The glitz and glamour of The Real Housewives franchise has legions of fans and detractors in equal measure, with the new Jersey version due to launch later this month.
The episodes will be aired weekly on ITVBe, where seven ‘housewives’ – Ashley Cairney, Hedi Green, Jane Rayner, Kate Taylor, Mia Ledbury, Margaret Thompson and Tessa Hartmann – will be making their debut. Viewers are promised a unique insight into the glamorous lifestyles of some of Jersey’s biggest characters and their families, in episodes filled with ‘fun, laughter, tears and plenty of glamour’. In a first for the ITV Hub, the entire series of The Real Housewives of Jersey will also be available to watch as a box set the same day that the first episode airs. The launch of the new show comes following the success of award-winning series The Real Housewives of Cheshire.
Mike Swindells, executive producer at Monkey – the BAFTA-winning company which produced the show – 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, but the opportunity to devour the series immediately on the ITV Hub means viewers won’t have to wait long to follow the twists and turns of their lavish lives.’
The launch of the series, though, got off to an inauspicious start when the logo had a map of the Island the wrong way around. The image has since been removed from promotional material.
Mrs Hartmann (50) first moved to Jersey in 2015, having previously lived in the Scottish Highlands. She lives in Jersey with her husband Sascha and two sons Jonnie (16) and Zac (13), while her two daughters – Valentina (23) and pop star Tallia Storm (22) – live in London.
Speaking about her experience filming The Real Housewives of Jersey, she said: ‘It’s been amazing. Filming was a lot more hours than I anticipated – I work full time, so having to fit that in and be a mum while filming was exhausting, but a good kind of exhausting.
‘They’ve really showcased Jersey. It looks phenomenal, glossy and glamorous, showing the heritage sites and all the beaches. It’s the best advert for the Island.
‘I fell in love with Jersey when I came here nearly six years ago. This is my home – my kids went to school here. The fact that when the economy is struggling so much with Covid-19, and we are faced with all these challenges, we’ve got this incredible showcase of Jersey is just amazing. My background is branding and marketing so I know full well the power of product and placement. The series is everything you’d expect and more. It’s even above my expectations – I’ve seen a couple of episodes, and they’re just phenomenal.’
Tessa runs Hartmann House – a creative marketing and branding agency – and is also the founder of the Jersey Style Awards, which aim to recognise dozens of Jersey businesses, organisations and individuals for the part they have played in shaping Island life.
‘When I was in the UK I set up a Scottish fashion awards. I’ve done a lot of work in fashion and textiles. It is a job, but I count the Style Awards as a hobby as well. I believe there is so much talent here in Jersey across all the different industries, so I am keen to showcase all of our best artists and leaders of culture.’
Hedi Green was born in England and educated there and in India. She has lived in Jersey for 35 years, and has three daughters: Abigail, Cordelia and Laetitia. Ms Green set up Hamptonne Swimming School and Hamptonne Health Centre and won a small-business award at the 2004 Jersey Enterprise Awards for a low-volume manufacturing project recreating the Mercedes Gullwing. She has much experience as a remedial and sports massage therapist, and runs a health and wellness business in St Saviour. Mrs Green became interested in natural medicine after seeing her grandmother cure herself and family members of many ailments using plants and diet, and formally qualified in 1994 obtaining a Diploma in Remedial and Sports Massage from the London School of Sports Massage. Mrs Green is a also a sky -diver and motorbike rider. She stood unsuccessfully for election as a Deputy in St Saviour in 2011.
Kate Taylor is a philanthropist who devotes her time to raising money for children and breast cancer charities. She was announced as the patron of local charity After Breast Cancer support group earlier this year and has supported cancer charities in the past, including the Teenage Cancer Trust. Kate said she wanted to do something after witnessing the experience of her 28-year-old friend Sammie Taylor (no relation), who had a double mastectomy. She has a son named Finn and enjoys yoga and practises this as a means of wellness to help her through difficult points of her life.
Ashley Cairney is the only one of the housewives to have been born in Jersey. She is a businesswoman and runs her own HR company in Jersey. Ashley is married to Ben and has two young boys.
Jane Rayner moved to Jersey several years ago. She lives with her fiancé, Andy, and has three daughters. She is interested in beauty and fashion, and has her own fashion company. She is particularly interested in sustainability and sustainable fashion. Born in Leicestershire, Ms Rayner moved to the Island in 2014 and is, according to her website, an ambassador for Brighter Futures, a charity that supports parents, carers, children and young people in Jersey.
Margaret Thompson is from Scotland and moved over to Jersey with her two dogs, Bella and Coco-Chanel. She is a successful business woman, having set up Thompson Estates. Having lived in the Island since she was 18, she has over 30 years of experience in the property industry and is no stranger to glitz and glamour, having rubbed shoulders with the likes of Donald Trump at a New Year’s Eve party. When previously asked about her involvement with the show, Ms Thompson said that ‘it’s important to give something back to the Island we all enjoy’.
Mia Ledbury is initially from Australia. She moved to Jersey several years ago with her husband, Dan. Mia has two children and loves music and fashion. She has worked as a model and carried out many lifestyle model shoots.