What is it with TV these days? It seems to be whenever you turn the goggle box on, the one thing you’re guaranteed to see is a Chesterfield sofa. It doesn’t matter what the channel is, or what genre of programme you choose to watch, there always seems to be a traditional leather Chesterfield sofa featured. Now obviously there are certain occasions when this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise: if you’re watching an interview with a politician or a statesman, it’s almost a given that they’ll be seated on a traditional leather Chesterfield settee, or nestled in a Chesterfield tub chair. So, seeing a Chesterfield sofa or two on Spooks is understandable. They’re grand, opulent and have status after all. But the good old Chesterfield sofa has now made a mark on the chattering classes, and is starting to feature in todays bizarre, yet popular classic genre, the realty show.
There’s a newish series on E4 called Made in Chelsea. It’s the upmarket version of Made in Essex. It features a cast list of well-healed Chelsea residents called, amongst others, Caggie, Hugo, Cheska, Fredrik, Ollie, Spencer and Binky. That kind of says it all really, doesn’t it? They’re not exactly your ordinary crowd. There’s a diamond merchant’s sons, and the heir to the McVitie biscuit fortune, as well as a lot of young 20-somethings with more money than sense and seemingly nothing more to do but spend daddy’s cash. The first instinct is to turn over and watch something a little more grounded. After all, TV producers may describe this as a ‘reality’ programme, but nothing could be further from the mark. Reality it isn’t: well, certainly not a reality any of us would recognise.
Did I turn over instantly? Actually no I didn’t. That certainly wasn’t down to the quality of the programme or the acting/ script reading. I just happened to spot one beautiful old traditional leather Chesterfield sofa and was transfixed. It was a real stunner in deep purple. That was quickly followed by another Chesterfield settee, then another. It’s embarrassing to have to confess to this, but I hung on until the bitter end just on the off chance that the sofa would appear on screen again. It did, so the wait was justified. The newspaper reviews unsurprisingly weren’t the kindest, claiming money can’t necessarily buy class. They did though unanimously agree on one thing, and that was the sofa was the only thing worth watching. For all of the money thrown around, the true star of the programme, the true celebrity, was the Chesterfield settee. No doubt it will have its own Facebook page soon.