I hate to start a post with a negative, but Brian Dowling is a bit rubbish.
I accept that filling the gap between Davina McCall and The Mighty Willis on Big Brother would be a tough gig for anyone but the general meh nature of his tenure on the Elstree runway arguably did the brand more damage than the idiot contestants.
Luckily, ITVBe have spotted Brian’s ‘goat tied to a stake’ stare and, presumably after an insurer prepared to offer cover, placed him in the middle of two sofas containing eight of the most outspoken, spoilt, narcissistic women reality tv has had the temerity to throw up. Their body language suggests he’ll be in tears by the second ad break and the implied peril of his imminent demise is essential to one’s enjoyment of this show.
But mainly because until the last ten minutes or so, the whole thing was a bit of a damp squib. Early skirmishes between the Housewives fail to ignite, even as Brian helplessly douses them in petrol. They include (but are not limited to, mostly because anyone of these women could start a fight in an empty hot tub) Ampika’s inability to wear knickers, Dawn Ward’s habit of drunkenly looming over people in clubs while shouting in their faces and/or verbally assaulting people with references to dried fruit.
The highlight, at least for the first fifteen minutes is Ampikas foot, which contains all of her rage and swings, increasingly aggressively, in the general direction of Tanya Bardsley’s face. Tanya, whose pregnancy hormones should probably be incarcerated without trial, tells Ampika to piss off on eleven minutes.
It’s no secret that over the last few months, debate over our presence in Europe has escalated hostilities between two defined camps. I am, of course, referring to Ampika Pickston’s decision to hire a private jet and ship Leanne Brown over to Paris Fashion Week, leaving her bestie Dawn Ward at home. If you’ve ever been a twelve year old girl, you’ll know exactly how this goes.
The dignity of eight women over thirty (Ed – 30?!) arguing over whether one of them is trying to steal the friendship of another for herself can be debated until the end of time, but I think we can all agree that no one comes out of it covered in glory. Or glitter.
Tanya, bless her, has made no secret of her inability to control herself when unprecedented volumes of oestrogen are swirling around her body, so she we’ll offer her spite and venom a hall pass on this one occasion, while Dawn does herself no favours either.
If you’d have told me after the first episode of RHOC that when all the fans waving, invoice producing, snark throwing was done, I would feel most warmth towards Ampika, I’d have advised you to seek psychological help. But despite Mark’s coat, the body paint based distress of Leanne’s 40th birthday and that camo leotard, there’s something about Ampika that I quite like.
The rest of ’em? Call me harsh, but one comment hung over the hubbub of dissenting voices for the last five minutes of the show and it’s as accurate a summation of these people as you’re going to get without artillery.
“You’re full of sh*t. You’re horrible.” Sums it up, essentially.
You can watch the Real Housewives of Cheshire on ITVBe. Series 4 friends airs later this year.