back to top

18 "Guilty Pleasure" TV Shows That Are In Fact Amazing

OMG trashy telly is the best.

Posted on

18. Sun... Sex & Suspicious Parents.

So this is a documentary/reality TV mashup whereby parents secretly watch tapes of their teenage kids on lads' holidays in places like Ayia Napa and Magaluf. And then they all sit down and talk about how upset they are that their little darlings sometimes shag strangers in nightclub toilets. It's unashamedly tacky and obviously fantastic.

17. Hotter Than My Daughter.

Atomic Kitten's Liz hangs out with mums and their daughters, asking them who they think is prettier. The mums always think they are. Then they get make overs. There's always tantrums, there's sometimes rebellion and occasionally the grown ups realise that they need to dress more appropriately for their age. It's oddly heartwarming.

16. The Voice.

Yeah, yeah, no one watches it anymore, whatever. Tom Jones is on it! Tom Jones! T.J.! And he duets with so regularly. Who even cares if the winners never do anything once the show ends? It's not them we're watching it for.

15. Loose Women.

Anyone who's ever been unemployed is lying if they claim not to have sought comfort from Carol McGiffin et al on a weekday morning. Hanging out with these women in real life would probably be dreadful, but watching them on TV is just brilliant.


13. How Clean Is Your House?

Eeeew some people are so gross. The premise of this show is that Kim and Aggie, two bitchy clean freaks, visit really dirty houses and, erm, clean them. It's so voyeuristic, but there's something bizarrely satisfying about judging other people's lax hygiene standards.

12. Dancing On Ice.

Oh, I know. Cringe. Your nan watches it. But watching celebs who are useless at ice skating become quite good (and toned) is really uplifting and makes you think anything is possible. Or maybe it's just me.


10. Waterloo Road.

This is a soap about a really rough school in Rochdale. Except at the end of the last series the school moved to Scotland and, inexplicably, so did its staff and students. Oh, and there used to be a character called Sambuca on it.

9. Snog Marry Avoid?

A fantastic TV show. Women (and sometimes men) who are addicted to fake tan, glitter and losing their dignity on a weekly basis undergo makeunders that are conducted by a robot. It's very patronising, very obviously made up and all the better for it.

8. Geordie Shore.

Because did you know that actual sex can be shown on actual TV? Well, it can and it is on Geordie Shore. Start watching and you'll be appalled at yourself for getting hooked. And you'll be even more disgusted when you start rooting for Charlotte and Gaz, trust us.

7. The Bachelor.

One man (previously Gavin Henson and Spencer Matthews) dates 25 women simultaneously and then breaks up with one a week. It's so hard to work out why anyone would ever take part in this, but you should watch it to try and work it out.


6. Ladette To Lady.

It's so patronising, so misogynistic and SO compelling. The premise is that a bunch of chavvy women go to finishing school and learn how to pluck pheasants, talk properly and entertain men without getting wasted.

4. Take Me Out.

Remember how good Blind Date was? This is basically the same. Paddy McGuinness has got nothing on Cilla Black, but Take Me Out compensates by making its male contestants show off their skills in order to avoid being buzzed out by the girls. Just excellent.

3. Made In Chelsea.

It's almost too cringe to admit that you love Made in Chelsea, except it's not because Made in Chelsea is incredible. As long as Spencer keeps cheating on his girlfriends, Marc-Francis keeps out-poshing his fellow poshos and Jamie keeps pardying, Made in Chelsea will remain the UK's greatest constructed reality TV show. End of.

2. Big Brother.

I know, everyone stopped watching it when Davina McCall left and it moved to Channel 5. But it's still so good. Watching a bunch of strangers live in a really small house together for an entire summer is psychologically fascinating. Trashy, yes. But OMG so interesting.

1. The Eurovision Song Contest.

What do you get if you combine tuneless Europop, outrageous quantities of hair gel and all of the glitter in the whole world? Only The Eurovision Song Contest, the indisputable queen of trashy telly. Remember when those Russian grannies baked bread live on air to raise money for the hole in their church roof? And one of them only had one hand? It was WONDERFUL.