Following the drivel that was Geordie Shore, the latest reality TV programme about Newcastle upon Tyne started on BBC3 last night. This time, a group of well educated, well spoken Southern young ladies have been selected to live in Newcastle for several weeks alongside a group of poorly educated, deprived Geordie ‘lasses’ in the most poverty stricken area of the city. Called Geordie Finishing School For Girls, the first episode aired on Tuesday night. Demeaning, degrading, mortifying in fact, the hour long ‘entertainment show’ outraged me, my family and most of my friends, Facebookers and Tweeters. The way in which Newcastle was portrayed was despicable. The BBC has chosen to film the most deprived, disadvantaged and destitute places in the city and feature some of the poorest , less fortunate Geordies who live there. What’s more, they’ve chosen some of the most privileged, well-heeled girls from the South to compare their lives.
The programme is stereotypical, discriminating and, in fact, creates a dishonest and deceitful perception of Geordie women. Misleading is an understatement and all the BBC has done is reinforced the stereotypical , trite image of Newcastle and its residents. I am a twenty something Geordie girl and I am proud of my heritage, proud of where I am from and can genuinely say Newcastle upon Tyne is one of the best cities in the UK. I feel privileged to be from such a great place, that offers so much to its people. I am not about to list why it’s a great city, I do not need to justify why it is, but I tell you one thing, we are nothing like how that programme portrayed us. Being a Geordie means everything to me, and every other Geordie in the North East. If the BBC wants to highlight to the rest of the UK what it really is like to live in the North East, in Newcastle, then they need to speak to me, my friends, my colleagues and associates. If they did that though, I doubt very much it would be a good example of the ‘it is awful but addictive’ car crash TV that’s all the rage at the moment.