Paris Hilton's British Best Friend
ITV Productions / Lionsgate for ITV2, 29 January to 19 March 2009 (8 episodes in 1 series)
Elimination-type "reality" show (you could've fooled us) in which Paris Hilton searches for a, er, lackey, basically.
A revolving cast of thirteen contenders meet Paris Hilton, and accompany her to various parties and promotional events. They're set a number of challenges, such as designing a dress for Hilton and performing in a talent show. While they're busy, ITV2's viewers are treated to gratuitous footage of Hilton hanging out with some famous people, Mark Durden-Smith, Scott Mills, and her own mother. It's almost as if the programme was a promotional vehicle for Paris Hilton. The winners of most challenges received spot prizes, like jewellery or additional time with the titular star, and exemption from elimination.
The show followed the traditional model of constructed reality programmes, most notably The Apprentice - contenders lived in a flat provided by the show, performed tasks to please an all-powerful provider figure, and adopted a vocabulary with only a tangential relationship to English. A challenge is a challenge, from which the winner had the dubious honour of being "Paris's pet". A couple of others would be "up for discussion", with the evicted contender being told, "Talk to you never".
As reader Sean O'Brien observes: "It might be worth noting that the grand prize of this programme was ultimately to gain Paris' mobile number (probably one of MANY)."
The show had previously been made in the US under the title Paris Hilton's My New BFF; two further series were made later in the year. By the end of 2009, Hilton's publicists were making it known that their client was now "bored" of "playing the dumb blonde", and not to expect a further series. We are thankful for these small mercies.
One of the contestants was Emma Beard, she had been in the final stages of Popstars The Rivals.