The second series of Made in Chelsea, the UK's posh TV show, came to an end this week. For those are who out of the loop, this is an unintentionally funny scripted reality soap, which centres around the champagne lifestyle of a young wealthy social set who live, eat, drink, shop or club in Chelsea, then decamp to country mansions or exotic holiday locations most weekends.
The main characters are Spencer and Hugo, who sport Simon Cowell tribute hairstyles, and their blonde love interests, Caggie and Millie. Then there are the long-haired male co-stars: Ollie, whose hair rarely sees shampoo, and Fredrik, whose hair rarely experiences a comb.
The supporting cast includes oddly named people like Binky and Proudlock. While not billed as a comedy programme, it certainly has its moments of near farce, many supplied by the breakout star, the extravagantly named Mark-Francis Vandelli Orlov Romanovsky, who settles for Mark-Francis Vandelli in Made in Chelsea. Poor Mark-Francis cannot survive without his London housekeeper when she has to stay at the family's palatial villa in Cannes — he can't make his own bed, load a washing machine or cook a meal. Such is the peril of growing up rich!
Wealthy they certainly are: Jamie is heir to the McVitie biscuit fortune and Millie comes from the Mackintosh toffee family. Only two of the cast seem to have any idea about creating their own fortune — Amber, who runs an online jewellery boutique, and Francis Boulle, famous here for starting the controversial website sexymp.co.uk.
There are few product launches — sweets, t-shirts, nothing too exacting — but much of the series revolves around the cast's love lives. There is much 'disrespectful' behaviour, which embraces anything from casual flirting to secret cheating.
Made in Chelsea, which has a cult following, will be back for a Christmas special and a third series is in the offing. It is all pretty harmless fun, although I can quite see why rich parents worry about the life prospects of their young.
But a wild thought occurred to me as the credits rolled: go back about 40 years and move up a few rungs of the social ladder and there you would find not Spencer and Hugo, but Prince Charles, Andrew Parker Bowles and their social set, including a girl called Camilla Shand. Plenty of 'disrespectful' goings-on there! What a pity we didn't have reality television to record their acitivites then.