Reality TV has been taking over our screens for the last few decades with millions of viewers tuning in every week.

As a nation, we seem to be obsessed with seeing the ups and downs of everyday life through a lens.

From one of the first reality-type shows ‘The Family’ in 1974 to the latest show which began last night (4/1), Berkshire residents really are up for anything.

Although people started by watching shows like Big Brother, the latest reality TV has offered more of a ‘gameshow’ vibe with the possibility of winning huge amounts of money.

Reading played a central role in the history of reality TV in a ‘ground-breaking’ series called ‘The Family’ released in 1974.

This BBC series filmed the Wilkins family in their home on Whitley Street, Reading.

According to participant Margaret Wilkins, they replied to an advert in the Reading Chronicle hoping to take part.

Daughter Marian told the Chronicle that she was at the centre of it and didn’t understand the enormity of the show at the time.

Here are some of the other Berkshire residents who have appeared on reality TV shows over the years.


When: January 3, 2024

Who: Harry from Slough

A popular psychological reality TV show showcased one Berkshire resident hoping to bag the £120,000 cash prize.

Amongst the 22 contestants taking part, including a self-described clairvoyant and a disability model, is Harry, a British Army engineer from Slough.

The 22-year-old corporal said that he wants to be a traitor as he is a bit of a “Jekyll and Hyde”.

He added that if he is faithful he wants to be “that person who takes everyone on my back so we can make it to the finish line”.

Love at First Sight

When: Monday, September 18, 2023

Who: Terrance from Reading

Love at First Sight UK, which shows couples making a lifelong commitment to each other after being matched by dating experts Melanie Schilling, Paul C. Brunson, and Charlene Douglas, returned in 2023 for its longest runtime to date at 36 episodes.

This season of the unconventional reality dating show featured a 40-year-old fun-loving father of three who was looking to find the one after years of living the bachelor lifestyle.

Terence, a youth worker and DJ from Reading described himself as “the life and soul of the party” who has 'reached a turning point' after his latest milestone birthday.

Despite feeling “a bit worried” about taking the plunge into the stint on reality TV, he also expressed his excitement to bring his vibrant and optimistic personality to the table.

Loaded in Paradise

When: December 28, 2022

Who: Guy Davis (21) and Jamie Benson (22) from Hermitage.

Loaded in Paradise, which premiered on ITVX combined all the tactics of a game show with the drama found in the Love Island villa.

Guy Davis (21) and Jamie Benson (22) set off for Greece’s Aegean Islands to compete to control and spend 50,000 euros in an Island-hopping over-the-top spending spree.

The twist was that only one pair could be in charge of the gold card pre-loaded with cash, whilst the others began the hunt to track them down and take charge of the much-coveted card.

Britain's got talent

When: May 2023

Who: Felix Clements (24)

Felix Clements, a PE teacher at Woodcote Primary and dance teacher at Dance Reality, wowed Britain’s Got Talent judges with a dance performance, before being surprised on stage by pupils.

The 24-year-old received a standing ovation and four yeses after impressing the judges - Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon, and Bruno Tonioli.

His dance routine, performed to Balance by Lucy Spraggan, received a standing ovation from the audience and judges.

Simon began the feedback, saying: “I thought that was stunning, and obviously you’re a very very popular teacher”.

Channel 4’s Hunted

When: March 2020

Who: Ben Arrowsmith (25)

Ben Arrowsmith, a plumber from Pangbourne, was crowned champion on the popular ‘Escape the hunters’ show.

The 25-year-old managed to evade a team of highly-skilled ‘hunters’ for more than three weeks after hitchhiking across the UK last year with best mate Rob Ellington, who is also 25 and from Wokingham.

Ben and Rob took home a share of £100,000 after they reached a final target site in Anglesey along with two other ‘fugitives’, who from a group of ten were tasked with staying away from some of the UK’s top surveillance experts.