Just been on Radio Essex on the strength of my piece in the Guardian today on Essex's annus mirabilis. Had an interesting debate with presenter Ian Puckey about the merits of The Only Way is Essex.
He was very against the old stereotypes recycled on TOWIE. Fair enough, but my argument was that 20 years on from Essex Man perhaps Essex men and women can laugh at themselves too. And the rest of the country surely realises it's an exaggeration of a stereotype, that like all stereotypes has some basis in truth.
And the stars of TOWIE do represent something of the hunger and desire to succeed that epitomised early entrepreneurial Essex Man. Amy might not know the meaning of certain words like but isn't scared to ask and doesn't seem to be at all worried by her geographically-challenged notions of London/Essex. And we have to admire the ambition of someone who can class herself as an "eyelash technician".
Its stars do seem to be doing such a great job at milking their stardom, having cornered the celeb mags and the Sun's bizarre column, that they might be in the running for young business people of the year.
It might be naff, but it's made me laugh. Merry Essexmas Mark, Lauren, Kirk, Amy, Sam and co.