Property Ladder/Supernanny, Channel 4
Comparing and contrasting the shows featuring superwomen sent to sort out incompetence for our entertainment
We’re not usually the types to say such things but … Wow, hasn’t Sarah Beeny got massive breasts. She’s also got a sexy, deep voice and highlights of variable quality in her hair.
Jo Frost is presented as a prim, efficient type (glasses, sharp suit, hair in a bun) but she’s let down by her Estuary English accent and inability to pronounce acceptance (she says asseptance).
Sarah dealt with a hairband-wearing harridan called Sue ‘Guesstimate’ Silver, an archetypal Jewish princess, blundering Dorien-like into developing a terraced house in Chingford.
Jo encountered the Collins family in Northampton – kind mum, cruelish dad and four feral children who raced around demolishing a rather nice home, swearing and unleashing violence and spittle on whoever was nearest.
Sarah was never going to get it through the thick-skinned skull of Sue that she was heading for disaster. Sue had experimented on doll’s houses and she loved silvery flock wallpaper with lavender patterns and her pipe dream was to make the little house into a palace for just £20,000. Sarah should have grabbed some four-by-two to ram home the message that Sue was being stupid. The budget spiralled to £43,000 (oh how we laughed) and any chance of profit was wiped out when she stubbornly inserted a corridor that turned a double bedroom into a single.
The Collins kids thought they could be the first to beat the Supernanny. There was lots of defiance, destruction and and swearing, but Jo spotted “They’re begging to be put in their place.” With lots of patience, the creation of naughty zones and some pushing and pulling, they eventually calmed down.
• Sue getting stupidly stroppy with the patient plumber and threatening to ruin his reputation because he refused to sort out a problem she’d inflicted on herself.
• Sue’s appalling headbands (especially the stars and stripes one) and tacky wardrobe which ranged from an Arsenal shirt to a little top with a cat on it.
• The Collins kids collaborating sweetly on a treasure hunt that Jo had devised.