What do we learn from Mike Reed’s appearance on Life Laundry? Once again, the show serves up actually quite powerful psychological renewal, disguised as a simple exercise in house-clearing. Read’s refusal to empty his boxes of rubbish did turn out to be a symptom of a wider refusal to share his life with anyone ‘ and the closing scenes of Read and his fiancee in their newly lovely home were even quite touching. However, the ongoing unravelling of celebrity culture ‘ a “we make ’em, we break ’em” principle operated by both media industry and public ‘ continued apace as well. Read appeared either too lazy ‘ or too mean ‘ to have cleaned up and put into use just the sort of luxury swimming pool we might imagine him to own; while his 4 hour radio shows, broadcast from his own garage thanks to ISDN, looked more unglamorous even than his brown-stained Radio 1 Roadshow shirt. More shocking still ‘ Read has written 32 books! Count ’em! With an alarming new tendency away from Cliff Richard and towards Rupert Brooke. Read clearly thought himself quite cultured, in the bumbling middlebrow kind of way that imagines quoting monarch’s last words shows class. But then, if Mark is correct below, perhaps Mike Read IS as much a historical authority as a TV academic with a university post; in which case is it any surprise that someone brought in to tidy the garage would end up spring-cleaning your love life? Like ‘Would Like to Meet’, ‘Life Laundry’ is one of those makeover shows that always seems to end up telling us much more than the folks who signed up for them intended.