A recent posting on a talent agency website indicates that Cambridge will be the subject of a new reality TV show. ‘Best in Cambridge’ will be shot in a similar style to ‘Made in Chelsea’ and ‘The Only Way Is Essex.’
According to the post, the “twenty-somethings of Cambridge” will bring “a unique angle on popular reality shows,’ as the love lives and partying of eight to ten characters will be captured on camera. The characters include an aspiring actor, a nightclub manager, a beauty salon owner and an ‘investment professional.’
Early reports, which had suggested that the characters of the show will be Cambridge students, were not accurate. Josh K Fay, who wrote the original post on the talent agency website, made this clear, saying, ‘There has been an amazing response, but people thought it was about Cambridge University students. It is not.’ Fay explained that the people responsible for the post are simply a group of his Cambridge friends, who think a Cambridge-based reality show is “a great idea,” and they “want someone to back it.’
During the last academic year, a top production company allegedly made initial enquiries to make Oxford the subject of a new reality show. This show was to be based on the lives of Oxford students, and was also to be similar in style to ‘Made in Chelsea’ and TOWIE. According to Victor Greenstreet, former JCR President of St Hughs College, the initial enquiries were made to OUSU but the project was shelved after alleged intervention by university authorities.
Kieran Corcoran, editor of ‘The Tab’ in Cambridge, has spoken out against the concept of a show based in Cambridge, however. He expressed the view that if ‘Best in Cambridge’ is made into a television programme it ‘will establish a caricature we’ll all come to hate – even the people who fit it quite well’.
Corcoron argued that Cambridge already has problems with image misrepresentation, saying that ‘Best in Cambridge’ will only worsen ‘the awful gap between reality and Reality.’
Oxford student Danielle Bunting commented on the proposed reality show, saying that there is no point making another reality show like TOWIE, unless they take advantage of the one thing Cambridge is known for – its university. Vikram Nagarajan agreed, remarking, ‘there seems precious little else there really.’
Jess Gaunt noted that the proposed ‘characters’ such as actor and nightclub manage don’t fit the Cambridge stereotype. She observed, ‘I don’t think even people who watch The Only Way Is Essex would be interested in this.”