Candy Bar Girls: Episode One Liveblog

Hello, and welcome to the first (and possibly last) Candy Bar Girls liveblog. I say ‘last’ because- well- it’s on Channel Five and my digibox may explode in protest at having to watch a station owned by Richard Desmond.

I’m very much hoping this ‘Real L Word’ style foray into the lives of lesbians living in Soho will challenge stereotypes and push boundaries. However, as it shares a channel with ‘There’s Something About Josie’ (You know, Josie? Off of Big Brother? Remember her? No? me neither), I’m not holding out much hope. But hey- C5 used to show Xena, arguably the best vaguely lesbian programme OF ALL TIME, so it’s not all bad.

10pm– It’s starting! Ooh, they’re warning that it contains ‘flashing images’. I bet that’s not the only thing that’ll be flashing. Eh? Eh?

“I just had a shitty arse tattoo for YOU”, proclaims a girl with dark hair in the introductory montage. Hmm, isn’t a double headed axe more traditional? Still, each to their own.

We’re introduced to new (promotions?) manager Sandra, who’s rebranding and refreshing the bar’s image. She scours the club for girls to use in a photoshoot, essentially spending an evening looking for hot ladies to take pictures of. Hmm, there are worse jobs, I suppose.

Ooh, they just had a shot of the Gherkin and related Lahndahn landmarks. It’s just like the Apprentice. I wonder if we’ll spot Karren Brady and eye-rolling Margaret Mountford pole dancing in the background in a later scene?

Sandra finds a potential photoshootee called Danny. Or possibly Dani. Or Danie. Or maybe Dahnnee- who can say? She’s not bad looking, but her fringe is slightly too wide for my liking- call me picky if you will. She interviews for a model agency, who seem to agree with me: well, they turn her down at any rate. I could be the next Anna Wintour.

10.08pm– We’re introduced to the new General Manager of the Candy Bar, Alan, who- SHOCK- is a gay man! What will he know about what lesbians like, eh? I bet he doesn’t even have a cat.

DÁniiee shows up to audition for her potential role as the wide-fringed face of the Candy Bar, carrying enough makeup to replaster the Sistine Chapel in ‘natural beige’. We’re told she’s rather desperate as she hasn’t got a job. Ooh- bit of narrative tension there.

In unrelated news, the ads are on and there’s one for a Sodastream. I find this very exciting, mainly because I’ve always wanted to stick a bottle of vodka in one and carbonate it. Fizzy vodka! I could patent that- but I probably wouldn’t remember to as I’d be too drunk.

10.14pm- OK- so Daaaaaanie seems to be auditioning for a poledancing job rather than modelling. May have got the wrong end of the stick before. I blame the carbonated sambuca I’m drinking.

She does a rather good job of writhing around like a hyperactive puppy and a laconic Sandra agrees to add her to the schedule. Dannni scampers off wagging her tail. Is it just me, or is she a tad irritating? She might look good in a purple bikini, but nevertheless I’d definitely kick her out of bed for eating toast.

10.16– We’re introduced to Candy Bar employee Australian Alex, who kissed a man once but didn’t like it because he had far too much saliva. Which, coincidentally, was the original draft of the Katy Perry song.

Sandra has got her cast of potential photoshootees together, and Da-Ni is one of them, so it seems I wasn’t entirely incorrect there. The photographer looks a bit like Norris from Coronation Street- albeit much more butch.

10.19pm- Back to Gary, the new manager. He doesn’t like pink, apparently. The maintenance manager has bought a pink light. Uh oh. You’re fired, mate.

Over at the photoshoot, Australian Alex is wearing what looks like a torn up deckchair and she’s off her tits on vodka. And speaking of tits, she then whips off the deckchair and gets them out. Well, Sandra did want a representation of all the types of lesbian: guess Alex represents the lesser spotted ‘drunk-with-her-boobs-out’ species…of which I’m another proud member.

10.20pm– Oh no. Oh God. It’s Shabby from Big Brother. She’s still wearing that ludicrous sub-Pete Dochery porkpie hat: I think it’s surgically attached. I’m ashamed to say I (very) briefly fancied her- before I realised she was an utter twunt.

