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So.. you know that Mary Portas..

(34 Posts)
WorriedBetty Mon 25-Jun-12 08:28:00

I quite like her plain speaking and arrogance confidence.

Anyway, its obvious (Margate!) that a TV person who does shows on shopping giving out money to a shopping centre is going to want to film it, but so many bidders in this 'Portas scheme' thingy seem to be surprised!

There is one of those bids near me and people are getting excited that she might be coming - how did Margate think she wouldn't film them??!?

Anyway I just wanted to say that I think she is cool - lined up with the tories.. which is a bit sad, but I still think she is cool.

FeakAndWeeble Mon 25-Jun-12 08:38:31

Are you from Margate then, or did you attend the meeting the other week with Portas and the local residents? I did.

First off, when Grant Shapps launched a ‘Golden Ticket’ contest for the towns to bid for the money to regenerate town centres there was no mention at all that those who won would be on television. Then it came out, after the bids had been put in, that Mary Portas was filming a show about the regeneration of 'dying' towns and the winning areas would feature.

At the meeting with the local people a couple of weeks ago many local shop-keepers raised objections to contracts they'd been presented with by the team making the programme. These basically said they had permission to film the signee whenever they liked including at times without their knowledge over a 5 month period. Portas then stood at the front of the room and said if anyone didn't like it then she'd take the money and go elsewhere with it (clip is on YouTube). She later backtracked hugely and released a statement saying whether or not Margate agreed to being filmed they would receive the money because this is a government grant, not a gift from Mary Portas and her appalling TV company.

Portas and the TV company have also since agreed that the contracts Margate people were presented with were 'draconian' and 'unacceptable' and these are now being re-written.

From what I saw of this woman a fortnight ago I can safely say that she is not cool at all. She is an extremely unpleasant bully. And this money is not coming from her pocket, as much as she likes to flounce about mouthing the words 'Portas Pilot' at people. It's a government grant for an area drowning in its own failure and Portas is being paid a hell of a lot of money to make a programme about it.


Acumenoop Mon 25-Jun-12 08:39:55

I really like her. blush A LOT. She's so arrogant and bossy! _

Pagwatch Mon 25-Jun-12 08:41:56

Ooooh I want to go and find that YouTube clip....

FeakAndWeeble Mon 25-Jun-12 08:51:31

here you are pag

NoOnesGoingToEatYourEyes Mon 25-Jun-12 08:56:53

That clip was really hard to hear (blasting that pop song really loudly and then the speaker almost whispering) and I couldn't see Mary Portas in it.

But Feak, I believe you. There's just something about her that scares me.

TeWiDoesTheHulaInHawaii Mon 25-Jun-12 09:01:53

Hmm, maybe a good thing our town didn't win it!

Money or not, it isn't actually going to be helpful to any town to be labelled as 'dying' doesn't really inspire visitors does it?

And surely not very true of Margate anyway, it's had a fair bit of investment/good beach etc that will always inspire some visitors anyway.

FeakAndWeeble Mon 25-Jun-12 09:03:08

Sorry, DS was bashing the keyboard alot so just grabbed the first one on the list, but there's plenty more on there.

Thank you for your faith though NoOnes grin

Just to clarify, Portas' TV show is a totally seperate thing to the money Margate has received for regeneration, and only the towns who have agreed to feature in 'Mary Portas: Queen of the High Street' will receive direct assistance from Portas herself. Margate has secured the £100,000 regardless.

FeakAndWeeble Mon 25-Jun-12 09:03:42

^ Little bit of input from DS there again!

FeakAndWeeble Mon 25-Jun-12 09:06:17

That's how a lot of local people feel too TeWi; Portas' shows often show her battling against small minded idiots reluctant to change for the benefit of their businesses. There's strong feeling in the town that we don't wish to put ourselves forward to be ridiculed. The Turner Gallery and the regeneration of the Old Town, plus the beaches, have meant that tourism in the area has already improved dramatically over the past 18 months. The High Street is terrible but the grant should hopefully improve all of that.

bleedingheart Mon 25-Jun-12 09:06:38

That's disappointing. I had a bit of a girl crush on her, but there's self-belief and then there's sheer arrogance and high-handedness.

sugarice Mon 25-Jun-12 09:08:52

I didn't mind her so much back in the day when she was on bbc2. She does appear to believe her own publicity that she is a saviour of the High Street and her comment about taking the money and going elsewhere with it seems to back that up. I went off her when she launched her shop with House of Fraser and she made that ridiculous fuss about name badges.

