You have to wonder what journalist Liz Jones was doing at the ITV studios, on the set on the highly successful dating show Take Me Out last week. Was she hoping for a date herself, or was she perhaps after a bit of bitchy backstage gossip from the girls? In either case, she got nothing, instead she found a good natured camaraderie amongst the girls, and as she described the guys as ‘spotty’ it was no surprise that she went home alone. Ms Jones wrote an article about her experience at the Take Me Out recording, and she regaled in detail how the thirty girls who appeared in the show rocked up with ten to fifteen or so outfits, copious hair extensions and acrylic talons. She talked about the small budget the show has, for example the girls get £10 for expenses, and she let on that girls were sharing rooms at a low cost hotel near to the studios. Was she trying to evoke a cheap and cheerless tarty image to get a reaction to her article I wonder to myself? If so it wouldn’t surprise me, Jones has a bit of a reputation for provoking a vitriolic response, from even the most mild mannered of people.
In June 2012, she angered the silver fox of daytime telly, Phillip Schofield, by slating his co-presenter Holly Willoughby for posting a photo of herself on Twitter without makeup calling it a “betrayal to women,” and denouncing her as a “playground bully.” This Morning presenter Schofield defended Willoughby by saying “I swear there can be no greater force against all womankind than Liz Jones. She is inconsistent, bitter, nasty and unhinged.” Jones also picked on Amanda Holden in July 2012 for having a face that looked ‘other worldy’ and commented that ‘her face would probably squeak were you to run a finger over it.’ Very strange behaviour as Miss Jones herself has undergone a full face-lift.Jones seems to have made something of a quasi career out of angering people, with many calling her self obsessed and flaky and she even admits herself that ‘everyone in fashion hates me’. She is perhaps, most famous for her confessional writings which involved her seven year relationship with journalist Nirpal Dhaliwal, to whom she was married for four years. Every week in the Sunday Mail, she would ‘bang on’ and complain about how he was ill treating her, as if the public were the slightest bit interested. Then she gave up her life of luxury for a hermits existence in a farm house in Somerset, which she liked for a while, and then she started moaning about that as well. I think most people probably gave up on her by then. She even wrote a book about the local area which angered said locals, entitled The Exmoor Files and prompted a proper journalist – Jane Alexander to comment that Jones’ opinions were “a clichéd, stereotypical and, frankly, lazy image of the countryside.”
Miss Jones, who once revealed that her staggering extravagance has left her £150,000 in debt, tried at one point, as an experiment, to live on the current rate of Job Seekers Allowance. Although I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt and presume her intentions were honourable, this is what she wrote after the one week of the experiment: “I AM exhausted. I cannot move or think. I look terrible, ugly. I feel completely humiliated. The reason? I have just spent a week trying to live on benefits.” I have to tell you that a psychologist would have a field day with the amount of times she writes ‘I’ in that one sentence, in other words, she is supposed to be writing about people surviving on a subsidence and yet again, it’s all about me me me. Of course, those who actually have to live on benefits for months and months at a time, will know that living for a week will in no way give you any idea of what it is really like to have to find money for monthly expenditures, such as the gas and electricity, water, council tax, TV license bills, any emergency payments, or if you are struggling with ongoing debt payments.
But I digress, back to Take Me Out and what was Miss Jones real intention when she visited the studios that day? Surely not to denigrate a hugely popular programme that has an average viewer total of around 4.5 million every Saturday night? Surely not to slate the girls or boys that appear innocently enough on it, for a bit of fun each week as entertainment and for a bit of a laugh? Perhaps we should leave the last word on this subject to one of the contestants who actually appeared on the show, and can give us some real insight into what goes on:
Elle, Realville, 30/10/2012 0:46
I am on the current series and I’d like to clear a few things up. Firstly, I am a young professional who owns my own home and works very hard. I am not an attention seeking bimbo. I applied for the show because it looked like fun. I wanted to meet some new friends, open my social life up to some girly holidays with other fun, pretty single girls, and yes if I met a guy that would have been wonderful. I’ve found men rarely ask women out anymore in bars or clubs. They don’t need to. There’s always someone willing to put out for free and sadly no strings attached often wins at the end of a boozy night. I don’t have time for new hobbies- we’re in a recession and I work my ass off- and so this show opened a new opportunity up. I achieved what I wanted from the show. To meet new likeminded friends. I can truthfully say not one bitchy word was spoken during almost 3 wks of filming and we’ve met up regularly since. Its a lighthearted 7pm tv show. Why analyse it and judge in such detail?