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The new constructed reality ITVBe show ‘Absolutely Ascot’

PUBLISHED: 11:54 18 September 2018 | UPDATED: 11:54 18 September 2018

Straight from the horse's mouth: Absolutely Ascot is not expected to provide a real 'fly on the wall' account of life here

Straight from the horse's mouth: Absolutely Ascot is not expected to provide a real 'fly on the wall' account of life here

Maureen McLean

Ascot knows how to raise a glass or two, but might need a double as Absolutely Ascot is filmed, which seems a long gallop from reality in East Berkshire

It’s impossible not to think that there are more than enough characters among those fortunate enough to live in Ascot for any TV company to find ‘stars’ willing to appear on screen, even if many of the good folk there would rather stay behind some pretty impressive gates with a polite ‘thanks, but no thanks’.

But, it seems that possibly most of those who will feature in the planned ITV ‘constructed reality’ series Absolutely Ascot, for which filming has started, have been ‘parachuted in’, perhaps to add some spice to a town already endowed with plenty of genuine sparkle courtesy of the racecourse and highly desirable postcodes.

So where in the genre of partially scripted dramas will Absolutely Ascot sit? Obviously as far as you can get from Geordie Shore (and we don’t just mean geographically) and, one might also have hoped, many bad fake tans and cheap lip fillers from The Only Way is Essex. Perhaps the idea might be to meet in the middle between Made in Chelsea and The Real Housewives of Cheshire.

Or maybe not. Some are already in fear of a type of ‘Chavscot’ being portrayed as social media has revealed that much of the youngish cast seem to come from (surprise!) Essex, others from good old Slough, nearby at least, and there’s even a girl who likes to dress up as Elsa from Frozen as a children’s party entertainer. Who might live in Ascot… or at least close to the town.

The show is being made by TV production company Optomen, responsible in the past for Great British Menu and Mary Portas: Secret Shopper.

There’s been no filming at the racecourse itself – which apparently refused to take part – and several local businesses also decided that the cameras could roll without their participation.

Our view? A five-minute-wonder of smudged mascara and “He really isn’t worth it, dahling” is on the cards. Have a stiff gin Ascot – you know the better brands – and concentrate instead on colour for winter borders, autumn spa breaks and the latest arts and crafts ‘must dos’. It’s what you do best and no Essex lad from the My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding crew posing in the town centre will change that.


10 top finds in Ascot - Whenever we set Maureen McLean loose in Ascot we’re not sure if she’ll be back again… there’s a lot to enjoy!


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