Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

TV Reality Show Casts an Eye on Our City Revellers; Geordies in Spotlight for Programme

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

TV Reality Show Casts an Eye on Our City Revellers; Geordies in Spotlight for Programme

Article excerpt

Byline: Ruth Lawson

THE image of the Newcastle as a vibrant cultural city could soon be shattered by a new reality TV show set to concentrate on the old cliches of Geordies as scantily-clad drinkers and party animals.

As plans get under way to use the city as the setting for a tell-all programme following the lives of a group of people from the region, experts fear the North East may suffer if the show hones in on the typical Geordie stereotype.

Based on the success that music TV channel MTV had with its American reality hit Jersey Shore, producers decided to bring the same format to the UK and selected Newcastle as the prime location to film.

But with promises of half-dressed women, gym-obsessed men and plenty of drinking, many fear the city's cultural and historical heritage will be overlooked.

The programme, named Geordie Shore, is being produced by Lime Pictures, the team behind Channel 4 teen drama Hollyoaks and ITV2 show The Only Way Is Essex. Staff at the company have already been scouting about in Newcastle selecting venues to shoot. Among them is Floritas in Collingwood Street, where they hope to film in March.

Dr Lee Barron, a principal lecturer in media at Northumbria University, thinks the show will prove to be a double-edged sword for the region.

He said: "I think in one sense shows like Jersey Shore and The Only Way Is Essex are quite interesting and especially now the conventional reality television shows like Big Brother have gone and we're moving away from that spectacular game show back to what reality shows were in the past.

"So it's interesting that it's not that new but it has this really distinctive 21st Century feel and is obviously very glamorous.

It's not going to be about an everyday community - it's very much individual larger-than-life characters, relationships and adventures." Newcastle is nationally renowned for its party lifestyle and attracts hundreds of visitors every year to sample the scores of bars and clubs on offer.

But equally, the region is famed for its beautiful scenery and rich historical attractions - something which it could be argued will be overshadowed by the image of the North East that looks set to be portrayed when Geordie Shore hits our screens.

Dr Barron said it is quite possible the show's producers may choose to play up to the stereotype that young people in the North East have long been labelled with.

He added: "It will be dependant on what kind of representation the show will focus on.

"Lots of the nationals had pictures of people in Newcastle out in sub-zero temperatures without jackets during the snow and inevitably they will go for the glamorous side of Newcastle so I suppose there's every risk that it might."

The US show follows the lives of eight men and women sharing a beach house on New Jersey's Atlantic coast. …

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