DO YOU DEE? Weighed down by its own “ironic” shtick and dreary self-awareness, DEE CONSTRUCTION: THE SIMON DEE STORY (C4, Dec 29, 10pm) nevertheless contained some gruesomely fascinating moments – almost all directly involving the star of Dee Time, the (UK) pioneer of the live TV chatshow, a major late 60s celebrity (average audience: 17 million viewers) who self-destructed overnight and vanished from all screens anywhere over 30 years ago. In other words, the story was interesting, but his angry and drunk ansafone messages to the producer (of this documentary, during its making) were unmissable, as was his squat, brooding, furious, agonised presence as one of the panel of bagodix pundits at the end, discussing his own case with the likes of John Mortimer, Bonnie Greer and Professor Laurie Taylor… the latter scene especially good, as it became clearer and clearer than no one present dare i. say anything (to his face) that laid even a part of the blame on his own door, ii. counter (to his face) his unchecked paranoia (Dee himself blames the CIA for everything, more or less), or iii. analyse (to his face) celebrity culture past or present in any way disparaging to Dee (or which those present believed he might consider disparaging). In the end, everyone agreed to bash Jade Goody instead (Jade wasn’t there): “You had a genuine talent,” they kept all telling him, and he scowled like Banquo’s Ghost.

I remember Dee Time, which at the time I thought wz v.boring (“pah, more grown-ups talking, when is Titch & Kwakkers on plz?”) but afterwards they confected a present-day episode of Dee Time which seemed to demonstrate (OK I fell asleep halfway through) that,
A. Dee still totally has it (whatever “it” is), and
B. His rise-and-fall was in fact everything to do with the dynamics of Reality TV, pundit conclusion notwithstanding.