Mary Portas has decided that as she is now the Queen of the High Street she will now turn her hand to reviving British manufacturing by creating a knicker factory in Middleton.
The Bottom Line , her new programme for Channel 4, brings together her passion for improving shopping with her need to understand people and isn’t as patronising as I thought it would be about the current employment situation in the UK. In fact she seems genuinely moved to want to change it all, and then realises that her small pants factory isn’t enough.
Portas has eight jobs to offer and is worried that not enough people will turn up for the roles. On the day only a mere 300 people turn up for the small number of positions available. Even if you would expect that most of these people wouldn’t be able to string a sentence together, the majority were normal people who would be a pleasure in the workplace just some of them had never attempted sewing before.
But once Portas had got her eight it became sort of Big Brother-esque as all the new employees got given a personality according to what Portas thinks about them. The main two are Lauren and Andrew.
Lauren is the wildcard choice who only got the job because Portas sees herself in her, whilst everyone else seems to be seeing someone who doesn’t listen and isn’t prepared to learn. On the other hand we have Andrew, who is willing to learn and better himself for the sake of his son. It was an adorable sight to see a man, who looked hardly a day over 12, wearing his friend’s suit which was several sizes too big for him, talk about wanting to do this for his son. And unexpectedly Andrew was the best one at sewing in the whole group.
The problem with these types of shows is they would have been filmed months ago and part of the drama is knowing whether it will work out or not. This is slightly spoilt by the fact that you can go and buy the pants right now if you wish. But saying that it is a good show and optimistic about the talent of the unemployed people in Britain and wanting to do something about it, rather than ignoring it.
Catch up on 4OD or watch the show on Thursday, 9pm on Channel 4.