Dooley makes Flanagan look like Einstein’s twin sister...
If there was ever a show to benefit from listing’s luck it should have been last Monday’s Stacey Dooley Investigates (BBC3).
In Cocaine Capital of the World, the perky presenter visited Peru, a country that has now overtaken Colombia for cocaine production.
Just hours earlier, two gullible young women had been stopped at customs in Peru’s capital Lima and paraded for the 0h-so-familiar photograph in front of their luggage, which happened to contain £1.5m worth of pure cocaine.
Time will tell if they indeed “smuggled in return for their lives rather than for cash” under death threats from a “mysterious Londoner” in Ibiza.
This show could have given an insight into the cycle of cat-and-mouse between the authorities and the cartels.
Instead you had to check it wasn’t a The Day Today-style spoof report with Catherine Tate-style characters.
In prison she met Danny, a gap-toothed bloke from Southend wearing an England football cap – “Gotta represent your country”.
And after watching the production process she merely expressioned like Tate’s flirtatious Essex couple Paul and Sam when the drug-maker replied he was “performing a useful service by allowing soldiers to fight without fear”.
It wasn’t well received online; one brilliantly observation read: “She may have a pretty face but she makes Helen Flanagan look like Einstein’s twin sister.”.
A Dara Yazdani added: “She certainly is no Louis Theroux” – actually hinting at the problem with the show. You just didn’t know it was faux naive or she was just stupid.
The bizarre thing is she has tackled some meaty issues.
In Blood, Sweat and T-shirts she demonstrated that global economic oppression is in your undies by focusing on third world labour laws.
Then she shone her searchlight on former child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo and on sex trafficking and underage sex slavery in Cambodia.
And BBC Three has also aired Tourism and the Truth, Stacey investigating how tourism in Thailand and Kenya affects local workers, in particular with regard to local wages, corruption and environmental changes.
But how does this serious investigator tag herself on Twitter, @StaceyDooley1?
“Here she is! Landed look! Twitter, what you sayin? Stacey Dooley’s official page......nicely x x x, Luton massive.”
Imagine working for peanuts in a Bangladeshi sweat shop and that’s the introduction from the person who’s come to highlight your plight.
She’s in Brazil at the moment, and this week, while no doubt in a quest to right injustices, wrote: “Cake for brekkie and off to play with the cowboys bit later...Cor, today’s shaping up nicely.”
Does she want to be taken seriously or as a spouting ‘innit’ teen?
She’s less Paul Foot, the George Orwell Prize for Journalism winner, and more Paul Foot the unfunny-funnyman with the bizarre hair.