Stephanie Smith: Someone give Waitrose-loving Liz Jones a reality show, please

Liz Jones finds Waitrose and tofu difficult to locate in the Yorkshire Dales.

Liz Jones finds Waitrose and tofu difficult to locate in the Yorkshire Dales.

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London fashion journalist moves to rural North Yorkshire and can’t find tofu in her local supermarket. There’s no Waitrose for miles, the Boots doesn’t stock Clarins and the hairdressers doesn’t even have an answerphone.

Why has no one made a reality TV show following Liz Jones as she pluckily tries to find paradise in the Dales? All Creatures Great and Fabulous?

In case you don’t know, Liz Jones has for many years written a diary for a Sunday tabloid. She’s known for moaning, in particular about her love life, people being mean to her and people being mean to animals. She loves animals, much more than she loves people.

A few years ago, she moved from her Georgian town house in Islington and escaped to the country, first Exmoor and then North Yorkshire,apparently somewhere near Richmond. So now she’s moaning about not being able to live the life she deserves, witness Waitrose-gate. Like all the best moaners from Basil Fawlty to Ab Fab’s Edina Monsoon (admittedly fictional), Liz Jones is a bit like all of us, only more so. She’s entertaining.

Recently, according to her diary, she’s been blithely parking in disabled spaces in Richmond and putting up five-mile-an-hour road signs, only for the local farmer to take them down again at night. Oh, and also in Richmond, she tried to move a Land Rover belonging to her assistant (can’t help it, I’m seeing Ab Fab’s Bubble), and pranged the car in front, resulting in a home visit from North Yorkshire Police.

She likes to wind people up. This week it’s North Yorkshire folk, especially farmers who “shoot any dog with the temerity to traverse their fields”. For an animal lover, she seems to struggle with the concept of keeping dogs leashed on farmland. Of rural life, she says, “It’s a throwback, it’s sexist and cruel.”

She’s provoked plenty discussion, especially on the Yorkshire Post’s comment sections, where our readers have been passing on their advice and suggestions (there’s a Waitrose in Otley. I’d like to recommend Booths in Ripon).

And Liz Jones makes some fair points. North Yorkshire does need faster broadband. There is still too much speeding and dangerous driving. As unfortunate as it is for the poor hedgehogs she finds squashed, one person dies on the roads in North Yorkshire every fortnight, and there are 17 serious injuries.

So I hope Liz Jones continues with her moaning from the Dales. Back in 2012, when she moved from her first rural escape, she admitted, “A lot of what I experienced on Exmoor was my fault: I wrote about the locals …”

Ah well, you live and learn. Or not.

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