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Quite contrary

BUSINESS! Mary, Queen of Shops, BBC2, 9.00pm

Mary, Queen of ShopsWe'll freely admit that there are occasions when, faced with several pages of the Radio Times along with a bunch of programmes that we've never seen and a section of empty blogspace that needs filling for the following day, we have absolutely no idea what to write about, so we just decide to go with the TV show with the most amusing title. So, congratulations to the producers of Mary, Queen of Shops, for you win at the often underappreciated art of TV titling.

It's sort of a mishmash of winning TV formats in that an expert (in this case, "retail guru" Mary Portas) visits failing businesses (in this case, shops, obviously) in an attempt to reverse their fortunes. And...that's pretty much it. It doesn't take a genius to figure out how the rest of the show works, especially if you've seen Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, or The Hotel Inspector or even Trinny and Susannah Undress.

But from what little we've seen of the show so far, we suspect that Mary has the makings of a TV icon, even if she does look a bit like a hybrid of Sharon Osbourne and Rachel's boss at Ralph Lauren from Friends. All she needs now is a nice line in pithy one liners (we'll leave it up to her as to whether she chooses to pepper them with expletives, as it seems to work either way) and the ability to leave a trail of sunshine and songbirds in her wake, and she's all set.

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Check out her website - there is a bit of info about her, the TV show, her new book and there is a quiz to see what shopping 'tribe' you are (although it only has tribes for women).


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:54 pm  

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According to Marxist theory, cultural forms such as opera, classical music and the literary works of Shakespeare all fall under the heading of high culture. Low culture refers to a wide variety of cultural themes that are characterised by their consumption by the masses. We might not be Marxists, but we do know we loved Footballers Wives. If you do too, you'll know what this is all about.

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