CAMBS: Cambridge to get TOWIE treatment with own reality TV show

CAMBRIDGE looks set for The Only Way Is Essex treatment after it emerged a new reality TV show could be coming to the city.

Best In Cambridge could be the next in a long line of regional shows which include Geordie Shore, Made In Chelsea and Desperate Scousewives, where cameras follow the lives of a group of real people. ITV2’s The Only Way Is Essex - or TOWIE - won a BAFTA at last year’s television award.

The team behind Best In Cambridge has revealed it will revolve around a group eight to ten 20-somethings and entertain viewers with “their love lives, break ups, elite parties and working lives”. The cast will include an aspiring actor, a manager of a nightclub and the owner of a beauty salon.

The shows around the country have divided opinion as some see them as the saviour of reality TV while others see the shows as scraping the barrel of tired formulas.

It is believed Cambridge was sought as a location because of the prestigious university and the studious lives of its inhabitants.

Cambridge University student Zoah Hedges-Stocks said the show could be a double-edged sword.

“On the one hand these programmes do tend to have a negative effect, but on the other hand we do have a reputation for being a bit boring so it is maybe a chance to show that Cambridge students do have some fun,” she said.

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“Students who have worked hard to get here and are quite career motivated are not going to want to look like an idiot and ruin their job-hunting prospects.”

Editor of university newspaper The Tab Keiran Corcoran said the show might portray a caricature of Cambridge people.

“The show as it was projected in the advert doesn’t imply students would be involved in any way. If a student were to be involved I think the most likely think to happen would be that the TV producer whoever is behind it would take the easiest option and put forward the laziest caricature possible.”

Mr Corcoran cited ITV2’s 2009 drama ‘Trinity’ set in a fictional university town as a similar project which “is very entertaining but I suppose in the long run would give little value to Cambridge.”

Best In Cambridge would not be the only soap in the city.

Fonz Chamberlain, who directs his own soap Cambridge Lives, said Best In Cambridge would present a completely different genre of programme to his work.

“Cambridge Lives is different. It’s more drama based. We give the “EastEnders” side of things where their’s would be more a reality TV show,” he said.

He praised Cambridge as a setting for a soap: “It’s definitely full of characters, lots of different people from all walks of life.”

He said Cambridge Lives was a bit behind schedule but hoping for a spring launch on community channel Envision TV.