The Aristocrats: Goodwood – Review

The Aristocrats: Goodwood

Channel 4, 9pm, 29 November

The rich and the famous. Good Charlotte got it right – they’re always complaining!

Charles Gordon-Lennox has a very long list of titles to add to his reasonably long name. He also has quite long hair. However, it isn’t his rather sexy hair that has him on our TV screens, but his semi-interesting life running Goodwood and all the many things that happen there to make him money – which he says he so desperately needs.

If you happen to have watched the last series of Downton Abbey (I feel the loss quite keenly), then you will be well aware of the money problems associated with running country estates. Well, Charles shows the Crawleys how to do it: crack open a couple of motoring festivals, whilst allowing Channel 4 to jump on the aristocrat bandwagon by doing a documentary of you doing thus, and all will be hunky dory.

However, such things are not without their difficulties. Charles tells us how he is positively pulling his hair out with the stress of keeping the estate up and running. One look at his gorgeous locks will tell you otherwise. From what I can glean from this documentary, it is in fact the earl’s long-suffering management staff who take the brunt of this pressure, whilst he swans about deciding on party themes, criticising decorations, signing autographs, and pretty much doing all the fun stuff that happens when you have a lot of money and publicity. But I’m not bitter. At all.

He’s actually a pretty likable guy. With his flirty hair (and a harem of bunny girls), charismatic personality, childlike enthusiasm, and a posh accent that you actually can understand, he is everything you want in a nice, normal rich person.

Its not a particularly informative documentary, but if you, like me, enjoy absorbing the most useless of information that probably wouldn’t even help in the weirdest pub quizzes, then you might be keen on this one. It at least explains why I always get stuck in summertime traffic when I want to go shopping in Chichester.

Highlights include: narrator Juliet Stevenson taking the piss out of Charles’ ineptitude in a racing car; Courtney Love getting some excellent air time acting like a moron; the Earl looking uncomfortable next to a sheep; and a very awkward hug between the Earl and a Jenson Button who only vaguely knows who he’s hugging.

And, if you like that sort of thing, there are always the scantily clad bunnies.

Julia Paynton