Inside Claridges: A Television Love Affair

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I have never been so excited to watch the next episode of a series since early Lost, when I was younger and before its plot bloated to the point that it could have never really satisfied with its ending. BBC One’s Inside Claridges has me fixated in a glowing daze once a week for three episodes. This evening’s airing was the last. Sad face.

Inside Claridges follows the inner workings of the famed London Grand Hotel and shows the hard arduous work that goes into delivering luxury and the people who enjoy doing it so much. The two things that make the program so fascinating are:

1. How the other half live and how much they pay for it.

2. The characters that work at the hotel.

WOW. People spend a lot and ask for things I would never imagine asking for, people actually pay for their hotel rooms to redecorated! REDECORATED. Now I can imagine why you’d pay for the enjoyment of a beautiful art deco hotel room, but why you’d bother to pay for it to be a different colour god knows, does decor really bother people that much? I doubt it. I think some people just have money to burn.

Most of the people who are regulars at the hotel seemed very nice, one was a cockney gentleman who once knew the Kray twins (gangster) and who has his breakfast at the hotel every morning, he greeted everyone there like an old friend and not like someone trying to put on airs and graces. I like that. On the other end of the spectrum was a girl who couldn’t have been older than 13 and said she liked the place because it was ‘really art deco’ which she obviously had just regurgitation from something one of her parents had said. She was a ‘princess’ and is scared me.

Now onto the staff (saying ‘staff’ sounds too much like ‘servants’) the people that make the hotel what it is. These people show that any job can be done with pride and with a sense of perfection, to see someone say that they’ve been cleaning-up after the super rich for 20 something years yet don’t envy their wealth is refreshing. One of the most profound things I’ve heard on TV was one of the housekeepers saying how the average man is more free than the rich and famous who cannot do what they want without a bodyguard. Hear, hear!

My award for ‘personality of the series’ goes to Thomas Kochs the General Manager who has such an eye for detail and loves his job so much you can’t help but want to give him a hug, talk to him about interior design and listen to the soft tones of his German accent.

The third episode has just finished and it ended with an American couple using the ballroom for their wedding reception. Jel. Now I’m just sat scanning the channels for more hotel based TV, feeling the cold loneliness of the recovering series addict come over me and wondering whether I’ll ever go to Claridges.

“When I die, I don’t want to go to heaven, I want to  go to Claridge’s.” – Spencer Tracy.

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