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Top 10 Times Britain Embraced Trash TV

VO: Richard Bush WRITTEN BY: Paul Grover
One person’s trash is another person’s favourite TV show! Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Times Britain Embraced Trash TV. For this list, we’ll be looking at the trashiest of television shows that Brits just couldn’t get enough of. Be it the escapades of holiday reps, housewives or Geordies - everyone’s entitled to a guilty pleasure now and then! We’re sidestepping reality TV stalwarts like “Big Brother” and “The Jeremy Kyle Show”, though… And have instead focused on various series which specifically capitalised on the awkward, cringey and often controversial blueprints that the likes of BB and JK set out. Special thanks to our user WordToTheWes for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Times Britain Embraced Trash TV


One person’s trash is another person’s favourite TV show! Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Times Britain Embraced Trash TV.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the trashiest of television shows that Brits just couldn’t get enough of. Be it the escapades of holiday reps, housewives or Geordies - everyone’s entitled to a guilty pleasure now and then! We’re sidestepping reality TV stalwarts like “Big Brother” and “The Jeremy Kyle Show”, though… And have instead focused on various series which specifically capitalised on the awkward, cringey and often controversial blueprints that the likes of BB and JK set out.

#10: “Ibiza Weekender” (2013-)


Originally “The Magaluf Weekender”, the reality show decided to spice things up by relocating to another Spanish island, thus rebranding itself as “Ibiza Weekender”. The series follows the day to day lives of holiday reps with all the naughty antics you’d expect them to indulge in. In fact, the reps usually end up having a better time than the guests! At seven series and counting - with spin off show “The Weekender: Boat Party” to boot - this is trash TV that’s clearly found a devoted fan base among Brits.

#9: “Just Tattoo of Us” (2017-)


A latecomer to the ever-popular ‘reality TV meets body mod’ sub-genre, by the time “Just Tattoo of Us” hit our screens in 2017, you might’ve thought we’d have tired of watching other people getting inked. But, no. What sets this show apart is that every design is chosen by someone other than the person actually getting it done – whether that’s your best mate, significant other, mother, brother or just a work colleague on a wind up. In some cases, the results are stylish and generally agreeable. In others, not so much. But that’s exactly why we tune in in our thousands – right?

#8: “The Real Housewives of Cheshire” (2015-)


The success of “The Real Housewives” franchise that started in the US and spread internationally eventually reached UK shores with “The Real Housewives of Cheshire”. Perhaps it's because “The Real Housewives of Greater Manchester” doesn't have the same ring to it! The show offers an insight into how the more privileged live; complete with dramas, squabbles and all the other things less affluent people also deal with on a daily basis. The series’ premier was ITVBe’s second highest rated episode for a programme ever, signifying its success with British audiences.

#7: “The Undateables” (2012-18)


Channel 4 have been accused of being exploitive more than once over the years, and releasing this show about people with physical and mental disabilities and calling it “The Undateables” didn’t exactly help them shake that reputation. But despite backlash from doctors and members of the the press, some of the stars of the show actually did find love from appearing on the programme. Lasting for nine series and – surprisingly – being nominated for a BAFTA, the docu-series and its subjects were evidently embraced by the public.

#6: “Geordie Shore” (2011-)


Joining the likes of “The Only Way is Essex” and “Made in Chelsea” as regional based reality shows, “Geordie Shore” takes it up several notches on the trash scale. There’s arguing, fighting, swearing, and... well, a bit of something else entirely. Say. No. More. The British answer to “Jersey Shore” has ran an astonishing eighteen series’ so far and has seen it’s cast spin off into a plethora of other reality shows. It's a definite win for MTV, but raises some serious questions about British tastes and sensibilities.

#5: “Celebs Go Dating” (2016-)


“Celebs Go Dating” gives regular Joes the chance to date a celebrity, and while the likes of Tom Hardy and Gal Gadot may be out of reach, Joey Essex and Charlotte Crosby are up for grabs! The series does what it says on the tin, and seeing faces from TV experiencing the awkwardness of a first date just like the rest of us has been a hit with fans. Plus, it’s great that the show gives celebs a shot at finding a partner, which they would otherwise obviously struggle with, right!

#4: “Naked Attraction” (2016-)


It's the dating show that some would have you believe makes “Take Me Out” look like Shakespeare. The title is a giveaway on how the structure plays out, with fully clothed contestants choosing between potential dates who are stark nude. After choosing their would-be-lovers – basing their decisions mainly on genital cosmetics – the dressed participant then strips off as well. It’s like a date on rewind. Despite a flood of to be expected complaints over the obvious, the series is still going strong. Somehow.

#3: “Paris Hilton's British Best Friend” (2009)


Before Kim Kardashian was the queen of reality TV and socialite celebrity number one, there was Paris Hilton. Arriving after “The Simple Life” and long after a certain home video, “Paris Hilton’s British Best Friend” showed us that the best way to find a sincere best friend is to host a reality show where wannabes compete for the privilege. The series at least demonstrated that Hilton loves the British; or perhaps just no US networks wanted to air it, who knows? The series was eventually won by, er, someone who probably doesn’t see much of Paris anymore.

#2: “Benefits Street” (2014-15)


Channel 4 strikes again, this time managing to outdo themselves with “Benefits Street,” a street where the majority are reliant on welfare to get by, documented, apparently, for little more than our snooty entertainment. The show was criticised for portraying the benefit claimants in a negative light, as opposed to the system responsible for their plight. Even with the expected wave of complaints the show received, it was the channel’s highest rated in years, which led to a second series and spin off, “Immigration Street”, being commissioned.

#1: “Love Island” (2005-06; 2015-)


Perhaps the epitome of trash TV . . . but it's arguably also the most popular trash of its kind – and we include “Ex on the Beach” in that. Every year, “Love Island” increases its fandom, edging towards four million viewers. The show has most of the country discussing it via social media and in work places and pubs across the country when it’s on. The simple concept sees islanders pairing up in hopes of being voted the winning couple to receive a cash prize. So, they can get together for love or financial incentives . . . so pretty much just like any relationship!
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