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Mary: Queen of the High Street

Mary: Queen of the High Street

Tue May 14, 9-10pm, C4

By David Clack
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Series one, episode two
Well done, everyone – your addiction to Amazon.co.uk and eastern European city breaks has left high streets in salt-of-the-earth corners of the country in a thoroughly shitty state, and now it’s up to Mary Portas and her orange helmet to sort it all out.

Luckily for Margate – the town under the spotlight in this week’s episode for which no previews were available – it has a trump card in the form of the recently opened Turner Contemporary gallery. It also has Tracey Emin, the artist who once exhibited a bed covered in dirty pants, being asked to create a brand identity for someone who we highly suspect doesn’t really want one. Other ideas, like creating an ‘inland pier’ on the high street, are a bit brighter, and it’s clear throughout that Portas genuinely cares about her cause. But the problem is – and call us cynical if you absolutely must – we can’t help thinking about what happens next.

After Mary’s swept in and got everyone on Twitter and schooled them in the ways of vintage culture and up-cycling and charging a fortune for bits of bollocky tat… how do you expect people to maintain a business that’s clearly completely foreign to them? They could use one of Portas’ books for reference, we suppose. They’re pretty cheap on Amazon.
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