From Essex to Chelsea: meet the new reality stars

  • @robhastings

It promises "love triangles, bitchiness and heartache" but Made In Chelsea is a reality TV show that positions itself in a class of its own.

Following Britain's obsession with the Ugg boots and fake tans of The Only Way Is Essex and the huge pink dresses in My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, E4 is turning its lens on so-called Sloane Rangers.

The champagne-fuelled lifestyles of 12 young plummy socialites and polo enthusiasts from the smartest areas of west London will be played out over eight hour-long episodes on E4, beginning on 9 May.

The seven well-groomed stars include Francis Boulle, a French-Mauritian philosophy graduate of Edinburgh University who three years ago was said to be dating Harry Potter actress Emma Watson. Another is Alexandra "Binky" Felstead, though she is not the same Binky that created an internet storm with details of her similarly privileged life on a newspaper website two months ago.

The channel's description of the show and its former Etonian and Harrovian subjects is every bit as immodest as their bank balances: "They're immaculately dressed, fiercely ambitious and party hard – but beyond the posh accents, fast cars and glamourous holidays, life isn't all champagne and canapés. Every love-in, fall out and bitch fest will be captured on camera and played out."

A spokesperson for E4 added: "You may have the preconception all they do is shop in the day and party at night but they all have jobs, too. People are going to be really intrigued by their lifestyle. It is really gripping."