Oh Channel 5, with this summer of reality TV treats, you truly are spoiling us.
That’s right: just days after confirming the launch date for Big Brother 2012 (5 June, for those interested), the broadcaster has dropped another mind-numbing bombshell packed full of attention-seeking members of the general public by announcing the return of The Bachelor.
Last year’s celebrity lonely heart Gavin Henson will be nowhere to be seen as the producers have this year opted for a more up-market singleton to be wooed by a selection of Britain’s most shameless gold-diggers.
Of course, Spencer Matthews is no stranger to living out his love life on the small screen, as for the past 12 months he’s been entangled in a tempestuous will-they-won’t-they intrigue with his Made in Chelsea co-star Caggie Dunlop - and latterly got together with Louise Thompson.
Whether any of the 24 girls to be offered on a plate to Spencer will measure up to Caggie or Louise's charms remains to be seen – but they’re unlikely to be as financially endowed as his Chelsea sweethearts. Luckily, Spencer is as rich as a lord already, in part due to the exclusive Eden Rock Hotel in St Barts being owned by his family. The cheapest room won’t leave you much change out of £700 in the high season — I know, I just looked it up.
But Mr Matthews hasn’t been resting on the family laurels: he’s had a successful career of his own, first working as a PR manager for London nightclubs and latterly as a stockbroker in the City. Indeed, there appears to be no beginning to Spencer’s talents – as it also transpires that he has been to Los Angeles to train as an actor.
We wait with bated breath to see if any of those skills will be on display in The Bachelor, because apparently he didn’t want to jeopardise the “reality” of Made in Chelsea by showcasing his thespian credentials on that show.
For those unfamiliar with the format, The Bachelor will see Spencer get to know his 24 suitors through a series of dates and ridiculous challenges. Those who are given a rose each week will stay to fight another day – but those who receive no flower won’t be seeing Spencer again, except on the telly.
A tense finale will see three girls fight for Spencer’s love before he chooses his mate for life, professing his undying love, then dating her for a few weeks before going back to Louise, or Caggie.
Spencer, eager to endorse the format, said: “The concept surrounding the show is a great one and will certainly make for an interesting adventure at this point in my life.”
Sagely and earnestly, he added: “After much consideration, I truly believe that the time is right to look for, and hopefully find during the process of this series, someone with whom I can share a loving and meaningful relationship.”
The programme will run in 10 hour-long parts, and although no transmission dates have been set, it’s a pretty safe bet it’ll slot nicely into the post Big Brother slot on Friday nights for Channel 5, like it did last year.
Let the rose-giving begin…