Whether you see reality TV as an intriguing, ever-evolving art form or an irritating irrelevance, there’s no denying that there are no shortage of “real people” on the box these days. But how did this come to be?
Was it Big Brother and its Orwellian voyeurism that opened the floodgates, or maybe The X Factor’s televised meritocracy that started it all? Just how did this love affair with TV shows about everyday plebs come about?
To understand reality TV you’ve got to go way, way back – all the way to the black-and-white days of the 1940s. Come with us as we explore the history of this much-loved – and equally maligned – telly genre…