Love Thy Neighbour to win a home on C4
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03 Mar 2011
Love Thy Neighbour to win a home on C4
Channel 4's new reality TV show 'Love Thy Neighbour' offers 12 couples the opportunity to win a home in the country worth £300,000. The show, which airs tonight, is set in the picturesque town of Grassington in Yorkshire. The contestants will have to win over local villagers to clinch the property prize and a new life in the country.
This new television show, which was nearly called The Village when we first heard about it in May 2010, is a twist on the standard reality show format UK viewers have become so accustomed to in recent years.
Instead of being placed in an artificial home for a few weeks before heading off home, the 12 families pitted against each other in 'Love Thy Neighbour' are battling for the chance to escape the rat race and start a new life in the country. As a result, the importance of fitting in with the local community is a central theme of the show.
Up for grabs is a £300,000 cottage in Grassington, a charming market town with a population of about 1,400 people. You can expect Channel 4 producers to have picked a selection of families that you wouldn't normally expect in a quiet Yorkshire village - and presumably to put into question some of the values of the rural community along the way.
The first show airing tonight will see builder Steve, his partner Nicky and their teenage children set against Philip, Simone and their 3 boys from London. Philip would like to become a Tory MP and lists Margaret Thatcher as a role model.
Each episode will see the city contestants organise a party for the locals in a bid to ultimately be voted the winners by the villagers at the end of the show. Given the types of individuals that Channel 4 reality shows normally attract, viewers can expect unusual, interesting and perhaps at times inappropriate ideas on behalf of the party organisers.
Given the life-changing nature of the prize, one thing is for sure: contestants are likely to try very hard to win over the locals. The result is likely to be an interesting anthropological experiment, however one can only wonder what long-term effect it will have on the local community and how well the winners of the show will ultimately fit in once the cameras have left Grassington.
The show will no doubt appeal to those viewers that long to escape for a new life in the country - as long as they are already inclined to enjoy watching reality shows on TV.
What do you think? Is it a good idea to film this type of show in a village like Grassington, and can the winners ever properly fit into this community? Or is its very nature (the presence of cameras, the artificial process involved in selecting winners...) such that the contestants may find it difficult to adjust in the longer term? Your thoughts and reactions are welcome!
Love Thy Neighbour airs tonight at 9pm on Channel 4. Picture courtesy of Channel 4.