The recent additions to Keynsham's battery of CCTV cameras has inspired a fortunate side effect in the form of Channel 4's big cheque book. The media giants have selected the town as the very first to be featured on 'Talk Of The Town', which is set to run for seven weeks, commencing on Friday 11th June. As well as a nightly highlights show hosted by Linda Barker, sister channel E4 will screen 24-hour live footage to the known World, all via the security cameras in our streets and shops.
Each night, the shows viewers will vote to close down one of the shops, with the last retail outlet left standing set to win the £100,000 star prize and the accolade of being 'Top Towny'. With an expected worldwide audience of over 120 million, the humble village of Keynsham looks set to become as familiar as the Queen Vic or Richard & Judy's front room. Disguised as Salvation Army reps, replete with copies of War Cry and hats, we trawled the Friday night pubs to gauge public opinion.
The official logo
One reveller told us: "No thanks mate!" while another simply gestured with his right hand at us. Eventually, the pub joker took us seriously, commenting: "I can just see it now - that Geordie bloke saying 'Day 28 - Church's are still selling papers. Who goes? You decide'. Ace one! Do we get to grope Davina?" Other people in the Chinese openly expressed their concern for the project. One woman told us: "It's not fair on the small traders. They aren't interesting enough to stay in. Look what happened during the trials for the show - we lost Edward Joll and the video shop just for being boring."
A Channel 4 spokesperson sent his assurances to the townsfolk, saying: "We appreciate that Keynsham will only be left with one shop, but that's never been a problem in the past. Besides, we've got a queue of charity organisations in advanced discussions with our property department. Every cloud has a second-hand lining."
Be sure to stock up on blank VHS tapes and set your video recorders to catch the whole affair this summer. We wouldn't miss it for the World!