Just witnessed what was probably the biggest non-event in the history of the tube, Channel 4's "The Exorcism". A Monty Python sketch come alive! Premise is that a possessed person is wired up to an EEG machine and their brain patterns are recorded while an exorcism takes place. Now while I wasn't expecting to see a teenage girl writhing around on a crucifix and puking up green bile over all and sundry, I equally didn't anticipate the total non-event that followed. First of all no Catholic priest, just one of these dodgy born again Evangelical bible thumpers (Trevor) from a Hallelujah sect in Birmingham, and the "possessed" person a startlingly dim bloke called Colin who happened to be one of Trevor's regulars from his little group. Trevor used to suffer from booze and drug problems which on meeting Trevor, he came to realise were actually demons which were possessing him, and through the power of Jeeeeezus, blah, blah, etc, etc, you know the rest. You sense you're in for a non-event when the host, Krishnan Guru Murthy, is told right from the start by Trevor, that no, this is definitely not an exorcism, it's just a form of cleansing ritual. Further hints of non-eventdom are given when we get an interview with the possessed person, sitting there looking vacant of any thought , let alone a demonic one. Exciting highlight of interview: INTERVIEWER: And what do you expect to happen here tonight Colin? COLIN (POSSESSED): Er... I don't really know, like... Or thereabouts, etc... About half an hour of build up ensues with lots of hi tech computer gear flashing and various talking heads, psychiatrists, religious figures (and one particularly scary mixture of the two - a sort of born-again psychiatrist with a "manner" and dodgy hair-do that screamed "Hide the kids!") being "probed" by Murthy who tried vainly -as he did throughout the entire 90mins- to whip up some air of excitement. Anyway after a commercial break it was back for The Exorcism, as Krish insisted on calling it, despite being told by Trevor several times that it wasn't. It went something like this. TREVOR: Are you alright Colin? COLIN: Fine thanks. T: Praise Jesus... Oh Lord we pray you cast out this demon of fear from your servant Colin [ you couldn't make it up could you? ] in the name of our lord Jesus Christ! We command you begone spirit! In the name of our glorious saviour, etc, etc... T: (Repeats same except substitutes "...demon of paranoia...") Trevor rubs Colin's tummy, Colin takes a few deep breaths and ...er... that's it. About 90 seconds in total! My mate and I looked at each other then almost p***ed ourselves laughing. (We nearly passed a kidney later when they, unbelieveably, showed an "action replay" of the "event"!!!) Enter KJM (breathless with excitement), informing us that we'd be back after the break with the results. After the break KJM polls various talking heads about what we've just seen. Various softly spoken Church of England types and crusty old academics, do their best to be polite and say something - anything - other than the obvious answer "**** all!". Only one guy - a fat bloke who's sometimes on Richard & Judy - had the bottle to nail it on the head and said that we hadn't seen anything spiritual or religious but rather a form of auto-suggestion commonly used by Fundametalist Christians where a dominant, forceful personality sublimates a weak, submissive one. On the nose! Excitement entered the programme at this point when the dodgy preacher's wife told the fat bloke off and shrieked a passage from The Bible at him for his insolence. Complete with those scary eyes that they always have if you annoy them. As for the results - "Well... ...er... there was a bit of yellow here when Colin became relaxed..." was roughly it. (Scientist concerned visibly squirms with embarassment). Then to cap it all the big post exorcism interview with Colin. KJM (excitedly): Well Colin how do you feel after that experience? COLIN: Alright really. Quite relaxed. I was quite relaxed before it really. I'm quite a relaxed person all the time really. To the point of brain death, one felt. The televisual dead horse continued to be flogged mecilessly for another twenty minutes with KJM, breathlessly trying to force a talking head into saying that we'd witnessed something "astonishing", but to no avail. In they end most of them looked visibly annoyed. One final hilarious cherry on this half-baked cake. About a dozen times throughout this programme KJM counselled the viewers "If you feel you have been affected by anything you have seen in tonight's programme, a Channel 4 helpline has been set up, etc..." I don't know whether the person responsible for this disaster should be shot or congratulated for producing the funniest piece of television I've seen all year... Laugh? I nearly sucked c***s in hell!