Am I proud of being from Essex? No. I would love to be, and I fully support everyone reclaiming the label and using it positively, but I can't hand on heart say that I am proud. And that has nothing to do with me, or the lexicographers in charge of the dictionary, it's everyone who has falsely applied the stereotype.
Can it be entirely coincidental that on the very same evening that the BBC bade farewell to its high-rating series about older people (New Tricks, in case you hadn't realised), it launched a new show about older people, Close To The Edge, a 7-part Reality TV show based around a group of older men and women living in Bournemouth?
Nice guy, Joey Essex. Modest too, or at least he gave a convincing impression of being an unpretentious Essex-boy when he turned up for a chat on my Sunday morning radio programme Pienaar's Politics. No small feat, considering the star of the hit reality show The Only Way is Essex (TOWIE) was surrounded by a small army of camera operators, producers, fixers, publicists and, for all I know, food tasters and hair-gel bearers , when he joined my guests and me in the studio and talked politics for 15 minutes.