Here is another thrilling extract from Falcon Boy and Bewilder Bird vs Dr Don’t Know in a Battle for all the Life of all the Planets. In this section we learn a little bit more about the kind of television programme that a superhero like Bewilder Bird likes to watch when he is not trying to save the world from complete and utter destruction. If you want to find out more about superhero viewing habits and a whole lot more besides then why not follow the link here. Here. Here. Here. And here.
Now in its twelfth season, the premise of Paint Tales is a simple one: a single tin of paint is followed from the factory where it is made to the place where it is used, via the shop where it is sold.
For enthusiasts of the programme, the joy of the journey is immense and somehow almost immeasurable. As a result, Paint Tales has now become a global, if somewhat esoteric, phenomenon. Discovering that the tin of paint you thought was going to be used as a humble undercoat turns out instead to be the final flourish of a ceiling in a converted bathroom can be close to life-changing for aficionados of the programme.
For anyone else, the premise of the programme is almost as disturbing as actually watching an episode and both the existence and continuance of Paint Tales has become a major topic of cultural debate. For some it is the ultimate guilty pleasure, for others it is the producers who should be feeling guilty.
Falcon Boy laughed quietly.
‘The season finale of Paint Tales was about a tin of red paint, Bewilder Bird’s favourite colour, and he had been looking forward to watching it all day. He had even left a note on the fridge to remind himself that it was on that evening.’
For future reference, interest, or indeed, warning, depending on what it is that you like to watch or not watch on television or any other screen, Paint Tales is from the same production company that created Concrete Superstar.
Many media experts believed that Concrete Superstar was going to be the next big thing in format television but the programme only ran for a single season. As a result, the five episodes that do exist have achieved cult status.
Each week, Concrete Superstar challenged three celebrities to lay the perfect concrete patio. Aided by experts, a whole range of stars of stage, screen (both big and small), music and anywhere else mixed, shovelled, poured, levelled, screed, bull-floated, hand-floated, rounded (if required), cut-in, and broomed their concrete in a race against both the clock and the other contestants.
The locations chosen were both indoor and outdoor and for the second season, it had been proposed that the programme go to different locations around the world so that factors like local building customs, union regulations and temperature extremes could be brought into play. Sadly, however, this was never to be.
Like many other people (but sadly, as it turns out, ultimately not enough other people), Bewilder Bird found Concrete Superstar really exciting because you could never really tell which one of the chosen celebrities would be the best at pouring concrete just by looking.
For example, who could have known that Dame Circular Rosetwine, opera singer and biscuit entrepreneur, would beat upper body muscle model and self-confessed DIY enthusiast Flint Roland in the first episode?
‘I thought I had it in the bag,’ said Flint afterwards, ‘until one of the production crew told me that I had poured the concrete upside down. It wasn’t until I had ripped everything out and started again that I realised they had been pulling my leg.’
In the second episode, renowned aristocratic bad-boy ventriloquist Sheridan Shaw and his foul-breathed puffer fish puppet, Puff the Puffer Fish, lost out to one-time pop sensation Dorothy Sister, lead singer of the reasonably-famous (and reasonably-named) Dorothy Sisters.
Puff the Puffer Fish refused to cooperate during the aggregate mixing phase and allowed Dorothy Sister to win by a technical default, even though she had managed to bury one of her high heels beneath a crazy-paving slab.