From Jedward bouncing through the Britney back-catalogue on The X Factor to Lisa Scott-Lee 'taking a moment' while waving a melodramatic hand in front of a tear-stained face on Steps Reunited, every reality show needs a breakout star.
For ITV2’s The Big Reunion, that star is Abz (née Abs) from Five.
With his shaved-eyebrow-raising Enfield-via-Jamaica accent, puppyish enthusiasm and seemingly endless supply of increasingly surreal popstar anecdotes, the 'Little Miss Perfect' hitmaker is an absolute gift to television.
Here are just a few highlights from last night’s episode.
- He has a rainbow-coloured cap with a uinicorn on the front. It is the most brilliant cap I have ever seen in my life. This show seems to have been shot over several months in a variety of locations. Abz is wearing the cap in every single scene.
- He describes first meeting Ritchie in the mid 90s as if it were a recreation of the climactic scene in ET. "I had never encountered a… being… like you before."
- His reminiscences are masterpieces of tantalisingly omitted detail: "I went after him… To cut a long story short I got arrested."
- On how Five could carry on without J: "How about calling ourselves Four but spelt with a… 4?"
- He appears to have spent the years immediately following Five’s demise on the bender to end all benders. "A rich woman took me in… I was having Lemon Sorbet with Vodka… For breakfast!" Incredible.
- He’s not entirely averse to the idea of exploring his sexuality, as outlined by this heart-warming tale: "This one dude offered me a Bentley to spend the night with him, and let me tell you man – for a moment, I could smell the leather."
- The accessories of the rich and famous don’t easily faze him. "I had this watch with all these diamonds rolling around in the face. You couldn’t even tell the time, it was ridiculous!"
- During a particular low point after his solo career tanked, he spent time living above a bakery. "I’m waking up in the morning and there’s a rat looking at me like 'go get me some o’ that cake that’s downstairs'," he remembered at one point. "That’s not right, man…"
- Nowadays he lives on a farm, and is heart-meltingly proud of his newfound passion for growing 'curly carrots'. (It’s exactly what it sounds like).
- That said, he hasn’t quite got the hang of poultry care yet: "I had ten chickens… I’ve got four left." What happened to the other chickens? Chillingly, we never find out…
The rest of the episode contained more awkward let’s‑all-pretend-Jenny-Frost-never-happened stuff from Atomic Kitten, and Sean from Five basically coming off like the very worst person in the world, but all of this was mere window dressing for the wonder that was Abz.
When this show is over, I want him to get his own spin-off show; perhaps a series of nature documentaries where he gets to travel the world being adorably amazed at things while wearing his rainbow unicorn cap and wielding a novelty carrot. Heavenli from The Honeyz, with her bizarrely languid speaking voice, could narrate.
Next week – dark confessions from 911, more familial drama from the B*Witched camp and best of all, even more Abz! Clearly, the folks at ITV2 know certified TV gold when they see it.