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Channel 4's New Reality Soap


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A reality TV show about the residents of Notting Hill has been lined up by Channel 4, as it searches for new formats to replace Big Brother. Cameras will follow around 10 “highly engaging” members of the public in near “real time”, with episodes screened the same week they are filmed in order to keep discussions topical.

The “characters” will be mostly in their twenties and thirties, and will live close to one another within the iconic West London area, made famous by Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts in the 1995 film Notting Hill.

The area, home to such high-profile figures as David Cameron, the Tory leader, was also chosen for its ethnic diversity.

The executive producer of the series, Stephen Lambert, previously worked on reality programmes including Wife Swap, Faking It and A Year With The Queen - the 2007 film that led to the departure of BBC1 controller Peter Fincham over inaccurate editing.

Lambert said: “Channel 4 encouraged us to dream up something ambitious and risky. Most documentaries are filmed over several weeks and are edited over months. We are doing everything in a single week.

"This way we'll combine the best of documentary with the best of reality television and give viewers something fresh, insightful and immediate."

Channel 4 announced last August that Big Brother would be axed in its eleventh year after 2010's forthcoming series. The final of the last Celebrity Big Brother took place on Friday.

The reality-soap genre is one that is already thriving in the U.S, where MTV’s The Hills - following the melodramatic lives of a group of glamorous L.A teens - acquired such a cult following during its first two years that in 2008 it spawned a spin-off New York series, The City.

The eight-part Notting Hill series is expected to be screened later this year.


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