COUCH POTATO: ‘Prince’s’ hoax show was most enjoyable

I WANNA MARRY "HARRY": Summer love is in the air, as, Matthew Hicks, an average English "bloke" is given the royal treatment and an upper crust makeover before meeting 12 single American women searching for Prince Charm

I WANNA MARRY "HARRY": Summer love is in the air, as, Matthew Hicks, an average English "bloke" is given the royal treatment and an upper crust makeover before meeting 12 single American women searching for Prince Charm

First published in News

WE’VE heard some whoppers on telly this week.

All Star Mr & Mrs’ Ben Ofoedu: “Vanessa (Feltz) is extremely gorgeous.”

None, though, were in the same league as the “hoax of a lifetime” royal lookalike Matt Hicks has been feeding 12 American girls.

Eight weeks of deceit finally came crashing down in the I Wanna Marry “Harry” finale, the most unexpected TV event of the year, when he confessed that, hard though it was to believe, Prince William’s brother hadn’t signed up for an ITV2 dating show.

That they pulled off the pretence until the end game is a triumph for the humble environmental worker and the production crew’s elaborate set-ups and superb casting.

Especially as Rose rumbled the ruse when Hicks got his “brother’s” age wrong and, as Anna Lisa pointed out in week four: “He’s not Harry. He doesn’t look like him.”

Oh, that minor point.

Luckily for this show, the women seemed unaware pictures can be Photoshopped and hair dyed ginger and fell for the whole charade.

Hicks may have been the star, along with Kingsley the butler (Corrie’s Bob Stephenson enjoying the role of his career), but the girls really made this series...

Drunk Maggie, big-boobed Meghan, the cattiness, ruthless tale-telling and, best of all, bunny-boiling, insanely jealous Prince Harry obsessive Kelley, described by Maggie as “a psychotic stage-five clinger”.

She makes Kathy Bates in Misery look like Florence Nightingale and had Karina wondering: “I don’t know if she would throw us under a bus to get closer to him.”

I do. She’d do it without so much of a blink.

Stringing Kelley along, and the rest of them for that matter, was of course morally dubious.

But what entertainment, from Maggie sharing: “I’ve been going commando the whole time in front of Prince Harry,” to week five’s pageant culminating in Hicks pointing out: “Would Prince Harry really be sat in a big red throne judging girls in their bikinis?”

He always insisted he was there for true love: “I ultimately want to find a girl who will like me for being me without all the trappings.”

Lying through your teeth and pretending you’re Prince Harry, while enjoying all the trappings, was a pretty funny way of achieving that, if you ask me.

“It’s not a pleasant situation,” he added, “but hopefully they can see why and understand my reasons for doing so.”

Yes, to entertain a small bunch of ITV2 viewers. Never has there been a nobler justification for outright fakery.

Criticise it if you must, but the series had a fairytale ending – Kingsley revealing Hicks and his chosen one Kimberly would split $250,000 because she still wanted to date him after the big reveal.

And I’m not ashamed to say it’s been the most enjoyable comedy/drama I’ve seen all year.

For the most obvious of reasons a second series is unlikely, although I do have a suggestion for I Wanna Marry Harry 2.

The only question is whether they can find a dozen women crazy enough about the QPR manager.

This week’s Couch Potato Spudulikes...

ITV’s Martin O’Neill quoting Che Guevara before the World Cup Final.

Jasper Carrott on The One Show.

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver’s fearless assault on the CIA.

EastEnders’ fledgling Billy Mitchell/Les Coker double act with the undertaker’s laugh-out-loud line: “Should you drop the deceased on the floor again, the words, ‘Oops, butterfingers’, probably are not what the grieving relatives want to hear.”

And Cilla Black blaming loud rock music at Liverpool’s Cavern Club in the 1960s for damaging her hearing. Well, it would explain the singing.

This week’s Couch Potato Spuduhates...

The BBC assuming the World Cup Final is the right stage to plug Doctor Who.

EastEnders’ Lucy Beale whodunnit derailing the Billy Mitchell/Les Coker double act.

This Morning medical expert Dr Chris Steele explaining the complexity of cluster headaches: “Cluster headaches occur in clusters.”

The Jeremy Kyle Show missing a trick by not making its “My violent ex strangled me but I’m here to win him back” episode a celebrity special, with Nigella.

The One Show’s Matt Baker: “Mary and Sue are Birmingham open-top bus tour guides, can you believe?” Open-top bus tours in Birmingham? No, I can’t.

And Big Brother dung beetle Steven on the crowd’s reaction: “Is there anything you can think of that would have dignified those boos?” Aside from the fact you’re a needy, paranoid, possessive, controlling chasm of a man, Steven? Not a sausage.

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