Herald Scotland

November 22nd, 2011

Published on 18 Nov 2011

TOWIE, for those high-minded souls unfamiliar with the acronym, stands for the Only way Is Essex.

It’s an ITV2 reality show following the (mostly) young and (entirely) perma-tanned denizens of Brentwood and Chigwell as they deal with everyday issues such as whether to go for the American White porcelain tooth veneer or the dazzling Hollywood White, and wrestle with questions like: how big is too big when it comes to boob jobs.

Towie is also a sleepy village near Alford in Aberdeenshire. while assuredly a lovely place, it’s of no concern to us here.

TOWIE the reality show is often in the headlines and rarely for good reasons. But even by its standards it took a pasting this week with the news that Britons blame it for the bad taste epidemic sweeping the country.

TOWIE, said respondents to an online poll, was having a detrimental effect on the nation’s sense of taste and aesthetics. to wit: fake tans, hair extensions, chunky jewellery and Botoxed lips.

In terms of how TOWIE’s principals dress, it’s a fair cop. Those are the fashions du jour down Brentwood way. But it’s a shame the show is getting such a kicking because elsewhere its contribution to British culture is immense.

It is bright, funny, entertaining and its stars are defiantly upbeat in these grim economic times. and did you know that in may it won a BAFTA, beating off competition from Downton Abbey and the killing? That it has done wonders for the tourist industry in Brentwood, previously best known for being the birthplace of Noel Edmonds.

Or that lexicographers and Scrabble players the world over are indebted to it for putting the word “vajazzle” into common currency? Imagine that on a triple word score and tell me TOWIE isn’t worth celebrating …

Herald Scotland

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