WAGS, Kids And World Cup Dreams: Nightmare

June 13, 2010 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews

WAGS, Kids And World Cup Dreams: Sunday 13th January, BBC3, 9pm ALERT ME

With the World Cup upon us, our telly screens are full of football-related programming and adverts. Notice that every single advert has to have some mention of football even if it’s completely irrelevant. Why do Webuyanycar.com need bouncing footballs in their ads exactly? It’s not Webuyanyfootballs.com as well is it?

With all the tenuous links to football come WAGS – vapid non-entities who are only famous because they’ve happened to bed a millionaire who’s good at running up and down a few metres of lawn. Five of them have been shipped off to South Africa to see firsthand the poverty and appalling conditions of some of the poorest people in the world.

The WAGS in question this time are Elen Rives (Frank Lampard’s ex), Ellie Darby (US player Matthew Watson’s squeeze), Amii Grove (girlfriend of Jermaine Pennant), Imogen Thomas (Big Brother contestant and ex-girlfriend of Jermain Defoe) and Chantelle Tagoe (Emile Heskey’s fiancée, who’s becoming a bit of a TV WAG regular after her stint in WAGs Come Dine With Me earlier in the week).

As this is the last in the series, it focuses on their return to England and the aftermath of their trip rather than their South African escapades. As such, it feels very much like a retrospective recap rather than an episode in its own right and its hour long running time has way too many shots of them hugging each other at the airport.

It is good to be reminded that by and large they are just as dumb and clueless, not to mention as lazy as their stereotypes would suggest. Imogen’s ignorance is almost jaw-dropping, at one point asking the cameraman what apartheid is (or as she pronounces it “Part-pite?).

But it’s Amii that is the most objectionable. Not being able to cope with the tasks she’s been given, she swanned back to her luxury hotel where she spent the rest of the time sunbathing and even had the effrontery to say “I can’t afford to spend the time getting stressed because it just takes its toll on my skin?. She’s exactly the kind of spoilt scumbag you’d like to kick in the fork. 15 years in a Russian salt mine ought to sort you out.

To their credit, back in the UK, the girls have become at least a micron more self aware. Chantelle starts a charity auction and raises £40,000 for charity – something that can’t be sniffed at (despite hiring a an absolute tit of a PR consultant called “Alix? who wears a flat cap and the kind of facial topiary you’d expect to see on a 19th Century silent movie villain).

But despite the charity work, it’s hard to believe that the whole programme is anything more than a vague PR stunt to boost each of their profiles and alleviate some of the guilt they must surely feel from living lifestyles that would rival an Arabian princess.