The Best and Worst Places to Live in the UK, Channel 4

by | Oct 27, 2006 | All, Reviews

Did we like it?

Not really, we learnt that Middlesbrough and inner city London can be a bit grim, but posh places like Winchester are quite nice. It was hardly revelatory.

What was good about it?

• No less than four London boroughs north of the Thames made it into the top 10 worst places. We were particularly pleased about Islington being there as it finally vindicated those of us that like to champion the south of the river areas.

• The news that Jade Goody’s Ugly shop in Hertford is closing.

• It was interesting at times, with some shocking photography of the worst places. It did give us a brief middle-class wish to live in Winchester.

What was bad about it?

• You cannot escape the feeling that this is a horrendous programme that panders shamelessly to middle class snobbery. All the ‘worst’ places to live were shown as working class areas, the ‘best’ as upper middle class areas with tea rooms and close links to the horsey set.

• The fact that the programme was unable to make it through without lazy celebrity references to the towns they were in. The mention of Middlesbrough meant a tiresome plethora of Paul Daniels puns while Manchester meant a meaningless nod to Colleen Rooney.

• Some lazy scripting. We were told that, in Nottingham, you stand a ‘good’ chance of being robbed, burgled or ‘having your car nicked’. A brief graphic showed that 9% of the population were victims of that crime. Does that constitute a ‘good’ chance?

• The weird moment during a link by Phil Spencer when a green car sped off and seemed to aim at some kids in the background waving at the camera.

• Sofie Allsopp was drafted in to replace her with-child sister, Kirsty. She was a rather tiresome presenter – very wooden and ever Sloanier than Kirsty – and kept screeching that many of the top 10 best places were ‘boring’, which was not only subjective, but also pretty meaningless.

• Kirsty Allsopp’s brief and inexplicable appearance when Phil went speed-dating.

• The terribly scripted ‘banter’ between Phil and Sofie.

• The emphasis on the average life expectancy of people living in certain areas. Apparently, if you move to Merthyr Tydfil you will immediately start smoking 40 a day and live on deep fried pizza.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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