Have you binge-watched The Great British Baking Show or The Great British Interior Design Challenge? Millions have. Including me. And I don’t even like or understand interior design. These shows are so popular, lucrative and addictive that teams of great and not-so-great British television producers are scrambling and brainstorming to come up with the next big British televised thing.
The Brits may be screwing up Brexit, but they know how to make must-watch TV. How To Marry A Royal is one of the proposals.
I have been able to confirm that production has begun on The Great British Amateur Surgery Challenge, and was able to snag an interview with Robert “Bobby” Birminghamshire, creator and producer of The Great British Amateur Surgery Challenge.
Q: Bobby, where did the idea for this show come from?
A: We all felt the baking and interior design shows lacked the life-and-death consequences so many millions of viewers crave. Your cake is a little dry, your bedroom renovation is a bit too purple or over the top … so what? Where’s the drama in that? We’re the land of Shakespeare and your actions must have serious consequences. Surgery and all the complications that can result from surgery seemed ideal and quite fascinating. Every one of us on the production team has had a mum or a dad or a mate have something go horribly wrong during surgery. We were sitting around the office, sharing our amusing surgery stories, just cracking each other up, and it just suddenly struck us that this was the ideal show to do.
Q: What a bloody-good idea.
A: Please don’t ever use the term bloody in connection to our show or we will sue the trousers off you.
Q: Sorry. How will you find your contestants, the top amateur surgeons in England?
A: Great question. At first, we thought butchers would be our target group. We tested some of Britain’s finest butchers and it seemed to be working out well. We also found a wonderful chain-saw artist in Cardiff, and an amazing ice sculptress in St. Ives. However, due to some annoying legal complications, we ended up going with first-year medical-school students. They’re technically still amateur surgeons, but have just enough medical training to satisfy our legal team.
Q: How will the show work?
A: Let me use our first episode as an example. In this episode, our eight amateur surgeons each selected a family member or a mate and performed a rhinoplasty on them. You know, a nose job. Everyone, it seems, has a family member or friend with a hideous nose. It was all voluntary, of course. A professional anesthesiologist knocked out each of our patients and our amateur surgeons had at it. Off you go!
After our amateur surgeons completed their work, our judges – two of Britain’s finest professional surgeons, including a kind one and a mean one – evaluated each of the noses, and one amateur surgeon was eliminated. It was an emotional sendoff. We’re calling this episode, our first one: Noses Off!
Q: How are you going to top that on the second episode?
A: I can’t give away too much. But in Episode 2, our great amateur surgeons will each perform a hernia operation.
Q: A hernia operation? How did you ever find 11 people willing to have an amateur surgeon perform this type of complicated procedure on them?
A: You’d be surprised what people are willing to endure to be on the tellie, especially a show that has the words “Great” and “British” in the title. We were overwhelmed by the number of people with hernias who signed a waiver to be on The Great British Amateur Surgery Challenge.We even had a few ambitious people attempt to lift rather heavy objects to induce a hernia. Some of the videos they sent us were hysterical. I can neither deny or confirm the rumors that a member of Parliament will be on this episode. But I can say one of the original Spice Girls will be in Episode 4, a special plastic-surgery-themed episode. It’s a real tear jerker. And a former Manchester United star will be on Episode 7: I Knee-d An Operation.
Q: What other operations will you have your amateur surgeons perform?
A: I don’t want to reveal too much, but each week the surgical procedure will become more complicated, culminating in, well, let’s just say the heart will be involved in the final episode.
Q: What happens if one of your patients dies? Aren’t you concerned about that?
A: Another excellent question. In the event that one of our patients doesn’t make it, we are legally authorized to utilize their remains for The Great British Amateur Embalming Competition. We have already filmed two episodes. Our amateur morticians are really quite marvelous and artistic, and I think this show has the potential be even bigger and more popular than The Great British Amateur Surgery Challenge.We’re also working on The Great British Organ Donor Contest. It’s rather amazing and inspiring how this has all worked out so well.