Lady Colin Campbell says she didn’t want to make this ITV series you’re reading about. She also didn’t want to do I’m a Celebrity in 2015 or do lots of the other profile-raising things she’s done. She says she simply wanted the money so she could restore the wreck of a castle (Goring in Sussex) she bought, against all advice to the contrary.
In fact she’s merely, as she so eloquently puts it, “whoring for Goring.”
She also does a lot of shouting-at-builders for Goring too. The ITV series follows the socialite trying to turn her beloved home, originally built for Percy Bysshe Shelley, into a luxury space fit for weddings and conferences After watching just ten minutes of her yelling “drop it another nine inches, another NINE!!” over and over again at impressively serene workmen, I can say that however lovely the castle may end up being, I don’t want Lady C near any wedding breakfast of mine.
The castle renovation part of the programme is only marginally interesting because progress seems so slow, you’re mostly shown shots of withered wallpaper and disintegrating bannisters and workmen. We meet project manager Carlyle too. “Lets just say she’s challenging but I’ve worked for her for many years, ” he says, displaying symptoms of Stockholm Syndrome. “I know when to speak up and when to allow her to feel free…”.
And really, it’s worth watching this show simply for the bits when Lady C does “feel free.” I’ll let you see it for yourself but it involves her screaming at the ITV cameraman (and Caryle), “Quite frankly I’m spitting BRICKS! I asked for the clingfilm! You’re interviewing HIM?? While I’m left standing there like a goddam FOOL waiting? I want my clingfilm! I WANT MY CLINGFILM”.
Clingfilmgate aside, the programme also has some nice scenes which provide an insight into her rather odd life. “Today Im going to have lunch in Sotheby’s for a friend who is looking for a tiara” she tells us, in the same tone I’d announce I’m going to the pub.
As I’m a Celeb viewers will know, there’s something mesmerising about Lady C. Maybe it’s because within the space of five seconds she goes from warm and good humoured to wild-eyed and maniacal.
Mostly she wanders around the castle kissing her dogs, saying things about cats – “I’ve discovered with cats, if they speak to you in cat talk and you respond in cat talk, you can have a whole conversation” – and mumbling about how she wants “sexy” zebra print carpet. We also meet her sons, who she adopted from Russia, and they spend lots of time hanging pictures and saying no to “sexy” carpet.
Lady C and the Castle isn’t TV gold – but her impressive, very funny tantrums really are. “I don’t believe in suffering silently, everyone else will suffer along with me, ” Lady C says with a glint in her eye, clutching that clingfilm.