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Let’s get personal: the return

July 11, 2008

Just when you thought people couldn’t get any more weirder, any more up themselves and out for total humiliation of their fellow human kind, up pops the second instalment of Personal Services Required – fast becoming my new favourite program (shame it’s only four eps – pull yer finger out Ch4). If you‘ve not seen it yet, I urge you to catch the repeat on Sunday night, and the proper new version on Tuesday. You won’t be disappointed.

This week it’s Housekeepers. Head-hunters Danny and Gaby (who were later described as Chav lottery winners – summed it up better than I ever could), and Dog Spa owners (yup, Dog Spa) Craig and Marjorie are looking for… well… turns out they’re not actually looking for a housekeeper, as Vivienne Hoolahoop – a typical school ma’am, who’s veh veh posh and talks like she has a coat hanger in her mouth at all times – points out. Vivienne – who always introduces herself with her full name, as if she’s some intrepid explorer, searching for the Andies or whatever – has had housekeepers before, you see, when she used to live in Africa, and so knows that a housekeeper oversees the running on the household, making sure no one runs out of toilet paper, that the cleaners do everything to the highest standards.

Hisekeepers (as Vivienne calls them) are not required to clean pig shit off swimming pool floors, neither are they meant to pick up spoiled precocious young madams from school, cook dinner for a family of richer-than-yoow arseholes, walk dogs, organise a hippie’s office for him, provide a ‘turn down service’ (whatever that is), wear a chauffeur’s hat to the supermarket or help drag unwilling dogs into a swimming pool – all as part of a 16-hour day.

Vivienne was clearly the star of the show. Wonderfully aloof and eccentric in equal measure, she did her best Mary Poppins impression at Danny and Gaby’s house – she cooked a roast chicken while trying to entertain their chubby spawn with the old “are you married” question. She did her best, but they’d obviously judged her as soon as she said she’d just have “ordinary Indian tea” instead of PG Tips. As soon as her chicken was in the oven, they booted her out the door.

Andrew’s qualifications for becoming a hisekeeper was that his mum has a bit of a bad back, so he helps her out with her ironing. Oh, he has no idea what Danny and Gaby have in store for him, does he?! Gaby likes her beds tight. Insert joke here. Later, Gaby asks Andrew how he’d feel about wearing a chauffeur’s hat while he drove her to the shops. They compromised on a suit. Now I don’t know how y’all would feel if you lived in a six-bedroom mansion – maybe you would feel it absolutely necessary to have a chauffeur drive you to Tescos. As far as I’m concerned a tidy house is one thing (even though it’s not technically a Hisekeeper’s job) but being vulgar and showing off your luxuries for other people is another. It’s just so distasteful (rather like Gaby’s new vase then). To Andrew’s second night, and he must cook a meal for the family. Flapping around the kitchen, Andrew says, “I don’t want to make her and Danny look like fools.” Sweetie, I think they’re doing a good enough job of that themselves. But what is Andrew to wear? A chef’s hat this time? Thankfully, he’s allowed to wear what he likes, and he comes up with some kind of strange tuna bruscetta monstrosity that makes Gaby’s mum want to vom. Mumzilla then slags Andrew off for not making Chubby Spawn’s bed. Cue Badger Madge spitting bile at the TV.

Back to the Dog Spa and Vivienne Hollahoop seems to be getting on well with Craig and Marj. He likes her cookies, she likes his wild boars – “As in Wild Boars?” No, as in Tame Boars, Viv. Sadly the good times don’t last, as Vivienne commits the deadliest of acts at the dog spa. No, not that – she sings. Well that’s it quite frankly, as far as Craig and Marj are concerned and they too dismiss her early with the kind words, “You don’t fit in here, it’s time for you to leave.” Charming.

Next at the Dog Spa it’s Andrew’s turn and they’re concerned he’s not done this before. Guys *no one* has done this before – it’s a chuffing Dog Spa, for gawd’s sake. But hey ho, Andrew gets on fine with the dogs but not so well with the canines *boom boom* Ahem.

Back to the chav lottery winners, and Anne-Marie (who sailed through at the Dog Spa) is asked to pick Chubby Spawn up from school – presumably wearing the chauffeur’s hat? No? OK… One rule for Andrew, one rule for everyone else, tsk… Anne-Marie feels uncomfortable doing that, clearly because she’s met the kid, which makes Gaby go off on the defensive, “What Kind of mum would I be if I just handed over my kid to anyone?” She asks. Clearly the kind of mum who doesn’t get her daughter to make her own bed in the morning… Not that I’m judging at all, of course.

And so to the job allocation. Chubby Spawn wants Anne-Marie because “we can mould her” – Jesus Christ! What kind of manipulative evilness is this child? *shudder* Gaby and Danny leave Andrew and Anne-Marie to deliberate in private – they also want the two to fight over the job. Yeah because a 16-hour day dressed in a chauffeur’s hat and looking after the devil incarnate for £20K is really worth fighting over. In the end they award Anne-Marie the job, but lower the wage to an insulting £250 a week. The dog spa folk offer Andrew a very substantial position. Without even checking it out, Andrew turns it down. No one liked the all-singing, no-cleaning Vivienne, which was a real shame as I found her rather charming – even if she does talk like she’s a female version of Brian Sewell.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 11, 2008 3:04 pm

    Have been following this “discussion”.

    Craig actually is quite a good bloke, and his comments are interesting.

  2. July 11, 2008 3:18 pm

    Yes, I did actually think he was the sanest (and most reasonable) of the four in the show. Plus he likes cookies and you can’t hate a man who says he likes cookies with a soppy grin on his face, bless.

  3. Tim permalink
    July 20, 2008 1:23 am

    Haha, I really liked your review – very amusing. Ps it’s “Andes”.

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