IawnCont Mon 25-Jun-12 09:09:18


What a bully. Isn't it pathetic how TV people think that nothing is more important than them- And that everyone wants to be on TV??

nilbyname Mon 25-Jun-12 09:11:15

This story was on Radio 4 last week on you and yours I think. feakandweeble has it right.

I think, Mary is a bit of a hot dog really. A bit of a money grubber.

FeakAndWeeble Mon 25-Jun-12 09:11:40

Just found this, Daily Mail warning

Petsinmypudenda Mon 25-Jun-12 09:17:13

I don't like the show idea. The high street needs help desperately and she's turned it into an x factor style drama. Its all a bit look at me helping these poor people sob sob. I don't like it and i feel for the towns that are stuck with her, they need cash and long term help not a pasting on national tv

noddyholder Mon 25-Jun-12 09:19:33

It's ALL about her she is unbearable

TeWiDoesTheHulaInHawaii Mon 25-Jun-12 09:32:33

I bet that's why she picked Margate you know, because it's doing reasonably well regenerating itself anyway, she can swan in and set up some boutiques and then pretend the increase in tourism is all because of her.

Somewhere like where I live that nobody at all has heard of is much more of a genuine challenge.

DowagersHump Mon 25-Jun-12 09:33:25

She is getting some seriously bad press around here (also a Thanet person). I can't believe her arrogance - bully is right.

limitedperiodonly Mon 25-Jun-12 09:39:13

Thanks feak. That was my understanding of the deal too and I'm glad she's been exposed as attempting to cash in on it.

I wouldn't be ridiculed for the greater glory of Mary Portas's TV career.

And she knows fuck-all about risking her own money running a High Street business, having spent the majority of her career, if not all of it, working for someone else from the safety of a cosy job in central London high-end retail.

limitedperiodonly Mon 25-Jun-12 09:50:30

Just watched one of the longer clips. She's an arrogant lying bully.

Only the woman in red who plonked herself at the front appeared to be enthusiastic. Everyone else looks insulted or bored.

At the end when more people applauded I believe it was out of politeness.

She deserved to be mercilessly heckled.

noddyholder Mon 25-Jun-12 10:06:44

I have always been amazed at how popular she is. She has no clue about fashion either unless you are built like a scarecrow and have a bottomless purse. Her whole ethos is stuck in the 80s and just won't work in the modern internet age

nilbyname Mon 25-Jun-12 10:18:28

My good friend lives in Margate and it is very up and coming and trendy wendy. Think Dalston/Hoxton Londonites relocating. Seems like a bust/farce for Big Bully Mary.

WorriedBetty Mon 25-Jun-12 10:26:03

oh! sad I'm not surprised that TV companies have weirdly draconian sounding contracts though - they always want to control footage don't they?

Do you really need permission to film people in a public street? News people don't seem to have a problem with doing so.

I can see the 'dying' tag might be unhelpful for a while, but I thought the purpose was to have an 'exciting' end which would be good publicity. Perhaps I am being naive blush

I'm also not surprised that they want a story that can turn around quickly - they wouldn't want to go into a complete ghost town that ended up confirming that failure was inevitable.. its not good TV kids! smile

Anyway, I don't mind a bit of plain speaking <not northern disclaimer!> hmph...

Orlando Mon 25-Jun-12 10:36:47

I went off her when she did her charity shop revamp, bullying and ridiculing the volunteers who worked in the shop and were quite rightly bewildered by her ambition to turn it into a sort of Notting Hill 'saw you coming' style boutique. (Can't remember what town it was in and not sure that she knew either - just that it Wasn't London.) She seems genuinely to believe that most people want to be more like her. And those who don't, should.

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