sat 24/08/2019

Lily Allen: From Riches to Rags, Channel 4 | reviews, news & interviews

Lily Allen: From Riches to Rags, Channel 4

Lily Allen: From Riches to Rags, Channel 4

Clothes and crises as a pop star starts out in 'the real world'

Lily and Sarah Allen, vintage before their time

Why were any of us watching Lily Allen: From Riches to Rags last night, about the pop star's move from selling millions of tracks to stacks of vintage clothes? It was not because we need a lesson in the hardships of starting up a business - Allen bought all the stock out of her musical profits and her office was thick with roses. No, it was because the real intruded into a reality show: this was not car-crash TV - it was miscarriage TV.

The only reason to watch is because you are jonesing for a celebrity tragedy, the sort of first-hand insight you can't get from Grazia

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1) Lily Allen didn't have a miscarriage, she had a pre-term delivery. Using the term miscarriage completely disregards how different and rather more upsetting it is as she was 6 months pregrant and therefore had to be give birth still to the still born baby. 2) Perhaps not everyone is waiting for tragedy to watch, but are genuinely interested in why she left music and what she is up to.

Whatever you think of Lily Allen, calling this 'miscarriage tv' really really? Only a man could write something so crass and offensive. I hope anyone who has suffered a miscarriage or gone through the horrific trauma of stillbirth posts their disgust.This reads like something you'd find in The Sun or The Mail. From the artsdesk I expect better, much better.

I think you may have put the cart of a distressing experience before the horse of a TV show exploiting it, Kate (yes, another man speaks). Last night at Leicester Square tube I heard three young folk discussing - a miscarriage - and it turned out to be talk of Lily Allen, a person whom they don't know. I don't doubt that she deserves our sympathy, but it seems to me, as to Josh, another case of the media exploiting a sensitive situation for its own OKish ends. And, no, I didn't watch - I have about as much interest in LA as I do in the royal newlyweds-to-be.

@kate - please don't misunderstand - I don't approve of it all, as I hope the review shows. Using the term 'miscarriage TV' is meant to convey how vile I find the exploitation of her loss. There is nothing approving at all here. @claire - thank you for the clarification; I was using 'miscarriage' in a broader, not technical, sense.

@David This is not media exploitation, this is a doc that unhappily coincided with the loss of Allen's pregnancy.

Josh I think your assessment that the shop could have been selling anything is unfair. Lily Allen is known for a personal style which was highly influential on both the high fashion and street fashion world, and which revolved around vintage frocks worn in a modern context - so the basic idea of the store made absolute sense for her to be pursuing. It was extremely interesting watching it dawning on her that a good idea alone was not enough, though, and that she couldn't leave her popstar persona and media attention behind...

Josh you are not right in the head and I do not agree with your comments about this show one bit. It was a great show and as Claire says maybe people are genuinely interested in what Lily is up to. Airing this after what happened to her during the filming is a brave thing to do as it is naturally going to upset her. I respect her massively, giving birth to an dead baby must be the worst thing anyone could ever have to do. I can’t wait to watch the series and I hope her new business kicks off I really do.

@Ellie, 'not media exploitation'? Not of Allen, perhaps, but of the audience, with all the getting-off on the sadness of someone they don't even know that entails. Are you telling me, though, that this programme was planned before the miscarriage? @Sam, 'not right in the head' - that's about as right-on as the miscarriage remarks. Think before you attack.

@sam - I have often been told I'm not right in the head, so you're spot on. You can see the series as brave, or you can see it as exploitative, and we clearly fall on different sides of that. @Edgar - I didn't mean Allen was expert in clothes - what I meant was that she wanted to settle down somewhere and it just happened that that meant a clothes shop.

@Edgar - wasn't, rather.

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