Reality TV

Reality TV


Reality TV is more than just ‘Big Brother’. Read out about some unusual reality TV programmes that are popular in the UK.

Reality TV is extremely popular in the UK. At their best, these programmes give us a good look into the lives of different people in Britain. At their worst, they are a very cheap way to make programmes and sometimes involve people behaving very badly.

Here’s a selection of some of the UK’s reality TV shows.

Strictly Come Dancing

In the show a celebrity learns to dance with a professional dancer. Every week they have to learn a different ballroom dance such as the tango, the waltz or the cha cha cha, and perform it live on TV on Saturday night. Four judges, who are all professional dance experts, give the celebrities scores and they comment on their dances. After that, the public call in and vote for their favourite couple. The two least favourite then have to dance again and the judges decide who stays in the competition and who leaves. This is a very popular show with small children, teenagers and adults of all ages.


A group of young people live in a house for a week and must stay awake. Each day there are tests to see how well they can function even though they are totally exhausted. They must leave the house if they fall asleep. Viewers vote on who stays in the house and text their comments every day.

Come Dine with Me

Each week four people prepare dinner in their home for the other contestants. Each competitor then gives the cook a grade out of 10 for the food and entertainment. The winner gets a £1,000 cash prize. Sometimes the food is terrible and the contestants are very rude to each other.

World’s Strictest Parents

Badly behaved British teens are sent abroad to live with a super strict family for a week. The teenagers have to follow the rules of their host family and go to the local school. After seven days the teenagers return home and their parents tell us if their behaviour is better. There is often a lot of crying and shouting in this show but it can be incredibly funny too.

Don't Tell the Bride

The groom (the man who is going to get married) has to arrange the wedding without the help of his bride (the woman he is going to marry). He has to choose the location, the dress, the flowers, the cake, the music….everything, in fact! The groom is always very stressed and worried. Usually the bride is very happy with the wedding but occasionally there are disasters, for example, the bride’s wedding dress is too big or the groom forgets to order a cake.

Relocation, Relocation

This show follows people deciding on a new place to live in the UK. They are filmed during the process of moving town and house. For viewers who are going to buy a home soon, it’s really interesting to see the prices of flats and houses in different parts of the country.

Learner Drivers

This show follows people as they learn to drive. People are filmed while they fight with their driving instructors, test the patience of other motorists and pass or fail their driving test. Learning to drive is very stressful, as we can see in this programme.


The show follows the daily lives of police officers (informally known as 'coppers') from different police forces around Britain. We see them in lots of different situations, such as riot control, city centre night-time policing, and responding to emergencies. Watching the police in action is absolutely fascinating!

You voted 4. Total votes: 502


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What's your favourite reality TV show? Would you like to be on a reality TV show one day? Why or why not?


francesca97it's picture

In italy there are a lot of reality TV as dancing with the stars, italian's got talent, the voice of italy, x factor, amici (friends).. The last is italian program is very beutiful becouse is a school where the guys sing and dance. In italy there was big brother, but it wasn't popular, so now it don't make.

16 users have voted, including you.
francesca97it's picture

There are "Strictly Come Dancing", "don't tell the bride" and "relocation, recolation" also in italy. The first is nice, but in my country the judge don't know dance. The second and third are the same, only they are tralation. For me relication,relocation is very interesting and i like it. I think "coppers" is interesting and i hope this tv series will do also in italy. I think don't like learner drivers, but next year i must learn to drive.

16 users have voted, including you.
AbbieH's picture

I really like reality tv shows. Because it’s different than all the other fiction-filled shows and captivates me. I usually just watch Survivior, because though it doesn’t nessecarilly happen every day, I know that it is up beat, and I have to actually think about what is happening as I watch it.

18 users have voted.
AnaB's picture

My favourite reality TV show is "The Hunted" and "Dr. G: Medical Examiner".
Maybe I want o be, or maybe I don't. I haven'e been thinking about this. I would like to be in show were we can fight in some sport like basketball, handball or football. Also I would like to be in show were I can test my knowledge. So I want to be in some reality how. :)

28 users have voted.
Noahbear's picture

No because I believe reality TV shows are bad and have no use to anything that is important. Also that that are filled with bad times and are so unconventional for people.

42 users have voted, including you.
kiara's picture

big brother is an amazing reality show. and yes i would love to be on a reality TV show for the fun of it and the experience.

39 users have voted, including you.
emitis's picture

Actually, I don’t like watching TV, but sometimes I watch reality TV shows because some of them are very interesting. There are some reality TV shows, such as Come Dine with Me like UK, in my country. But my favorite show is the ‘In Search Of’ that is the competition between three or four group of teenagers. There are three people in each group. They are released in the desert, forest or etc with minimal accessories. They must use the map and star’s to find the target in three days. Sometimes they are looking for food or prey fish to steal.

39 users have voted.
pablyko's picture

I really like big brother is so interesting and you see how he improvethe comportament of people.
Is so fu**ing awesome!

35 users have voted, including you.
afiramadhan's picture

Hi, I like almost all reality TV shows, such as X Factor, The Voice, Asia's Next Top Model, etc. But, I love a show that can increase my knowledge, such as quiz show. Yeah, one day I would like to appear on TV and seen by nationwide people :D

64 users have voted.
fatmira n's picture

too,in albania there are other reality shows such as DANCING WITH THE STARS,THE VOICE OF ALBANIA,X FACTOR ETC.|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||

69 users have voted, including you.
Natalija's picture

I've forgot to tell I like Dancing with stars, too. It's really interesting and you can see famous people dancing for some good aim, like charity organizations etc. I really appreciate that, but this reality show doesn't exist in Serbia anymore. Such a pity!

