Celebrities Under Pressure



Melanie Sykes (Series 1-2, 2003)

Vernon Kay (Series 3, 2004)


Granada for ITV1, 13 September 2003 to 7 August 2004 (14 episodes in 3 series)


A willing family of four/five allow a complete stranger (technical term: "celebrity") to co-habitate with them, whilst the Z-list of preference practises some exciting task (invariably a memory test or shooting hoops from a distance). The week of thrills and spills that follow are then shown in the form of a soothing 'video diary', cataloguing the Z-list's sheer inability to operate in a remotely cerebral fashion (and the family's despair at not actually being able to recognise the person who has turned up on their doorstep).

The household then gather before a studio audience, where the Z-list has to pull off their nominated stunt in one attempt only, on pain of seeing their hospitable hosts lose all the fabulous prizes they'd chosen beforehand. Either everybody wins, or nobody does and the Z-list returns to his/her league of animosity with nothing but a guilty conscience to their name.

A fairly nice graphic package accompanies the show, but other than that, the presentation is slightly lacking. The theme tune wants to be James Bond, but can't obviously be James Bond (most likely for copyright reasons).

Truth be told, the eponymous pressure aspect is very much there, but you can't help but notice that it's basically a very bog-standard rendition of The Moment of Truth... with celebrities in it. The fact that this is just another agonising example of the direction most of ITV's entertainment shows are headed make this a rather ungratifying hour of television. Life can be harsh sometimes.


Ultimately based on the Japanese format Happy Family Plan.


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