Made in Chelsea won’t be worth watching without Spencer Matthews

The new season starts tonight

At 9pm this evening, Made in Chelsea returns to our screens – but I won’t be watching.

I’m not giving it up because of the eye-gougingly awkward silences. I’m not giving it up because of the endless establishing shots of west London railings. I’m not even giving it up because after 11 seasons, every possible romantic plotline has been played out in excruciating fashion.

I could forgive Made in Chelsea for all of these, but there’s one thing I can’t get over: I’m giving up Made in Chelsea because Spencer Matthews isn’t in it anymore.

Spen

My face when contemplating a Made in Chelsea without Spencer

Since 2011, Spencer has been the savage beating heart of everyone’s favourite “structured reality” show. Ever since he first pined over Caggie and palmed off Funda, we’ve been hooked – and in the years since, we’ve delighted in watching Spenny become the utter bastard we just loved to hate.

Remember when he shagged Louise in Dubai behind Jamie’s back? Or the time he told Louise, “it’s hard to respect you when you allow me to cheat on you”?

What about when Lucy and her new boyfriend turned up to the same restaurant as him, so he had a bottle of champagne sent to their table? Everything he did should have made us despise him, and yet we tuned in every week for more of his nefarious antics.

The fact of the matter is, Spencer knew he was the bad guy and played the part with aplomb. Every slap round his smug face, every drink thrown over him and every bread roll lobbed in his general direction made for great entertainment – and you can bet he knew it. That Cruella De Ville white hair streak he sported last season? Not a coincidence.

As long as humans have existed, we’ve craved bad guys – cruel, twisted characters onto whom we project our darkest fantasies. Roger Ebert once said “each film is only as good as its villain”, and likewise the greatest texts in human history have been judged on their big bad: thus the Bible gave us Satan, Stoker gave us Dracula, and E4 gave us Spencer Matthews.

So what next? The channel have confirmed the loathsome lothario has left to “pursue other ventures”, leaving a huge Spencer-shaped whole in the Made in Chelsea cast.

Who are we meant to love to hate now? Alex Mytton and his duck-tail hairdo are too dull to be despicable, while the orange man-child that is Jamie Laing has always been more creepy than contemptible. Don’t even get me started on Sam fucking Thompson.

Sure, Spencer was a terrible role model, and an all-round not very nice guy, but that translated to bloody good television. Spencer may have been a dick – but he was our dick.

It’s time to face the truth: Made in Chelsea won’t be anywhere near as fun without him, and that’s why it’s probably time to tune out.

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