It’s a sunny afternoon and heavyweight champion boxer Tyson Fury is doing chores, while his impeccably groomed wife Paris barbecues dinner for their six kids. OK, she’s grilling a steak the size of a small dog outside their £1.7m Morecambe mansion – but it’s an otherwise normal scene.
The couple have invited Netflix into their domestic lives for At Home With The Furys, a new docuseries that is supposed to do exactly what it says on the tin. But there’s just one problem: the newly retired boxer isn’t satisfied. Or as he puts it: “I’d rather get punched the f*** out of me by 10 world champions than stay at home for a week and have to do all these jobs.” Oh dear. Netflix don’t seem to have realised that the lead star being bored isn’t the best starting point for a series about family life. And yet, as At Home With The Furys unfolds, I found myself unexpectedly empathising with Fury – but the show has a long way to go before reaching the dramatic heights of its reality TV predecessors.
The series follows a tried-and-tested formula: take one set of famous parents and their kids – the more the better – and add one camera crew. Film “normal” days and wait for chaos to ensue. Think Keeping Up with the Kardashians, which saw a family holiday descend into chaos as Kim lost a diamond earring while an unsympathetic Kourtney shouted, “People are dying.” Or, perhaps more accurately, the Kardashians’ forebears, The Osbournes. Sharon Osbourne, wife of rocker Ozzy, pioneered the format in 2002 when MTV filmed her family (then teenagers Kelly and Jack took part, their sister Aimée opted out) as they moved into a new Beverly Hills home. An iconic The Osbournes scene saw Sharon lob a ham over a fence during a row about noise (ironically, the neighbours were the loud ones). By the season one finale, more than 7 million viewers were tuning in, all in awe of the family’s surreal everyday life.
Seeing Ozzy struggle with a remote control was hilarious because, back in 2002, we hadn’t witnessed anything like it. Plus, no social media meant we were years away from celebs oversharing online. But in a post-Below Deck and Geordie Shore world, normalcy doesn’t cut it.
Fury is our modern-day Ozzy – a man whose intense career couldn’t be further from stay-at-home dad, now thrown into domestic life. His existence is one of wild juxtapositions. Fury likes taking the kids camping near his house. When he travels on a budget airline, he’s mobbed by fans within seconds of stepping off a plane. But Netflix’s focus is on the banal; between Selling Sunset-style shots of Morecambe, the boxer picks up dog poo, works out with dad John – who looks like someone typed “make tyson fury older” in an AI generator – and unwraps socks on his birthday.
Fury has a net worth of £51m but mainly transports his family in a Volkswagen estate or Ford minivan. He has a private jet but flies Easyjet, and Paris teaches reluctant daughter Venezuela how to cook “diet chicken”. (We disappointingly don’t see the end result. I can’t lie, I’m intrigued).
Bubbling below every scene are Fury’s mental health struggles. He was diagnosed as bipolar six years ago, and has struggled with depression, anxiety, alcohol addiction and cocaine abuse. His issues were at their peak when he had suicidal thoughts during his first retirement in 2015, and the show documents the underlying fear that this could happen again. The delay between filming and the air date means we know what happens with his career though, rendering the “will he stay retired or not?” discussions pointless.
Visits to Tyson’s brother Tommy and his fiancée Molly-Mae Hague, who met on Love Island, include skippable pregnancy chat (“It feels like I’ve swallowed an animal,” offers Molly) and a reminder of why legendary Irish bombshell Maura Higgins and Amy “I was coming here to tell you I loved you” Hart were the real stars of Love Island 2019. Tommy’s best moment comes when he says he wants to move into horror film acting after boxing. No, he is not joking.
The Fury kids shine in to-camera confessionals, with eldest son Prince brutally stating that fans wanting pictures with Tyson are “wasting my dad’s time” and Adonis, three, declaring: “I love my daddy, he has a bald head.” In the drama stakes, though, they’ve got nothing on the older Osbourne and Kardashian-Jenner kids, whose first-world problems delivered ratings wins.
The Furys’ breakout star is, without a doubt, soon-to-be mum of seven Paris. She holds the family together; she deals with Tyson’s moods, humours his spontaneity and keeps the kids in check – all at the same time, while developing a public profile of her own (her first book, Love and Fury: The Magic and Mayhem of Life with Tyson, was released in 2021). Despite Adonis hiding (repeatedly) and Tyson being “an arsehole,” Paris reaches the end of her tether on just a handful of occasions, at one point quipping about pouring a trifle on her husband’s head, which would certainly have livened things up.
Fury is used to being the main character in the ring, but a reality show is only as good as the sum of its parts – one eccentric isn’t enough. There’s no shortage of Furys with interesting backstories: John and Paris, to name just two. Let us learn more about them in season two and leave the Gypsy King to his training.
‘At Home With The Furys’ begins streaming on Netflix on Wednesday 16 August
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