This week I asked seven of Britain's foremost media go-getters to choose between television's current top reality shows. Unfortunately they were busy. But these hacks had some spare time to share their opinions instead.
Voting for... The Only Way Is Essex
Freelance features writer, various women's magazines
"MASTURBATION! They only went and alluded to it on that episode of TOWIE last week when Nanny Pat was rummaging around in a box and found a vibrator! Laugh? I nearly f*ngered myself! I really really very nearly bloody did! And I utterly butterly cheery deary mean that from the bottom of my bendy banana holder to the top, babes! See what I did there?"
Editor, Britain's foremost independent music website
"So you want me to be ironic about this, yeah? You want me to take the p**s? I don't even need words to express how much I prefer Essex over Chelsea, man. I mean, Mum and Dad live in, like Chelsea. I say 'live' but it's only a poxy pied-a-terre for when Dad's not in Warwickshire - and doesn't everyone's parents have, like, one of those these days? Plus it's s**t. So let me put it this way, without words: If I had an egg and I cut it in two with a pair of scissors, which way would the yolk fall out? And when it fell out, would it, like, look like, like, a Sonic Youth album cover or something a bit like that? Is that what you wanted? Post-modern enough for you? Natch."
Arts editor, broadsheet newspaper
"If Almodovar was shooting dastardly epics musing on familial tumult and repressed homosexuality in Loughton instead of Lanzarote, he would be making this show. If, today, Michelangelo were sculpting a hero to sit on the promenade at Frinton-on-Sea rather than in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, he would christen that statue "Joey" rather than "David" and give it a faux-quirky blow-dried coiffeuring. As I sit esconced at the Tate, musing on the real meaning behind John Martin's Apocalypse paintings, I come to one single, singular conclusion. That Martin's queer brushstrokes as he slaved over the apotheosis of Sadak In Search Of The Waters Of Oblivion directly foretold the coming of The Only Way Is Essex in the only way that Martin knew how to foretell them. Apocalypse now; right now; on ITV2."
Voting for... Made In Chelsea
"Cherry-red cherries, orange-orange oranges, browns, creams, ochres, whites, burgundies, splashes of this and dashes of that. Inspiration is hitting me - puff! puff! puff! - from all sides right now in a autumnal barrage of brrrrrrr-wrap-up-warm-time-finally(!) brilliance. Heads, shoulders, knees and toes (knees and toes) - these are the parts of the body I'm loving the most. And you know what? They're the parts of the body that are well and truly being rocked till they drop off at fashion weeks this autumn. And you know what? I am overhearing the whispers right now from the well-dressed chicas sitting next to me at this very kooky and kool cafe in London Fields! They're whispering "Made In Chelsea!" at the bottom of their voices. And you know what? Right now I'm sorta agreeing with them about that. Another flat white for Mademoiselle purrrrlease. xo"
WYSISSILISS SUSSONS and PTOLEMY WHITTELBAKKER
"Look at the way these Made In Chelsea guys have worked the system. They've made the media revolve around them, rather than them revolving around the media. They are the Sun and the media is Mercury. But when they speak, crucially, it's like they're not speaking at all. We focus-grouped some 17-19s, AB1, in NW1 and NW5, mostly predicted A*s, parents A-holes - bit of a joke for you there. We said "Kids. Speak to us?" But you know what? They didn't speak a word. They just looked at us, blinking, like we'd offered them Glenn's rather than Russian Standard in their cocktail. I mean, it's probably because they all had their iPod headphones in - but still, the point remains. Market. Spark it. Jump the shark with it. That's what we're saying down in Spitalfields this week."
Showbiz editor, tabloid newspaper
"The girls on Made In Chelsea are fitter. It's pretty simple. Eh, chaps? I think you know what I'm saying. I've got a Caggie DPS in the old pipeline. And that's one spread I'll be very keen to proof."