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The Only Way is Essex

Tourism in Essex has soared by 140 per cent after hit reality TV show The Only Way is Essex came to the screen.

Internet searches for weekend breaks have soared – despite the county being portrayed as a tacky place filled with nightclubs, beauty salons and bars.

I just love that (my emphasis) “despite” there. Go on Daily Mail!

For the record I know Essex very vaguely so I can’t really comment on the reality of it. As to the “reality” TV show…

The show, narrated by Essex girl Denise Van Outen, regularly pulls in one million viewers on ITV2.

One million people watch that! I have seen it and it’s dreadful. It’s like “Footballer’s Wives” without the production values, acting or plot. It’s fucking abysmal. Now before anyone gets on a high horse here it has to be said my taste in TV is decidedly puerile non-Reithian. I am not the sort to watch Brian Sewell on BBC4 wittering on about Caravaggio and buggery*. My current favourite TV show is the re-runs of ‘Allo ‘Allo.

But there is a difference between well-done puerile and some jerk with a camcorder from Currys on 50 quid a day plus expenses (mainly Ginster’s**). Fair play to ITV2 if they can get a million people to watch that unmitigated shite.

For the record I live in Cheshire (the Essex of the North – allegedly) and the local estate agent is currently offering the opportunity to buy, for a mere 325K, “The Cottage at Ball Beard Farm”.

I’m trying to end this with a witty one-liner. I’m almost tempted to set up consortium to buy it. Just as long as I get to be the Indian Chief. That will have to do.

*The buggery is not mentioned enough as far as I’m concerned because the rest is just pretentious wank,
**Ever had a Ginsters? I did once. I prayed to all the gods in Valhalla because for me to have died then would have been the most profound of all mercies.


  1. JuliaM says:

    “For the record I know Essex very vaguely so I can’t really comment on the reality of it.”

    I can. Parts of it are beautiful. But most large towns (Basildon, Romford, Colchester, Southend) are exactly as portrayed in that show.

  2. NickM says:

    So where does the money (as portrayed in the show) come from? And how, more to the point, can I get to live in a £2m half-timbered gaff and drive a Merc just by having a haircut like Justin Bieber and being gay (though all the vuvuzeladed* lasses still fancy me) and poncing about. Like a right ponce.

    *I know it’s not the right word.

  3. JuliaM says:

    It mostly comes from duckin’ and divin’, being a little bit ‘wooooah’, a little bit ‘weeeeeay’, and from benefit fraud. Oh and scrap metal. If you know what I mean…


  4. NickM says:

    The Royal Navy you mean? I thought they scrapped that in Pakistan these days.

  5. There are far worse programmes on telly.

    I once watched five or ten minutes of TOWIE by mistake (not knowing what it was) and it is quite difficult to work out whether it is a documentary about stupid, vain people or a really, really, badly scripted soap opera. On that level it was quite good.

  6. To add to my previous comment, there was a third possibility, that it was a spoof, but if so, was it a spoof of a fly-on-the-wall documentary (like ‘People like us’ or ‘Come fly with me’) or was it a spoof of a really bad soap opera devoid of plot?

    I was a bit disappointed when it turned out that it was none of these things.

  7. NickM says:

    My thoughts exactly. It could have been deliciously PoMo. In the end it was just shite.

  8. RAB says:

    Never been to Essex, well with the exception of Stansted Airport, and that’s bad enough. My cousin’s husband used to be Mayor of Southend and Teddy Taylor’s Agent, but we’ve never visited them, they always seem to come to us.

    Not seen the Prog either, and on current recommendation, I won’t rush. What channel are the Allo Allo reruns on then? We only have Freeview at the mo?

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