WHEN I was a journalism student back in the late nineties, I composed a radio package as part of the broadcast element of the course with the subject matter ‘Reality TV’. It wasn’t very good because, frankly, neither was I when it came to broadcasting. I can’t talk proper, you see.

But it was something of a revolutionary topic to tackle at the time given Reality TV had only just started in its purest form. And by that, I mean there were vague glimmers of actual ‘reality’ in the shows we are now bombarded with.

Like with most things these days, the product has become so saturated, you wonder how it could ever continue to be a sound fit in popular culture 17 years on from the first series of Big Brother. But the drum is there to be banged and bang it those bearded TV execs will do while we continue to lap it up.

For the radio piece, I interviewed a renowned TV critic called Charlie Catchpole in the Daily Mirror’s Canary Wharf HQ. “The bubble will burst,” he proclaimed with Piers Morgan-esque confidence. Presumably, Charlie’s evenings in July were spent secretly watching Love Island like three million others.

Reality TV has become something of a guilty pleasure for most of us. That late-night chocolate bar we know we should leave alone, but we can’t. Just don’t tell anyone, okay?

But guilt is absolutely what we should feel when it comes to some of these programmes, for we, the viewers, are playing our part in fuelling a generation of talentless goons who make small fortunes from being obnoxious on the tube.

Shame? What’s that? Having sex on camera and vomiting outside nightclubs like the vile beings on Geordie Shore, who clearly skipped the process of evolution, is standard, as is demanding £10,000 to turn up at a nightclub and talk to a few drunken revellers for an hour as the ‘stars’ of Love Island, like ‘Muggy Mike’ and Barber Kem from Romford, have been doing since being set free from their multi-million pound Mallorcan villa.

All of which, following the BBC salaries revelations, begs the question: How do you measure talent and worth?

Arguably, the cleaner of the Daily Echo toilets wipes the sinks equally with an equal amount of professionalism as the person who writes the front page lead story.

Their mopping technique, in the cleaning world, is second to none - certainly as accurate and consistent as the world class midfielder’s passing ability while plying his trade for Chelsea in the Premier League.

In the vile, largely talentless world of Reality TV, the cretinous, vomiting, sex-on-camera-indulging halfwit on Geordie Shore probably rakes in five times’ as much money in 12 months as a life-saving doctor or nurse working 12-hour shifts for the cash-crippled NHS.

Inequality is nothing new, of course. And I’m not just talking about the gender type. Neither is the shameful human trait of wastefulness and the BBC, having finally revealed details of the jaw-dropping salaries paid to the likes of Chris Evans and Gary Lineker, is something of an expert when it comes to that.

Both are very good at their jobs, Evans in particular, but is he worth £2.2 million of our money for talking on the radio and presenting a few TV shows every year? Of course not.

Am I worth £2.2 million for my role on this newspaper? Don’t be ridiculous.

Is the cleaner worth £2.2 million for scrubbing the loos? No chance.

Nobody performs such a crucial role in any business or society itself to command that kind of yearly wage.

Which brings us nicely on to other areas of the Public Sector, which seemingly throw money at the corporate hierarchy like it’s some kind of wealthy game of rounders, while simultaneously closing down toilets, leaving hundreds of pot holes un-fixed and halting bin collections. “Tally Ho, Anthony old bean, here’s a cheque for £390k. Toodle Pip, now.”

At least with the products of Reality TV, and it pains me to say this, they know within three months they will be yesterday’s news, so can we really begrudge them making hay while the sun shines?

And given that other well known human trait, greed, wouldn’t we all pile in to the kind of money I mention here given half a chance? Now, come on... be honest.

Now, Andy, about that £2.2 million...