She’s out on a Sushi date with a girl in an identical hat called Red who seems to have an Mr Whippy icecream stuck to her forehead. Watching the two of them mash their attention seeking, pretentious faces together is hideous: for once, I’m sincerely glad that two women can’t combine their DNA- any child of theirs would be like some kind of lesbian Jedward.

10.26pm- Gary the manager is reviewing the results of the photoshoot and isn’t massively keen on Dan-E, as he thinks the pictures of her might scare a straight man. Sandra very rightly points out that isn’t the audience they’re really looking for. Well done her for not repeatedly hitting him over the head with the computer mouse.

Back to Shabby and Red, and the latter’s fringe sees to have grown exponentially- to the extent that it’s now engaged in a power struggle with the hat. She’s paired her fringe with a tartan jacket. Shabby’s wearing a blue bow tie, which, for some reason is making me want to kill myself. They’re off to a club, but their night doesn’t go according to plan as Red becomes jealous that Shabby has fans bothering her, whereas my reaction was simply one of surprise that Shabby has fans.

10.35pm– the ex-editor of ‘leading lesbian magazine’ G3 is back from her hols and being met by her parents at the airport. She’s just been for a 5-month journey of ‘self discovery’, which seems to have mainly involved hanging out with spider monkeys and patronising the natives. At 29, she’s now back in the UK, moving back in with her parents and is unemployed.

Looks like she ‘self-discovered’ that swanning around overseas for several months isn’t actually a viable career option.

Her mum says that before (I want to say Jo? Let’s call her Jo) came out to her, she’d never met a lesbian. I hope she’s subsequently met a few more as Jo isn’t a great example, frankly. Her face looks like an artist’s impression of the noise a crying baby makes.

Eek- she starts talking about kissing girls- in front of her PARENTS! Good lord, I avoid that sort of thing at all costs. I won’t even watch Countryfile with my ma in case the sheep start rubbing up against each other suggestively.

10.41pm- We’re introduced to Danni’s girlfriend, Lucy. They’d been experimenting with having an ‘open relationship’ (ahem) but it clearly hadn’t worked because Danni abruptly dumps her on camera, leaving Lucy clutching at her Tigger soft toy defensively and complaining about the lack of warning.

Sorry my dear- but when your other half suggests you have an ‘open relationship’, that’s the warning.

Apologies to Lucy, but despite looking like she’s balancing half a pudding bowl on her head, Danni is WAY out of Lucy’s league. Mainly because she looks like Matt Lucas.

10.45pm– Jo (who I’ve discovered is definitely called Jo- go me) reveals to a pal that she’s been going out with someone for the last 11 days. I’m not quite sure what to make of that, frankly. Her friend – in an almost Only Way Is Essex style prescripted announcement- recruits Definitely Jo to come back and do something at the Candy Bar. I’m not sure what but – no offence to Jo- I really hope it doesn’t involve poledancing. Urgh.

10.50pm- Sorry for the break in communications, Shabby came back on screen so I smashed it with a brick.

Despite the fact that over half her head entirely consists of fringe, Dannîî is told by Sandra that she’s been chosen to be the face of the Candy Bar. She’s pleased, but she doesn’t like the picture they chose for the poster. Tsk, there’s no pleasing some people.

10.54pm– We’re back, and Alan the manager is still attempting to exterminate pink from his new bar. Genocides have been carried out with less bile and hatred.

Apparently he’s been doing his ‘lesbian research’ by watching Lip Service. Oh dear God- next thing we know he’ll be installing a ‘Morgue Room’ for skinny, mulleted women to have sex in.

11.57pm– Opening night. Shabby and blank eyed, frothy-fringed lover Red show up hammered to be sick on things. Let’s hope they haven’t been drinking strawberry bacardi breezers, Alan wouldn’t like that one bit.


Well, that’s that. I feel like I’ve been dipped head first into a vat filled with glitter, boobs and idiocy, but that’s not entirely bad. Some people pay good money for that kind of thing- or so I’m told.

