Love Thy Neighbour
Out of the blue, Grassington hit the arc lights
and was in the limelight where it never ever wanted to be.
Suddenly, Grassington had the poison chalice
thrust upon them, and with an iron fist they decided to grasp
the nettle tightly with both hands. The producer Jamie Isaacs
(that's the one with no hair on his head, shiny white McLean,
clean teeth and a vast ego behind such tat as "World's
Strictest Parents," and "Brat Camp" but let's
not get personal) fed a line, bribed/coerced some locals and
shot some heavily edited footage so as to push the envelope,
squeeze all the boxes and, as it turned out, fired off a lot
After several months, Grassington was finally
chosen from a shortlist as the location for a new TV series.
Grassington was selected, largely because of its strong sense
of community. Filming started in September 2010 for a new
8 week series
('The Village)' now subsequently known as :" Love Thy
Neighbour", broadcast initially on Chanel 4. Now deemed
unfit for purpose and shovelled onto the More4 Friday night
cart at 9pm.
The competition series, with a prize of a £300,000 furnished
house in Grassington, involves 12 families who come into Grassington,
two at a time for 5 days, in an attempt to endear themselves
to the locals by staging various events and showing off their
talents. The families are voted off by locals each week.
Villagers hope their involvement will increase
tourism to the area but there were concerns it may portray
the community in a negative light.
Love Thy Neighbour was relayed on Channel 4 from 3 March.
In each episode two families move to the village. They have
only a week in which to throw themselves into the local community
and convince locals to vote them into the semi-finals.
At the end of the series it will again be the turn of the
residents of Grassington to decide which of the families they
would like to move to the village permanently.
Villagers say the economic value of appearing on national
television convinced them to participate in the programme
hoping it would attract vital tourists to the area. Grassington's
shops and businesses rely heavily on tourism
Mary Wilkinson, who has lived in Grassington since the 1970's
and is president of the local WI, told BBC Radio York: "There
were mixed feelings because we have so many deserving youngsters
who desperately need a home of their own in the village. But
once we realised the programme was going ahead many of us
in the village thought the best thing to do was to get behind
it. We are lucky we do have local shops and businesses but
we need the tourists to support our local livelihoods. If
the programme goes out in the way we hope it will, then people
will want to come to visit and spend their money."
There have been concerns that the series could portray the
villagers in a negative light, as they meet contestants from
a wide range of diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.
Mary Wilkinson admitted that not everyone got behind the programme,
but said that for those who did it was a rewarding experience.
She stated: "Would the whole of any area get behind one
thing? The beauty of being behind the programme and working
with it was to meet the people and the contestants, who were
lovely people. Grassington used to be a conservative place
in all senses of the word, but it isn't like that any more.
We thrive on the diversity of the village and the people who
Chris Berry, a rural journalist with the Yorkshire Post,
said: "People who live in villages like Grassington are
on the whole very warm and accepting, but you will always
get one or two people in any community than can be a bit iffy
with certain people."
The winning contestants will receive the £300,000 cottage
in the village but will have to commit to living there for
at least three years.
Most of the REAL village kept so well hidden and out of the
way, out of shame, during shooting, that they virtually vanished.
Whilst others, like THESE
just inadvertently set themselves up.
All are welcome to add their comments on the Forum.
thy Neighbour:- Arts Desk Link _HERE >>>
4 OD Last shown episode:- HERE >>>
- A word fromJamie Isaacs Executive producer HERE >>>
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Forum Comments on GRASSINGTONWEB
Have your Say! HERE >>>