Ladies Of London: Why The ITV Show Is Our New Guilty Pleasure

Ladies Of London: Why The ITV Show Is Our New Guilty Pleasure

Haven’t got on board with ITV’s new reality show Ladies of London yet? We have, and we’re hooked. Here’s everything you need to know.

What’s the vibe?

Deep-fried reality TV. Think a cross between Made In Chelsea and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

Sounds highbrow...

It’s not. But it IS seriously entertaining. In a so-bad-it’s-good sort of way.  

And who are the Ladies of London?

The Ladies of London are a coven self-styled ‘high society’ types from the US and UK who all live in the capital. Rich, (mostly) blonde and at home in their massive stuccoed houses in Chelsea (though one of the Ladies lives in Battersea. The shame!) they have housekeepers and Hermes bags coming out of their ears.

Who's the star?

The unofficial leader of the pack is pneumatic ice queen Caroline Stanbury, a member of the Vestey family (worth about £600 million, poor them), who runs luxury website Gift Library. Then there’s Annabelle Neilson, long-term muse and friend to the late Alexander McQueen and ex-wife of financier Nat Rothschild. Probably the most recognisable face is ex-glamour model Caprice, who is friends with the two and runs her own multi million-pound lingerie empire.

Caroline Stanbury

Annabelle Nielson


What happens?

A lot of hammed up British pastimes - laid on pretty thick for the show’s big US audience - as well as name-dropping and pouty asides to camera. Apparently ‘high society’ Ladies of London must learn the very British pastime of going out for tea (really? Who goes out for tea?) and ‘a scandal’ can ruin a person’s reputation for ‘years’. So far, so very Jane Austen. Episode one sees the Ladies head to a polo match, where the British ones spend a lot of time smirking at the American ones for being too enthusiastic and calling the mallet a ‘club’.

Best soundbites so far...

Caroline: “In Britain, we aren’t meant to get excited about things, or at least show your excitement. Look, this is me excited now. You don’t know.”

Annabelle:  “The way I look at them [the Americans] is like three dogs. Juliet’s like on over-excited terrier. Noelle I see as a mutt that you picked up from Battersea Dogs Home and she’s had one bad owner. And Marissa is one of those pampered poodles with, you know, all that shaved stuff with buns all over her… and she’s probably pink.”

Juliet: "My kids have little British accents—it's so annoying!

What’s going to happen?

There are bubbling tensions between American newcomer Noelle Reno - whose property tycoon boyfriend Scott Young is having a very public divorce battle with his ex-wife - and the Brits, who think all that public scandal is just a bit ghastly.  

When’s it on?

Wednesdays at 9pm on ITV (or any time on catch-up)

Watch with...

Your trash TV-loving friend.

After its finished

You’ll probably need to cleanse your palette with something highbrow, like a bit of Dostoyevsky or the 10 O’clock news.

By Lucy Pavia / @lucypavia

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