ITV1 planning Liverpool reality show

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 29 August 2011
Stars of The Only Way is Essex

Stars of The Only Way is Essex

ITV1 are planning a new scripted ''living soap'' reality show in Liverpool

ITV1 are planning a new "living soap" reality show in Liverpool.

'The Only Way is Essex' creator Tony Wood is working on the scripted show – which he likens to defunct soap 'Brookside' –following the lives of people and businesses in the Northern city.

He told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "I'm working on a new scripted reality show for ITV1. Is it a reality 'Brookside'? You could call it that.

"It's storytelling with real people, a sort of living soap."

The city – where pop group The Beatles famously hailed from - is currently popular with reality show makers, with MTV working on another version of their 'Geordie Shore' reality series in the city, to be called 'Mersey Shore'. E4 is also planning a show called 'Desperate Scousewives'.

However, local Member of Parliament and former mayor Steve Rotherham has raised concerns the shows could fuel "regional racism" and only promote stereotypes of the people who live in the city.

He said: "TV programmes about our great city seldom portray the positive side of Liverpool life.

"I think often simply reinforce the stereotype so I'm not looking forward to it.

"We've got to break this cycle."

The popularity of reality TV shows focusing on regional areas has been spearheaded by 'TOWIE', which has become ITV2's most successful show ever, although ITV entertainment boss Claire Zolkwer said she has no plans to move it onto the broadcaster's main channel.

She said: "I'm not sure it would work on ITV1 so well. It would be better to create a bespoke series."

She also confirmed the show's stars – which include Sam Faiers, Lauren Goodger and Mark Wright – are paid just £50 a day for appearing on the programme, but said they receive far more through their resulting fame.

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