71 users have voted.
Natalija's picture

I don't like reality shows, it's pretty boring for me. In Serbia are many reality shows, like The big brother, Farm, Survivor, I have talent, The first voice of Serbia, The first Serbian top model etc. I don't like the way reality shows are presented here. Some people participate in this kind of charade and they make fools of themselves; they almost wear no clothes, argue a lot, and all that to win money. I hate that and I have never watched this kind of show. The only one I like is The first voice of Serbia and The first Serbian top model, because it's not completely reality show, and participants are young talented educated people, who want to become famous, and it gives them a great chance to fulfill their dream.

71 users have voted, including you.
m@tini's picture

I live in Greece and we have got lots of reality TV shows . My favourite reality TV show was Dancing With The Stars. I loved that show , because I like dance and I often dance and I liked watching the TV stars dancing. I also loved it because I liked the videos of the rehearsals . They were very funny .

83 users have voted, including you.
Jonathan - Coordinator's picture

Hi m@tini. Dancing With The Stars is popular all around the world, isn't it? Is it the American version or a Greek version of the show? My favourite is Britain's Got Talent - maybe you have this in your country too. 

Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

86 users have voted.
ellen's picture

In Azerbaijan there's lots of reality TV show.
I look at the knowledge competition program. Very nice and clever games. Do you look at but to program of knowledge competition how?
I watch that progamme on Sunday. I really love that programme.I would like to be in this program. Wrire answer please.................................................................

82 users have voted, including you.
jenniferkim's picture

In Korea there's lots of reality TV show.
I like the show called K-PopStar. It's an audition programme about finding a new K-Pop Star.
There's lots of participaters from different countries.
I watch that progamme every week on Sunday. I really love that programme.

78 users have voted, including you.
happiest-girl-alive's picture

The only one TV program from this list I'd watch is "Shattered". I think it's interesting to see people overcome difficulties. I'd even participate in that show. It resembles "Wipe Out" (American TV program) about people taking part in extreme competitions. That's very exciting! And the prize is really good - 100,000 $! Who wouldn't do it for such an amount of money? I'm not really into sports, but I'd take a chance. Also, there was an amazing dance show "America's Best Dance Crew". That is one of my favorite TV shows. Many people remember the 1st season winners - Jabbawockeez.

102 users have voted.
Jelena S's picture

In Montenegro there isn`t so much TV shows,but in Serbia there`s a lot of them.I would like to go to Strictly Come Dancing,i love to dance like evrything.I love acting too,so i thing there should be some caind of TV show about it.We have I have talent show,it`s for singers,and we have 1st cooker of Serbia I don`t like preparing food so that`s not my favourite,we have Shopingholic tv show,that`s one of my favourites.I thing Big brother is stuped,i don`t watch it.We have the farm,it`s like Bb. but even worse i think...I like normal TV shows that are intrests of teen people,who are about singing,dancing,acting,shoping and normal stuff.

85 users have voted, including you.
KatnissMockingjay's picture

Hey, how are you? Good, I hoope.
I live in Spain. Here in Spain the aren't any interesting Reality Show. There are a "Gandía Shore" It's like Jersey Shore but from Valencia and we have "Sálvame" We call it 'the rose programmes' because it's so boared and not interesting. The "famous" people go to this programme to tell their secrets and their confidences and they tell to all Spain. I'm agree with Carmen, she's from Spain too.
'Big brother' it's a, excuse me, shit. They have sex with their mates or they drink a lot and they fight.
But there are some really good programmes like 'La Voz'. Some people go to this programme to sing. I like a lot 'El Intermedio' The Great Wyoming it's so funny and he can talks of our president, our laws.

We only have got good music reality shows, I promise it. I've got shame because of country is so sad The people see only Sálvame, Big Brother, etc. They never watch the news or something interesting, like Callejeros, (Some reporters go to different countries.) or Quiz shows.

Best wishes, Alessia.

98 users have voted.
Carmen M's picture

I do not like so much reality shows because I find them absurd. What is the interesting of seeing a group of people living together, with the only purpose of becoming famous, having sex with each other and fighting? In my opinion, this is what hapen in "big brother".

But there are many kinds of reality shows, and some of them are really interesting. If i have to choose one of them, definitely i would choose a musical one, like "Tu cara me suena". In that programme, some famous people have to sing in front of a jury. They have to impersonate the singer of the song that they are going to sing, and it is sometimes very funny. They spend a week preparing their voice to look like the original singer voice. They also have to copy the gestures. The day of the show, a group of stylists try to transform them to the original singers by dressing and make up. When they come out to the stage to start the perform, sometimes they look like the originals, but other times, they seem something eccentric. I really enjoy when a man has to perform a woman song because they wear dresses or skirts and they look very amusing.

So, if i were thinking of going to a reality show, a musical one would be the kind of reality that i would go to. But, actually i do not think i will join to one of them because in my opinion i am not a very good singer and i don't enjoy the other realities. I think that i will conform to watch them on tv.

104 users have voted, including you.