I’ll be back next week to do more livebloggerage for my sins, possibly after buying an anti-Shabby filter for my tellybox. See you then, and in the meantime leave your thoughts and comments below. I’m particularly interested in hearing when giant fringes became the haircut de rigueur for ladylike lesbians- I must have missed the memo.

Night all!


About Hilary Wardle
Hilary is a freelance journalist and copywriter who writes for a wide range of websites, magazines and newspapers, including Buzzfeed, MSN, The Poke, Chortle, the Guardian and the Independent. She specialises in arts and entertainment, comedy, video games and viral content. Contact her at

43 Responses to Candy Bar Girls: Episode One Liveblog

  1. Laura says:

    I’m not watching. But thankfully you are negating the need to watch, with such insightful commentary.

    I find the Candy Bar a bit scary as a general rule. When you walk through the door you feel a bit like a sacrificial cow at a hungry vampire convention.

    I did end up there on my hen night a couple of weeks ago however. I vaguely remember performing a stupendous routine on the pole. I’m nothing if not classy.

    • ladyribenaberet says:

      Wow- I’m very impressed. Were there any cameramen there, by any chance? If so, we’ll hopefully be seeing your antics on an upcoming episode.

      • Laura says:

        I’m hoping and praying there were no cameras. But quite frankly I was FAR too drunk to know what was going on.

  2. adam says:

    Oh dear your live blob is not funny and rather bland love! You just sound like a bitter old runt! 🙂

    • ladyribenaberet says:

      Bitter? Ah, you’ve got me dead to rights there. I *am* clearly very jealous of their amazing lifestyles getting drunk and having fringes and suchlike.

    • ym says:

      .. totally agree it’s not funny it’s absolutely hilarious >>> fantastic write up, excellent read!!

  3. adam says:


  4. Rio says:


    • ladyribenaberet says:

      I certainly didn’t hate the programme- but surely nothing is above a bit of gentle mockery? I’m particularly looking forward to being introduced to the one who looks a bit like Moss from the IT Crowd (second from the left in the promo pic)

  5. monkeysmouth says:

    the last time i saw a big fringe was on one of the fat slags

  6. Benjamin says:

    Great liveblog. Very entertaining!

    I hate to point this out but at 10.41 you have got Danni and Lucy the wrong way ’round and it is actually the same Danni as earlier (the pole-dancing/not-quite-model one). So when you say “Lucy looks like a less annoying version of Da@annie” you are actually saying that Danni looks like a less annoying version of herself….

    • ladyribenaberet says:

      Yes, thanks so much for that. Actually caught it before I saw your comment and rephrased so as to avoid confusion. Thanks for the tip off though! I don’t usually cheat- I’d usually correct myself later in the blog, but the programme had finished by the time I noticed. I blame the carbonated sambuca x

      • Benjamin says:

        To be fair to you she (Danni) did seem like whole different person when at home. Far less irritating. Perhaps she has multiple personality disorder? That would certainly make things more interesting.

        I’m not sure about the carbonated sambuca but I think you’re definitely on to a winner with the carbonated vodka. Next stop Dragon’s Den!

  7. Tiresias says:

    I quite like Shabby. She’s so sweet, I rather want to take her home and feed her soup. The show was a bit confusing for me. First 10 minutes very slow then a more fast paced 10 minutes, then slow again. It felt like a lot happened in a short space of time but I’m not sure why any of it happened.
    I nearly didn’t bother to watch the show as the promos were so annoying (I’m including the needlessly naked Diva cover) but I think I’l watch next week and probably devise a drinking game to go with it.

    • ladyribenaberet says:

      I was rather mad for her when she was on BB, but after following her on Twitter I realised she was a bit of a twit. Attractive, yes, but a twit. She doesn’t seem to have any inkling of her own ridiculousness- and that girl she was with was an utter buffoon.

      • Rio says:

        Explain how ‘Red’ is a buffoon? What, because she has a quiff? Because the TV show, only showed the times when they were on a night out and had a few drinks? How is she a buffoon, can you elaborate? I did not see her saying or doing anything out of whack, aside from being a lil tipsy. – People like you make me laugh, so quick to judge others with such harsh words!

