TAKE 12 gullible American girls, a stately home and a bloke who, if you close your eyes and turn away, looks vaguely like Prince Harry.
And whaddya got?
A hen party in Magaluf at best.
At worst? A television show called I Wanna Marry Harry which, far from being Frank Bruno’s Sportsnight catchphrase, is a “dating show with a difference”.
The difference being the suitor is a lookalike, of sorts, whose task is to convince the female contestants he’s the Queen’s grandson.
And not a ‘regular guy’ named Matt Hicks.
That’s right. Shocking as it may be, Prince Harry hasn’t actually agreed to take part in an ITV2 game show.
Yet for the girls, or at least the ones dumb enough to play along with the ruse, it’s “the ultimate fairytale”.
It truly is. Glorified drain cleaner from Exeter attempts to dupe a dozen backstabbing bunny boilers, whose volume is set permanently at 9.5, into believing he’s fourth in line to the throne before dumping them one by one each week.
It’s like reading from the pages of Hans Christian Andersen, isn’t it?
The only slight problem is he’s the least convincing lookalike since Vic Reeves’ Noddy Holder.
“I get mistaken for Prince Harry almost every day,” he claimed.
By who? The visually impaired?
To avoid confusion, the producers helpfully flash up the caption: “Matt, 23, not really Prince Harry.”
They’re really trying, though.
‘Harry’ goes on dates via helicopter, was taught to fence, shoot and play polo, turned up for a cricket game with the ladies in whites – like Bob Willis thundering in from the Pavilion End – and has servants and security agents.
New Yorker Kimberly asked: “Who else has secret service? The Queen, the president, Michael Jackson. And I don’t think he’s any of those.”
Reject Andrea said: “He’s not my type. I don’t really go for a ginger.”
Well then you might be in luck. Check his eyebrows – unlike his hair, they haven’t been dyed for the illusion.
Half the girls are airheads: “I’m a little off my rocker.”
“The guys I date just get me drunk and make out with me in the back of a car.”
“I’m a pre-med molecular biology student with an interest in ophthalmology. “
The rest are horrors, especially Meghan: “I don’t see the other girls as competition.
“I’m smart, I’m funny, I’m beautiful. A lot of these girls don’t have anything.”
There is one breakout star in the series. The ‘prince,’ you see, isn’t the only one disguising their identity.
Yet not one of the girls looked twice at ‘butler’ Kingsley and said: “Hey, wait a minute. Isn’t that immigration official Bob Stephenson?
“You know. He was in Corrie for a couple of episodes in 2011.”
Astonishingly, bit-part actor Paul Leonard’s alter-ego has gone unnoticed.
The real issue, however, is this is all just The Bachelor done badly – the same would have been achieved had Channel 5 hired a Gavin Henson double.
That said, IWMH is tremendous. Dreadful. But tremendous.
And I’d like to echo the thoughts of Matt Hicks: “I’m completely caught up in this fairytale and yet I just want to scream out ‘This is absolutely ridiculous!’”
With you, ’arry.
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The One Show’s casually racist World Cup wall-planner.
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Good Morning Britain’s Andi Peters finishing the line: “This is the last day of the Wheel of Cash,” with, “but it will be back.”
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