Alice Bell Inter-planetary TV musings
Come on then, own up. Who honestly believes life on Earth is so bad that they would rather sign themselves up to go and start a new colony on Mars? Well, 165,000 of us, apparently. Maybe it's all those people who took David Bowie a tad too literally. Perhaps one is David Bowie.
Now a Dutch company is deciding which lucky four will be setting off on the one-way mission in 2023. In true Noah's Ark fashion they want two men and two women. It's like The X Factor for astronauts. Or Stars In Their Eyes – literally.
A transvestite taxi driver from Hull is one of the wannabe spacemen/women. Okay, now it's sounding more like The Jeremy Kyle Show: Mars. You wait, that will be one of the dwarf trash-monger's next stories: "My boyfriend cheated on me with a Martian."
It's a proper daytime telly story: 52-year-old Melissa Ede was born a boy but now lives as a woman after having the op. I'm sure we can all see the flaws this might have for that old colonisation plan, not least because the trip doesn't start for another ten years. Do they have IVF on the Red Planet?
But then again, if you live in Hull, I suppose your only hope is that one day you might be abducted by aliens.
Ms Ede is also quite keen to move to Mars because her parents have apparently always said she "lives on a different planet" and now she wants to be able to say: "Screw you Mum and Dad, I actually do."
When this story came out last week I tweeted about what a fab interviewee she made, being a little sarky I must admit, so imagine my consternation when she re-tweeted my remark. And then started following me on Twitter. That's another thing she probably should have checked before signing up: what sort of broadband speeds they can pick up on Mars.
Personally I'm not sure I would want to start a whole new world. Better the devil you know and that. Also, a space rocket would be a bit ambitious for me because in all of my 21 years I have never even been on a plane. Although that might have something to do with the fact that I once went to France on a ferry and afterwards decided further Atlantic explorations were unnecessary.
It could be a good move for humanity though, if we're being allowed to send four people into outer space on a one-way ticket. I vote the One Direction lads. A one-way ticket in one direction – it's almost fate.