Russell Kane (who ironically looks pretty freaky himself) is on a mission to discover and celebrate the range of Britain’s weirdest and most amusing personal habits and obsessions.
After Natalie Cassidy’s Becoming Mum finished its run on BBC 3 (nooo!), I needed to replace my trashy TV quota for the week. I decided to see what else this less prestigious channel had to offer… and with shows such as America’s Next Drag Superstar, I was not disappointed.
The current BBC3 offering, Freak Like Me, is a show celebrating the bizarre habits of the British population. Now I know everyone has little habits that are individual to them. I won’t walk over three drains, I like to pick bits of trees and bushes when I’m walking along, and I also have a strong aversion to empty plastic bottles… but does that make me a freak? Where do we draw the line at what’s ‘normal’?
Is it normal to cut your toenails everyday, line the nails up on your bed and inspect them? Probably not, but then there’s a thin line between “habits” like this, and clinically diagnosed problems such as OCD. The comment section on the website, in which people have written in with their habits, offers a disconcertingly wide range. Some are mundane such as- ‘I bite my nails all the time’, others are pretty harmless- ‘I have a weird obsession with buying notebooks of different sizes and colours.’ But then there are some that are a little more worrying:
“I’m 20 and since I was 7 I’ve been touching things when I pass them. Yes, I have OCD… If I don’t touch it in the right place, I have to go back and touch the object again – sometimes a few times, until I touch it in the right place. I get nervous when I don’t touch something I have to touch.
Everytime I go somewhere I take everything I like (small things, things that fit into my bag) and put them in my bag, even though I know I’m not going to use them. You never know when you need your cute Japanese stickers.
Everytime I see the number 3 or 8 I have to blink while looking at it. Yes, also when reading a book.”
(There were a lot to choose from, but couldn’t resist picking another 20 year old Emma)
It’s definitely interesting to gain an insight into other people’s secret habits, especially those which the show dubs as ‘freaky’. But as the programme’s title insinuates… if we all have habits, even if they’re different for every person, can we really call them weird?
If you can, catch-up with the show on iplayer, or take a look at the website… http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00vls5z
Comment on this post to share your habits; I’d be interested to hear them!