TRIPOLI: Television executives had reportedly landed in Tripoli last night in an attempt to persuade Muammar Gaddafi to join the latest reality show sensation. The next series of I’m a Dictator Get Me Out of Here, produced by UK production company Endemic, is due to start shooting in April, and producers are apparently desperate to sign up the outspoken Libyan leader before he fulfills his pledge to martyr himself.
“Mubarak and Ben Ali have already signed on the dotted line,” said an insider source. “But Gaddafi, with his wild gesticulating, bizarre speeches and ever-changing wardrobe, would be the cherry on the top, a real ratings winner.”
In I’m A Dictator Get Me Out of Here, contestants are required to live on a tiny isolated island in the Pacific Ocean for up to two months. During their stay, each dictator lives a fairly basic existence, but can earn extra rations and luxury items through a series of grueling trials. Each week, one dictator is voted off the island by the public, eventually leaving a winner.
Last year’s debut series saw international viewing figures top 100 million for a nail-biting final in which Burma’s General Than Swe pulled off a surprise victory over Robert Mugabe, the former having won over viewers after spending over five minutes sitting in a tank full of crocodiles. Mugabe’s temper tantrums, most notably a 10-minute expletive-filled rant when forced to eat cockroaches, became some of last year’s most memorable television moments.
As an added incentive to complete the challenges, this year Endemic have teamed up with The Hague, who will be grilling the losing dictators each week via a tribunal to be held on the island. The overall winner, however, will be granted immunity from any tribunals or corruption investigations for at least five years.