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How Many Less 'Famous' Brits Would There Be If British Reality TV Wasn't A Thing?

How Many Less 'Famous' Brits Would There Be If British Reality TV Wasn't A Thing?


Mark McGowan

Mark McGowan

The scene is set. It's 2052, all of Britain's remaining reality TV stars have contributed their sperm and eggs to various petri dishes to create ten reality super humans.

Those ten come together to star in My Parents Were Famous, Get Me Out of Here Big Brother Shore's Got Talent - mayhem ensues.

Now, don't get me wrong, if someone offered me an eye watering amount of money to drink beer, swear a lot, and pretend to give a shit about the people around me, I'd take it. But until that day comes, I'm just going to do what comes naturally to us Brits, and complain about reality TV.


I'm partial to some of the reality shite that's forced down our throats now and again, some of it can be entertaining. However, the problem is that there is just far too much of it.

There are so many people who are a product of reality television that it's lost on us who is actually famous for talent, rather than their luck.

Starting from the bottom, Big Brother has managed to make 'stars' of many people. 17 series in and there are multiple no marks still gracing our screens.

Nadia Almada, Imogen Thomas and Nikki Grahame are the first few that spring to mind.

Overall, about eight people have gone on to achieve 'fame' from the show inspired by George Orwell's 1984.

Heading now to the north east of England, to Newcastle, where a group of Geordies have managed to take their 15 minutes of fame, and spread it out for what seems like forever.

I am of course referring to the British equivalent of Jersey Shore - Geordie Shore.

A lot of people know of this lot, specifically Gary 'Gaz' Beadle, Charlotte Crosby, and Vicky Pattison.

19 of them, who literally get paid to party and shag each other, have come (quite literally) and gone onto some kind of fame off the back of their reality TV stints.

Two have won Celebrity Big Brother, and one has won I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here.

I wouldn't check their Instagram accounts, it'll just make you envious.

Now, onto the wonderful world of TV talent shows.

I can't really count the winners of things like Pop Idol and Britain's Got Talent, because for the most part, they're actually talented.

But what about Rylan Clark? He was a catastrophe when he stepped out on stage to audition for X Factor. Now what's happened? He's the host of Big Brother's Bit on the Side, and pops up on all sorts of things.

Cher Lloyd. That annoying little girl who modeled herself on Cheryl 'I haven't got a clue what her name is at the moment' Cole, has somehow managed to find fame.

Jedward! FUCKING JEDWARD! The pair that literally make you want to rip your bollocks off just so there's something more painful than their voices.

As far as my research can take me, I seem to have found 12 acts that have gone on to steel some kind of a living. I mean, no one seriously liked Stacey Solomon, did they?

I haven't forgotten about those pesky posh boys down south, either.

The Made in Chelsea lot made names for themselves through semi-staged drama in champagne bars.

So far, across 11 seasons, 26 of the posh lot have gone on to grab their 15 minutes of fame, plus whatever else they've managed to squeeze out of it.

Spencer Matthews, Millie Mackintosh, Ollie Locke and Jamie Laing have proved to be at the forefront, but there's whole host of others behind them that literally bring nothing to the table, but still have 'fame'.

Not too far away from them are the fake tan clad lot from Essex.

The Only Way Is Essex brought the likes of Joey Essex, Gemma Collins and Mark Wright to our screens, and can only be described as 'TV aids'.

The recurring themes are that someone has cheated, someone has put on weight, someone has talked shit behind someone's back, and bad acting.

What? Oh, bad acting isn't a theme? It's just genuinely terrible and unconvincing? Oh, my bad.

30 Essex born and bred caricatures have come and gone since 2010, each one of them leaving behind a trail of waxed eye brow hair, fake tan and botox.

Don't get me wrong, I respect Joey Essex for the career he has ha - HAHAHAHAHA - I almost got through that without laughing.

I feel bad bottle necking Gogglebox into a group with all of these shows, as it's actually entertaining, but unfortunately I have to.

The Royle Family tapped into the realism of sitting at home, watching television and arguing with your family, and it went on to become one of the best loved British sitcoms ever. Gogglebox does exactly the same, but instead of actors, it's genuine.

It's a decent show, with people like Scarlett Moffat gaining fame, and even releasing a book.

In total, eight of the cast have gone on to some kind of fame.

Shout out to my man Leon, by the way. Keeping it real.

Another program you may not associate with the smut that has been listed above, is The Apprentice.

For what it's worth, I actually think The Apprentice is brilliant entertainment, just because everyone fears Lord Alan Sugar so much. The power he has to make those contestants into bumbling messes is fantastic.

Now, despite the fact that it is a riveting watch when it's on, it is the reason that so many of us are pained by the existence of Katie Hopkins.

Katie makes many appearances across television, none more famous than when she was on ITV's This Morning, saying that parents who name their children after places are stupid - despite the fact that one of her children is called India.

Alongside Luisa Zissman, she is one of two to go onto fame because of The Apprentice.

Of course, all of these people came from relatively unknown backgrounds, and just happened to like the idea of fame.

There are numerous celebrity versions of reality TV shows that bring in people who consider themselves 'celebs', yet no one has ever heard of them.

They take their chance on the likes of Celebrity Big Brother and I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, to achieve the real fame that they've always craved.

You could imagine that Katie Price, formerly known as Jordan, would have fizzled out with The S*n's page three, and been forever known as 'the model who was in that glaringly below average sex tape'.

Alas, no. ITV's 'celebrity' jungle game show has now made her 'the former model who craves fame, appearing on anything she can, releasing books, and was in a glaringly below average sex tape'.

Dee Kelly, or 'White Dee', is another one. 'Star' of Channel 4's Benefits Street, a show that followers people claiming benefits, documenting their lives and lack of motivation to gain employment.

She was then deemed enough of a celebrity to appear on Celebrity Big Brother, and managed to finish fifth.

All in all, I suppose I've just grown more and more envious that people have been given an easy way to make a lot of money, and I don't blame them for doing so.

After a brief conversation with colleagues, the general consensus was 'yes, I'd definitely do it for the money'.

I eventually reached the end of the road when it came to this research, any longer and I'd have actually clawed my own eyes out over the sight of fake tan, false eye lashes and pretentiousness.

Overall, I found that there are 98 Brits living a 'celebrity' life style off the back of reality TV. There's probably a lot more, too, but there's only so much reading about reality TV a man can do.

What's the meaning of all this? Well, quite simply - there's too fucking many of them, with no real reason for being in a spotlight.

If anymore pop up we may as well start the 'Reality TV Hunger Games' - which, to be honest, I might just pitch.

Words by Mark McGowan

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Topics: Reality TV, TOWIE, Big Brother, Geordie Shore, gogglebox