It's known as 'constructed reality' but just how constructed is Made in Chelsea? Writer Ella Talbot investigates the ways the show may be misleading the audience.Written by Ella Talbot on 11th November 2014
Room for a little one?
Following the successes of Come Dine With Me and Love Thy Neighbour, Channel 4’s latest competition comes in the form of Three in a Bed
Following the successes of Come Dine With Me and Love Thy Neighbour, Channel 4’s latest competition comes in the form of Three in a Bed. Back for its second series, this show pits B&B owners against one another in the bid to be crowned best value for money.
What may seem like mere daytime TV fodder has earned itself a coveted evening slot. Three sets of B&B owners take turns hosting and visiting their competitors, judging their stay for the quality of their overall experience. Couples are charged for their rooms at the end of their trip, but there is no limit on how much – or how little – their guests can decide to pay them. Cue hilarity, outrage, and downright stinginess.
For those who have seen the show before, the challengers follow an almost identical pattern every time: there are the stuffy, posh pair who reside in a country manor, a couple obsessed with cleanliness and ‘hard graft’, and an eccentric duo who seem to be in way over their heads.
The first episode of the series stayed true to this formula, as we were introduced to Frances and Tim, owners of the 26 acre Stobbery House. Having transformed their family home into their business, the luxurious surrounds of their B&B did not go unnoticed by their fellow guests. A continental breakfast boasting every nut, seed and probiotic yogurt known to man earned them an impressive 105% payment of their bill. What didn’t go down so well, however, was guest Debbie’s complaint about finding a pubic hair in the shower. Expressions turned stormy, relations turned sour, and Frances virtually had to stop herself frothing at the mouth in pure unadulterated rage to wave a simply splendid cheerio to the rest of her visitors.
Sadly, the perpetrating pube was gone (we hope) but not forgotten by the time it was Debbie’s turn to host. Her B&B Frome Dale, built from the ground up by husband Charlie, was a modern, functional abode set in Dorset. It didn’t have the charm and refinement of Stobbery, but the guests were pleased with their stay, paying the owners their bill in full. The trip wasn’t without its challenges though, as pube-hoarders Frances and Tim spilt red wine on clean freak Debbie’s crisp white sheets. Several tears and curses later, Debbie had her game face back on, but the damage had already been done.
The final couple to host were kooky Marilyn and Ray, whose ‘40s inspired pub, guesthouse and live music venue won over their competitors and saw them receive an impressive 106% of their bill. The dramas of the past few days were left at the door (more’s the pity) and the guests let loose in the Johnny Cash room and art deco suite. As the competing duos made their way home, there was certainly no love lost between the squabbling women, who vowed never to see each other again in spite of Debbie’s earlier claim that she’d revisit Stobbery House. That pubic hair, it would seem, has a lot to answer for.