The stars of the Real Housewives of Jersey have promised plenty of drama on the upcoming series, calling the show ‘a real-life soap opera’.
Ashley Cairney, Kate Taylor and Tessa Hartmann appeared on Tuesday’s episode of This Morning and said there will be ‘drama, tears and tantrums’ on the show which premieres later this month.
Drama: The stars of the Real Housewives of Jersey have promised plenty of drama on the upcoming series, calling the show ‘a real-life soap opera’
‘There’s drama and tears and tantrums but the most important thing for me as a woman, behind all this glamour, we’ve got our real stories.
‘When you strip back that glamour, there’s a real story there that I think everyone will relate to it.’
Despite the drama on the show, the ladies insisted they think Jersey will come across well to viewers.
Ashley said: ‘It will show Jersey in a good light. The filming went over several months and we have now wrapped which is amazing.
Ashley Cairney said: ‘It will show Jersey in a good light. The filming went over several months and we have now wrapped which is amazing.
‘You’ll have the people who are with you and the people who need convincing. You’ve never met an island where everyone is so warm and welcoming. I can’t see it doing anything bad for the island.’
Tessa added: ‘Absolutely. But for a time like Covid, I think it’s a great opportunity for the island to promote itself.’
When asked if the show was influenced by The Real Housewives of Cheshire, Kate admitted she’s hardly even seen it.
She said: ‘I very rarely watch TV. I’ve watched a few. I thought we’d be different because we’re quite an eclectic group of women.’
‘Tears’: Ashley Cairney (left), Kate Taylor (cente) and Tessa Hartmann (right) appeared on Tuesday’s episode of This Morning and said there will be ‘drama, tears and tantrums’
While Ashley is from Jersey, the rest of the ladies have all moved to the island over the years.
Tess said: ‘I moved here about six years ago. My husband and I came here for a business meeting and we loved it, the beaches, the lifestyle.’
Of her journey to the island, Kate added: ‘I was brought over with an ex boyfriend and we just ended up living here, it was fantastic.’
Asked if they are worried if the show will change perceptions of them, Tessa said: ‘Life is a rollercoaster. I’ve been through so much in my life, bring it on! Let’s open the doors.’
The show is the second UK version of The Real Housewives franchise – there are more than a dozen covering various parts of the US but the only British location until now has been the award-winning The Real Housewives Of Cheshire.
Tessa said: ‘There’s drama and tears and tantrums but the most important thing for me as a woman, behind all this glamour, we’ve got our real stories’
Executive producer Mike Swindells said: ‘Having spent an incredible summer embracing all that the beautiful island of Jersey offers, we can’t wait to introduce the world to this magnificent location and our raft of exceptional new Housewives.
‘As viewers would expect, the lives of The Real Housewives of Jersey are as complicated as ever.’
MEET THE STARS
1. The Skydiving warrior
She may be a 57-year-old mother of three daughters but that doesn’t stop Hedi Green skydiving, motorbike riding and paddleboarding.
The ‘warrior of life’ has lived in Jersey for 35 years. A practitioner of natural medicine who believes in the energy of earth and healing, she has three clinics.
2. The green fashionista
Originally from the Midlands, Jane Rayner, 56, has been living in Jersey for five years. The fashionista is twice divorced and currently engaged – so hoping it’ll be third time lucky.
Sir David Attenborough is one of her heroes and she is keen to do her bit to protect the environment.
Cast: Hedi Green, 57, was a competitive skydiver for the past 18 years, she also tours the island in Pussy Galore-style leathers on her Royal Enfield motorbike
3. The queen of trumps
At 58, Margaret Thompson is the oldest Housewife. She moved to the island when she was 18 and has worked her way up from pot washer to the self-styled ‘Queen of Jersey property’.
Originally from Scotland, Miss Thompson was pictured rubbing shoulders with Donald Trump at a New Year party in 2016. Her dogs have their own following on Instagram.
4. The dressy socialite
Kate Taylor, 51, has lived on the island for 30 years and has become well known on the Jersey social scene for her gregarious character and extravagant outfits.
She is an ambassador for a number of charities and is into yoga and wellness.
5. The singer’s mum
Tessa Hartmann, 50, is the mother of singer Tallia Storm.
She is originally from Scotland and moved to Jersey five years ago with her husband, composer and film director Sascha Hartmann.
The couple began their PR agency Hartmann Media in 1996 and she has represented designers including Louis Vuitton and Ralph Lauren.
Socialite: Kate Taylor, 52, originally from Cleethorpes, is ‘a philanthropist’ who made a name for herself on the social circuit, organising charity balls and is now going through a messy divorce
6. The model from down under
Former model Mia Ledbury, 44, originally from Australia, moved to Jersey only five years ago with her husband Dan and their two daughters.
She is beginning to dip her toe back into the modelling world after taking a break to have children.
7. The one really from jersey
Ashley Cairney, at 31 the youngest Housewife, is the only Jersey-born girl on the show and a self-made businesswoman.
She is married to Ben, her high school sweetheart whom she has been with since the age of 17, and the couple have two young children.
They each run their own business on the island.
