Kathy Burke considers herself to be rich, and her definition of the term is a lot wider than most people’s. It’s not about the cars, pools and helicopters she encounters in this frank look at the moneyed, but about not being skint. Raw and unfiltered — the Capstan Full Strength of TV presenters — she brings to the screen a blunt authenticity that deserves to net her a whole new revenue stream.
Burke has an ability to talk to just about anyone with an open-minded disinclination to judge — provided they’re not a member of the Tory cabinet. She can happily wander around the palatial Surrey pad of caravan-park mogul Alfie Best without a shred of envy. “Aw, that’d drive me mad,” is her verdict on his pillow-bestrewed master bedroom. Parked outside are his limited edition Jeep worth more than a million, his Bugatti Veyron and a Rolls-Royce. The latter at least gets the thumbs up.
She forms an instant bond with Best, who also grew up poor, and is still driven on by the fear of bankruptcy. At least his money comes from bricks and mortar — or rather wheels and tin. Burke is on very different territory when she encounters those with more intangible ways of making a mint. Has she heard of YouTuber DanTDM, the director asks. “Dan Tedium?” is the incredulous response.
Burke is promptly dispatched to a TikTok house — “whatever the fuck that is”. “We turn over a few million,” says the 26-year-old boss of the Wave House modestly. Not bad when your online activity mostly consists of “titting about wearing studded masks”, according to Burke. One of their viral videos involved house member Eloise bathing in a tub of milk. No wonder there isn’t any left over for Burke’s tea.
The TikTokers are too young to remember vintage comedy characters such as Burke’s plebeian Waynetta Slob, Harry Enfield’s money-waving trader Loadsamoney (“Wot is thaaaaat!”), or his smug “considerably richer than yow” Midlander. They seem taken aback that this sweary figure has 400,000 followers on Twitter, but Burke once won Best Actress at Cannes. On the set of one film she turned down the offer of a Winnebago trailer, unlike the other stars: “They’re in their big plush Winnies, I’m out there like the poor arsehole.”
Her other interviewees include a money coach, a lottery winner, a former Love Islander who nets around £20k a month from the OnlyFans website, and the daughter of the sixth Earl of Durham who freely admits that the family fortunes probably don’t bear close historical inspection. Throughout it all, Burke is warm, curious and empathetic. But it’s pretty obvious she’ll be on more comfortable ground next week, when she visits the have-nots.
On Channel 4 from July 5 at 10pm
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