There is little doubt that the British public love reality television, but according to a new survey, many of them don’t really trust it.
Research commissioned by PlayOJO has revealed that seven in ten Brits believe that some of the country’s most popular reality and quiz television shows are not entirely fair.
Considering the status of UK programming, it will come as a surprise to many that only 31 percent of respondents were confident that series, such as Big Brother, Love Island and Dancing on Ice, are completely fair.
Despite this result, each one of those shows, as well as many other reality programmes, draw in millions of viewers on a weekly basis.
The research showed that the public have the least amount of faith in reality-based television shows, with X Factor sighted as the programme that they had least trust in. Around forty percent of those surveyed questioned the fairness of the singing competition, according to this survey.
There was also a startling lack of faith in one of Simon Cowell’s other huge production, Britain’s Got Talent. Thirty-seven percent of those surveyed would not rule out the talent contest as being fixed.
One of X Factor’s biggest rivals, Strictly Come Dancing, has a much more solid reputation among respondents. Only twenty percent of those asked believe that this show has its results altered by those in charge.
Despite the overall doubt put upon the reality and quiz space, no individual show had a doubt level above the 40 percent mark and faith in some of the shows was actually quite high.
For instance, only 14 percent of those surveyed doubted the legitimacy of The Chase and only 11 percent doubted the Ben Sheppard – led Tipping Point.
In terms of location, it was Londoners who showed the most scepticism towards these programmes, with almost 80 percent of them believing at least one show wasn’t acting fairly. Folks from the South West were far more trusting, with only 37 percent believing that at least one show was fixed.
Of course, that survey was on perceived unfairness, opposed to any of those shows actually being fake. However, according to an article in Reader’s Digest, on the other side of the pond there have been instances of shows not being as ‘real’ as they seem.
That article disclosed perceived discrepancies on both house hunting and day-in-the-life type shows, where producers would sometimes add fake scenarios to add drama.
Of course, sometimes the unfair element comes from the contestant rather than the show.
Most shows these days are actually quite fair, despite the public’s perception. Of course, that wasn’t always the case.
Back in the 1950s, it was a bit more blurred. There was even a movie – Quiz Show – made about it by Robert Redford starring Ralph Fiennes and Amazon’s drama Unreal takes an even more cynical look at the making of a fictional US dating show where the producers vie to determine their preferred contestant wins the ultimate prize.