CHARLES WATERSTREET June 24, 2012
Kyle Sandilands couldn't get his not inconsiderable mouth around Gareth.
Grrrth. Try as he might, it came out all wrong. Grretth. Garrthh. Girth, he said finally, Girth.
Lara Bingle, being Lara Bingle, had been woken from a deep white doona dream by Hermione Underwood, her bestie and former manager, in order to go live on Vile and Tacky O while it was still very dark outside.
From the same thimble of ideas that gave us the Kardashians, comes Bingle - mother, brother and all. As her curiously leaked nude photos from inside the rented-by-the-producers penthouse prove, Bingle is a natural bland.
The Oxford English Dictionary had just adopted the word ''bogan'' as part of the colloquial language of Australia and New Zealand and the transit of Venus had occurred just the week before her show went to air - it seemed all the stars were aligned.
It's not called unscripted for nothing. The first half of last week's show comprised a sort of Dumber Hummer full of the crew - including a token gay, Max May, applying make-up and kiss kiss - while Bling Bingle looked at herself, on the iPhone. ''iPhone, iPhone on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?'' An iPhone app, Bingle Beauty, replied, ''You, Lara.''
She had earlier told Vile that she felt ''violated'' by the nude photos released by her friend Darryn Lyons - of Big Pictures, a photo agency - with whom she has had a business partnership in owning the restaurant Growlers in the beautiful Victorian town of Torquay. Vile and Bingle are mutual product-placement venues.
Later the Dumber Hummer was on its way to a Fashion Week after-party and, heartbreakingly, Bingle changed in the car into her Camilla and Marc jumpsuit, only to realise it was two sizes too small. When she broke the news to Marc on the phone, viewers could hear his weeping. In the blink of an eye, Bingle was in a matching-her-face Acne dress and ready to rehearse her ad libs if interviewed.
We have yet to set eyes on ''boyfriend'' Gareth Moody, real name, who is not a sporty type but a fashionista and creator of Chronicle of Never. At mum Sharon's, we get the full catastrophe that is The Bingle Bingles. Insurance company Bingle.com.au had placed ads in the show for a double whammy as had Shannons motorcycle insurers in the following show, Bikie Wars.
Boy Bingle is Joshua - an on-and-off construction worker and described as ''the definition of the Australian bloke'' on Channel Ten's website. The job description is to keep Lara's ego in check. This month, her honour, Carolyn Barkell, convicted Boy Bingle of assault, fined him and placed him on an 18-month good behaviour bond. Barkell found ''Mr Bingle approached the victim from the blind side and punched him to the left side of the face, causing harm to the victim''. He and his mate Jarrod Broder had been drinking all day at Randwick racecourse celebrating Melbourne Cup day. The producers missed the perp walk outside the Downing Centre on June 5.
Lara donned a Greek fisherman's hat for the rest of the show and spoke into her iPhone held horizontally, in case of smeared make-up and fake tan interference. She gobbled down cupcakes while learning by phone - this is television - that her unopened mail contained unpaid fines and she is ineligible to drive.
Being Lara Bingle has taken the ''extra'' out of extraordinary.
Why do we watch the Kardashians and The Bingle Bingles - including Blind Side Bingle, Shaz Bingle, Bingle Wrangler Hermione and Bling Bingle? Lara is not herself a ''bogan'', defined by the OED as ''unfashionable, uncouth and unsophisticated person, especially of low social status''. Blind Side Bingle might have bogan in his DNA but the show has all the qualities of watching someone pulling the wings off flies. You don't want to look but there is something secretly thrilling about watching someone do it. That's why it's called fly-on-the-wall television.