ITV to make reality show on affluent Jersey housewives

AFFLUENT Jersey women will be in the limelight when The Real Housewives of Jersey airs on ITV.

St Helier high street, Jersey. (Picture by David Ferguson, 28542175)
St Helier high street, Jersey. (Picture by David Ferguson, 28542175)

Casting calls have reportedly made the rounds to find appropriate candidates to star in the ‘structured-reality’ series, based on popular American series The Real Housewives of New Jersey.

UK television producer Monkey Kingdom created shows including the award-winning Made in Chelsea, Young Dumb and Living Off Mum, and Honey I Suckle the Kids.

Participating ‘secret’ housewives will be followed by camera crews as they day-trip around various luxurious island venues to showcase the high life.

Jersey deputy Jeremy Macon told the Sunday Times: ‘I hope the “real” housewives... will have long-established family connections to the island and will demonstrate their understanding of its unique heritage and culture.’

Estate agent Margaret Thompson said ‘any show that shows off our beautiful island and its beaches is good.

‘I’ve been here since I was 18 and I love Jersey, so I think it’s important to give something back to the island we all enjoy.’

Tessa Hartmann, Jersey Style Awards founder, said any production which showcases Jersey’s businesses, heritage and culture is fantastic.

‘It’s a huge opportunity for the island – anything we can do to give a platform to this amazing place in terms of encouraging retail and tourism is a great opportunity,’ Ms Hartmann said. ‘From an economic perspective I think it’s going to be huge.’

But former deputy Alastair Layzell said that presenting Jersey as overly affluent might not be in tune with the times given the Covid damage to economies.

A comparison was drawn with the 1980s crime series Bergerac, which was filmed in Jersey.

‘Bergerac, for example, was slightly criticised for the murders in the show and so on, but everyone understood that it was a crime series, so that small criticism was outweighed by the benefit of seeing the island so beautifully portrayed and nicely filmed.

‘Today, we are in different times. The idea of “bling” is, I think, slightly out of fashion – we’re dealing with a pandemic and people are quite rightly concerned about others, so I’m not sure they would want to see that sort of portrayal.’

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