The British art world is tonight reeling from the shock announcement that since 1994, the UK’s most prestigious award for ‘up and coming’ artists has in fact been a carefully staged pilot for a BBC game show.
Until now, the elaborate deception has been known only to a handful of connoisseurs of the genre, most of whom have made lucrative careers off the general public’s ignorance of contemporary practice in locationalism, spot-theory, and canvas-based painterism .
But, with the assistance of leading London dealer galleries such as F*RT, and Bolloques Pretentieux, BBC Arts programmers have been carefully monitoring the ‘annual threshold of gullibility’, testing it regularly, and through carefully developed programming massaging it towards a blanket acceptance of almost anything.
The most recent applicant for the ‘art prize’ was in fact not even a young artist, but a young lawyer for a leading government agency.
Representing the Crown Prosecution Service, lawyer Yvette Colmer provided a compelling argument that a judge’s gavel could legally be defined as a musical instrument, as was the case in Chorus vs. Bridge, and “as such, judges, going back to the signing of the Magna Carta had in fact been playing their part in the longest drum solo in history.”
But before the BBC could agree, the spell was broken by another contestant’s leaking the story to the newspapers, in this case the controversial and hard-line Isle of Wight Traditional Fishing Council.
Hoping to recreate the success of an earlier contestant’s ludicrous success with a ‘shark pickled in formaldehyde’, the council offered the island’s older men the welcomed opportunity to keep specially harvested cod in their trousers for the summer.
The fish would then be split and mounted as a collection of traditional fertility totems.
However, BBC management drew the line at showing "inbred islanders waving their cod pieces on national television”, claiming that the show needed to “entertain, educate, and inform” citizens, rather than allow one of Britain's "developmentally underprivileged" communities to bring themselves, and thus the whole country into disrepute.
‘Hirst Come, Hirst Served’ starts tonight on BBC2 at 9pm.