The BBC could launch its own version of ‘The Only Way is Essex’ and ‘Made In Chelsea’ with a reality TV show based – in Coventry.
The show, called ‘Sent To Coventry’, is being created with the help of Endemol – makers of ‘Big Brother’.
The pilot for the show – which will be aired in the new year – will concentrate on the “mundane” lives of the city’s residents.
Show bosses revealed yesterday the working class West Midlands version of TOWIE will be more “Jobcentre and boozer” than “boob job and wine bar”.
It’s cheeky tagline declares “What happens when sparks fly, chaos ensues, and the Job Centre is closed?
“Join us, as we get Sent to Coventry…”
Auditions will take place in the city next month with filming expected to begin late 2013.
Producer Richard Wood said: “The show will be much more real than its rivals, but still be very entertaining.
“We want to have a diverse range of people, young, old, professional, or jobless, so that we can create a fantastic show that appeals to all ages.
“We ideally want everyone from the city to audition, so do not think twice about coming down, you might just be exactly what we are looking for.”
Stunning Geordie actress Holly Matthews, famous for roles in Byker Grove and Waterloo Road, is also working on the project.
Holly, who has lived in Coventry for four years, added: “The show will play on certain stereotypes but it’s a tongue-in-cheek look at the city and won’t be making fun of it.
“Everyone involved is proud of the city. It has a real British sense of humour and pokes fun at itself.
“This will be a tongue-in-cheek show but one that tackles more issues than TOWIE does.
“Bizarrely, Geordie Shore has created a buzz and excitement about Newcastle. It’s negative but there have been good things to come off the back of the show.”
Big Brother’s Bex Shiner, from the city, has already expressed her hope of starring in the show.
But councillors and residents from Coventry have expressed anger at the show’s producers, claiming they will make the city “a laughing stock.”
Conservative councillor Kevin Foster said it was “ominous” the show was being compared to Bafta-winning ITV2 programme TOWIE.
He said: “It certainly does not sound like Coventry will be portrayed as the city where Sir Frank Whittle developed the jet engine or where students come and earn high quality degrees, or as the base of Jaguar Land Rover and Severn Trent.
“It sounds ominously like it will be presented in a very different way.
“The tagline makes it sound like it will portray the city as unsafe and where people don’t get on with each other.
“Of course the opposite is true – it’s a diverse but cohesive city. Yes there are problems but that is just like other cities.”
But Labour councillor Bally Singh disagreed, saying: “This programme has the potential to put Coventry on the map, as long as it shows the city in a good light.”
Local binman Frank Randal, 30, said: “TOWIE and Geordie Shore made Essex and Newcastle a laughing stock.”
But pal Aaron Manning added: “It’s about time Coventry got the national recognition it deserves. It’s not the prettiest place in the world – but you can’t match it for character.”
The BBC have pointed out that the proposed ‘Sent to Coventry’ show is still at the development stage and they have not yet committed to any pilot version of the programme.
It is understood auditions, which will take place early next year, will form the basis for a ‘taster tape’ which will then be sent to the BBC and Endemol for their consideration.
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