Glamour: Mia Ledbury, 44, an Australian-born former underwear model, moved with her husband and children from London’s Chelsea to Jersey five years ago
The series is yet to air, but already there’s just as much bitching off‑screen as there will, no doubt, be on.
One critic, historian and former local politician Alastair Layzell, said in the summer, when news of the series got out: ‘My sense over the years is that people have come here to take part in the community and keep a low profile. I’m not sure those people would want to be part of a series like this.’
In a letter to the Jersey Evening Post, resident Mike Keeping raged: ‘The thought of a local group of mindless, self-obsessed women with egos as high as the stratosphere representing this island does not bear contemplation.’
However Gary Burgess, a respected journalist and local celebrity on Jersey, says for most locals, the series will be ‘like Marmite’. Having seen some of the first episodes, he says: ‘There are the people who absolutely love the rubbernecking glory of being able to see inside the lives of the ladies who lunch. Then there are the people on the other side of the divide, saying they’d rather stick pins in their eyes.
‘One of their frustrations is that The Real Housewives do not really represent Jersey, because there is poverty here, too. The average wage is similar to the UK’s, and the cost of living here is higher.
‘For the aspirational 1 per cent, it may be how they live their lives sometimes, and then only on their best days.’
AN ISLAND APART
Though it is part of the British Isles, Jersey is far closer to France than to the UK. It is a British crown dependency, which means it is internationally represented and defended by the UK government but it governs itself and has its own laws and elected parliament. For example, it was only in February that lawmakers approved scrapping a rule that prevented women from filing taxes under their own name.
Many more vestiges of ancient laws are still on the statute books, including one that men are not allowed to knit during harvest-time (which dates back to the 17th century, when it became so well-paid that many preferred it to working in the fields).
The very low number of Covid-19 cases on the island this summer meant that there were few barriers to filming The Real Housewives. A production insider says: ‘We had the original lockdown like the UK. But when we came out of it, we had nothing like the restrictions you had on the mainland.’ But they added that the latest government guidelines and necessary Covid protocols were followed at all times during filming.
For decades, Jersey has been a haven, famous not just for its beautiful beaches and dairy cows, but also once seen as an offshore financial centre for the super-rich to enjoy and preserve their wealth away from prying eyes and the punishing tax rules of mainland Britain.
Government diktats mean most well-off incomers need to earn a minimum of £750,000 a year and have the cash to afford a house worth more than £1.75 million in order to move to the island.
An impossible dream for most, but small fry for the richest tier of Jersey residents, who regard having a private jet as no more unusual than an extra car and think nothing of sailing to France on their yacht for a spot of lunch.
Jersey is home to some of the most extravagant homes in the British Isles, some of which look more like they should be nestling in the Hollywood Hills rather than overlooking the English Channel.
Many are purpose-built to meet the exacting specifications of uber-wealthy owners, such as Simon Nixon, the billionaire co-founder of Moneysupermarket.com.
He has replaced a pink 1930s home that cost £3.6 million, overlooking St Brelade’s Bay in Jersey, with an imposing modern mansion with all mod cons.
The series gives glimpses of two of the most sumptuous homes for sale to the super-rich set.
The closest thing you’ll get to Downton Abbey on the island is Le Chemin Des Moulins, St Helier, now on sale for £12 million. This eight-bedroom stately home’s interior was designed by Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill, and it comes with a lake and fountain, as well as a swimming pool
Currently on the market for £25 million is new-build Eden House, which has all the specifications top-end buyers expect. It includes both an indoor and outdoor pool, hot tub and steam room, as well as a 100-metre-square kitchen with an Aga, and a party room designed to make the most of the spectacular sea views.
Or, for £13 million, there’s Le Val Lodge, which has a 14 metre-long infinity pool, Jacuzzi, pool house and tennis court.
As the most discreet A-listers prefer to entertain at home, large entertaining spaces and wine cellars are a must-have.
Other desirable properties include Le Mont de Rozel, St Martin, on sale for £18 million. With stunning views over the picture-postcard fishing port at Rozel Bay, the house has a private pathway to the cove below.
There are six reception rooms, seven bedrooms and parking for ten cars, so there’s plenty of space for visitors to come and enjoy the infinity pool with sun terrace and sunken alfresco seating, the entertainment complex and gym.
Le Mont de Rozel, St Martin, on sale for £18 million, has stunning views over the picture-postcard fishing port at Rozel Bay, the house has a private pathway to the cove below
The closest thing you’ll get to Downton Abbey on the island is Le Chemin Des Moulins, St Helier, now on sale for £12 million.
This eight-bedroom stately home’s interior was designed by Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill, and it comes with a lake and fountain, as well as a swimming pool.
However if it’s privacy you want, La Rue Des Aix, St Peter, has a quarter-mile-long driveway, one of the longest on the island.
The £7.5 million seven-bedroom property is spread over 15,000 sq ft, with a separate two-bedroom guest and staff suite. As well as a swimming pool, there’s also an orangery, home cinema and gym, all set on 12 acres of land.
The Real Housewives Of Jersey launches on Monday, December 28, at 9pm, on ITVBe. The entire series will be available on ITV Hub to watch as a box set on the same day.
Date: The Real Housewives Of Jersey launches on Monday, December 28, at 9pm, on ITVBe