        • ladyribenaberet says:

          “buf·foon” n. A ridiculous but amusing person; a clown.
          Red was dressed in a tartan jacket and had a unicorn fringe: I found that amusing and ridiculous. Call it a matter of personal taste if you will. Liveblogs aren’t serious commentary and the goal is to entertain. If you felt I was being unpleasant to any of the characters in the programme, I’m sorry. That’s not the goal so I’ll tone it down for next week. x

          • Rio says:

            Lady – It’s OK to have your opinion, and it’s OK for me to disagree with them. We don’t have to be on the same page, but I just think every time there is someone a lil quirky, maybe has an unusual haircut, it’s easy to assume they are a ‘clown’, ridiculous – I may be biased for reasons I won’t go into, but ‘Red’ is far from a clown, buffoon, she is actually highly intelligent and a real soft hearted soul, talented too. Those girls are still together and very much in love. They had a silly tiff and it was not over ‘fans’ ha-ha, TV Ratings, they made it look like that I assure you. – Understood, you are a writer/blogger, keep doing your thing, don’t ‘tone’ down for my benefit, either way I will still read and comment if I feel the need to, it’s OK to debate right?

  8. Mads says:

    Nothing more than 45 minutes of attention-seeking dullards embarrassing themselves.

  9. Rio says:

    What is your obsession with fringes about? You act like it’s some kind of bomb about to go off!>?

    • ladyribenaberet says:

      I was once rather badly injured by a bomb hidden in an ornate, bouffant lesbo fringe, so you can surely excuse my phobia x

  10. Laura says:

    I would say I must watch this next week, but my beloved limits the amount of trashy telly I’m allowed to watch and I may have already exceeded my limit. You may ask why, in that case, I am marrying her, but it is in fact for my own good, as otherwise I’d spend hours mired in the depths of reality tv hell. It’s a sick compulsion. I need help.

  11. LJ says:

    Please do this again next week I demand it as a non-fringed lesbian with an irrational fear of Candy Bar which can only be combatted by going there more bleary eyed than Shabby/Red… If you can’t remember what happened there, it didn’t actually happen.

    And, well, you’re very amusing.

    • ladyribenaberet says:

      Thanks very much- glad you liked it! There’ll definitely be one next week, possibly hosted in a different (and more high profile) location. Will be sure to let everyone know where it’s new home will be in advance so you can all comment along. 🙂 x

  12. VonCrow says:

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. They’re all a bunch of sickos and the candy bar is vile. I’m happy to say each and every one of them made a show of themselves and in the process made me feel very proud not to be part of that particular, rank, Soho scene. Idiots!

  13. I am neither a lesbian, a fringe-wearer or a buffoon (Wait, I think it’s only 2 out of 3, not sure which) but I enjoy your blog as always. You are funny (this is official) and you may continue to be so.

  14. alizee_alice says:

    Oh my! You bring so much telly related joy to my life.

    I was thinking that the show could do with a theme choon though?

    Candy Bar girls are having fun,
    Grey shrivelled skin ‘cos they never see the sun.
    Drinking and falling with their tits on the floor!
    Come on through the Candy Bar door!

    It needs some work, but I think we’re about 36% there.

  15. Brennig says:

    Point of order. Channel Five is owned by Northern and Shell which is the investment vehicle of Richard (Dirty) Desmond. Northern and Shell also own The Daily Express and Daily Star rags. Murdoch wouldn’t be seen dead owning a terrestrial television station.

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  22. Insightful says:

    All those lipstick types…where’s the political lesbians…. all those badge wearing ones in donkey jackets and monkey boots.
    We were out on a demo then a pint in womyn only bar… ah those were the days. I do so miss spending my dole money in a third Wednesday of the month above a pub in Vauxhall (do you remember which one?). We were uglier, badly dressed…. but we were happy (ha!)
    Actually I think its only a matter of time before Candy Bar becomes a gay male bar. Lets face it… men’s where the money is at. Lesbians just shack up and stay at home within a month of meeting and there’s no profits in that.

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