Saturday, 16 January 2016

The Secret Life Of The Family

So some of you may have seen that we are part of the new Channel 5 show The Secret Life Of The Family. If you haven't watched it - then catch it On Demand because it really shows that even though we're all different, we're THE SAME - just make sure you skip the bits where I'm looking like a miserable old hag. But hey, I totally rocked the denim shorts even if above the shoulders I look a lot like Bet Lynch.
I've been getting lots of questions and comments so I thought it'd be fun to write a little bit about the show.
When we initially got asked to do it, I turned it down because I didn't want to come over all Katy Hopkins and things around here were a bit boring. But after careful consideration I thought FUCK IT as fun opportunities don't come along every day and, hey, it killed two weeks of the summer holidays, saving me a fortune/illness from soft play areas. Plus four crew members in the house from 7am-7pm meant FREE CHILDCARE whenever I wanted to pop to the shops for gin or pretend I was on an important phone call when in fact I was just chatting with my mate. They also helped me to remember my kids names.
The children were super cool about it and worked really hard. I don't think that I need to add more money to their future therapy fund. In fact in Episode 1 when you see them lazing around on the sofa, they had actually filmed four hours that day and just wanted to watch telly. It was pretty tough on them because they had to stay in the house for almost two weeks...imagine Big Brother but with three young children and you can understand why I was locking myself in the bathroom pretending to have a poo.
 It WAS vodka in that coffee mug, which probably explains my epic fail when it came to the chore chart. Especially when you bear in mind that at age fourteen I was a bit of a mathematical genius who took her O Level a year early. I still don't understand what happened there but if I end up paying £62,000 to the kids, you'll be damn sure that I'll nick it back from their piggy banks every time I need to pay the milkman/go to Starbucks/need a new frock. And I know it would have been cheaper to hire a cleaner but really, if I had the choice, I'd spend that money on a nanny. Ken took the blame like a man but I think he was on a promise that night and didn't want to ruin it.
We haven't seen any of the show. When the episode aired on Tuesday, it was the first time we'd watched it. We had no idea of the other families but Jill and I have become BFFs which is great as we've never even met.
Ken was always going to be a tough audience member considering that he didn't even know we were doing it until he came home from work to find a film crew, cameras in the house and a wife saying "Errrr I might have accidentally signed us up to do a show". Fortunately, he loved it. I might even be able to get him on that show about dogging next.
All of the filming was unscripted, we had scenarios given to us like "Do a chore chart" but I had to think on my feet and come up with ideas that would get the children to partake instead of moaning about not seeing their friends. They did a pretty good job if you think that we were all close to killing each other - I think the promise of the ice cream van got us through most days...and Mr Whippy is now on holiday in the Maldives, courtesy of the Smith family I can tell ya.
People have been saying I'm brave. Not brave, no. Brave is firefighters and doctors and nurses...I allowed the cameras in because it was a show I believed in, the kids wanted to do it and basically two weeks of entertainment during the school holidays was too good an opportunity to turn down. It kept me SANE and the children ALIVE.
I'll end with this - the opening bit where they introduce our family and we're looking all smiley & happy together outside the house...well the saying about what goes on behind closed doors is apt...because every time we had to go back inside to prepare to walk out again we were arguing, crying and sticking fingers in plug sockets. I guess I've finally turned into one of those Facebook mums with the seemingly oh so perfect family. Don't be fooled by appearances...especially the bits where it shows me cleaning.

THE SECRET LIFE OF THE FAMILY is on Channel 5, 10pm every Tuesday 

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