You Can't Get the Staff

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You Can't Get the Staff

Series 1 - Episode 1



This is one of those series that giggles behind its hand at the people it’s filming. When the people in question are assorted aristocrats and posh folk, that’s not hard: the programme treats them all as laughable old twits. Plinky-plonk music mocks their old-fashioned ways and an arch voiceover puts the knife in (“Rather handily, she kept her title in the divorce a year later…”).

As the great-granddaughter of a Russian tsar interviews gardeners and a Northumberland castle owner looks for someone to polish his armour, the inverse snobbery runs riot. The thing is, even when the film-makers refuse to take their subjects seriously, it’s such an odd world, we want to know more.


With the demand for domestic staff in Britain higher than ever, this programme follows privileged Brits who are seeking to fill positions in their stately homes, from ordinary £90-a-week jobs to those attracting salaries of £100,000 a year. Princess Olga Romanoff, the great granddaughter of Alexander III of Russia, is looking to hire a `garden boy' at Provender House. Humphry Wakefield of Chillingham Castle needs help with his 2,000-plus collection of arms and armour, and renowned hostess Lady Colin Campbell requires a butler of distinction to help organise a sparkling soiree. She asks her friend Princess Katarina of Yugoslavia for help and plumps for Prince Charles's former butler Grant Harrold.

Cast & Crew

Executive Producer Freya Sampson
Series Producer Tom Whitrow