There are memes as well known as the Mona Lisa. And just as in the case of Leonardo da Vinci’s muse, it is the image itself – through endless reuse and ubiquity – that becomes famous, rather than the individual depicted.
Dash Water’s series Dash into the Limelight (online) looks to delve deep into the people behind the memes and online funnies, and find out how viral fame has affected them.
It’s all to promote Dash’s new lime flavour – hence limelight (the product uses wonky fruit and the show’s subjects have “wonky stories” Dash says, stretching somewhat).
Episode one featured ‘Whisk Guy’, better known as Kev Riley, who in 2012 shoved a whisk in his mouth on Come Dine With Me – the multi-layered wrongness of which has delighted and appalled the internet ever since.
YouTubers Josh & Archie – best known for pranking Katie Hopkins in 2020 and somewhat where-are-they-now? worthy themselves – host. They asked Kev about how the incident came about, and its impact on his life: he sometimes gets recognised, he takes his own whisk to his DJ gigs so he can reenact the party-piece and avoid the “industrial whisks” usually at catered weddings.
The hosts were hardly the most penetrating interviewers. Archie laughed a little too much, while Josh had a rather haunted presence.
Who knows, perhaps the series will be an important cultural artefact one day (imagine a recorded interview with THE Mona Lisa)? In the meantime, it’s fun enough, throwaway stuff.