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Prime-time viewing

02 May 2014

channel4

THE Revd Kate Bottley appears on Gogglebox, the Channel 4 programme - described as "the moment TV started eating itself" - which documents households' reactions as they watch television.

Mrs Bottley, the Vicar of Blyth, Scrooby with Ranskill, in Nottingham, who grew up in Sheffield, was approached by producers, after they discovered footage of her leading a flash mob at a wedding last year (News, 28 June).

Agreeing to appear on the show was a matter for some reflection, she told the Nottingham Post this week: "I had to talk to bishops, archdeacons, and had to think: actually, it's not just me. I am a vicar.

"It's not just Kate, I'm the Rev. Kate Bottley, and so I had to think 'Do people really want their gran's funeral done by the Gogglebox vicar?'"

She and her husband, Graham - on whose knees she rests her feet while watching the TV - said yes after agreeing that it could alter people's perceptions of the clergy: "We're so used to seeing vicars and priests on telly for bad things, not good things.

"The only positive image of a vicar we have sometimes is of the Dibley vicar, and she wasn't real; so I hope it's nice to have a vicar on telly, and - I use this word very loosely - 'normal'."

At the producers' suggestion, Mrs Bottley wears her clerical collar during filming. Gogglebox is shown at 9 p.m. on Fridays on Channel 4.

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