorth and we saw footage of him in the film saying of Jordan, “She’s common as muck and we love her for it” and loathe though I am to give credence to anything Ross utters, I suspect he hit the nail on the head in terms of explaining the Katie to Jordan to Katie success; she’s a person from a working class background who’s now filthy rich.

And for as much as I can’t bring myself to give credence to Jordan/Katie as an icon simply because she has giant boobs, used to fall out of nightclubs, has slept with a variety of famous people and whose make-up artists and air-brushers do a good job of making her look as plastic as most of her actually is, ultimately, her appeal is as DIY lovemaking to Pam – Pam of their hand – fodder for men who buy a particular kind of magazine, and of late, those who’ve enjoyed her reality TV appearances.

But I’d have to admit that the how of why she’s become so rich is really rather irrelevant if money is what you’re after in life, and of course, who’d turn up their noses at receiving a bank statement that informed you that you were £30 mill in the black? Not this pilgrim… So, I’d have to say, well done Jordan/Katie.

Oh, and one last thing that I gleaned from this documentary is that Richard Macer is an exceptionally dislikable man, so I’d also have to give her some kudos for allowing him and his camera to follow her around for years without kneeing him in the dooleys and taking out an injunction.

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.