It's the show that spawned Grazia's own super-glamorous charity shop and after the first episode of Mary Queen of Charity Shops we're more than a little bit obsessed with Brenda, one of Mary's troop of grey-haired volunteers – indeed, she and her fellow lovely old ladies could teach most reality starlets a thing or about being entertaining on TV without the need to be vulgar, sweary or naked. They were just hilarious.
First, as Mary – a woman used to getting her way in business – tried to rally the troops, the troops talked over her, objected to her ideas and passed around biscuits. Then, when Mary put up a poster summoning all staff to a meeting, one disgruntled old dear wrote ‘Please!?' on the poster, making her feelings about the value of Ps and Qs very clear. And we absolutely loved the ladies' sarcastic, faux-impressed sighs when Mary told them the cupcakes they were to sell in a market stall challenge were favoured by Kate Moss and Madonna. ‘Oooh, well, that says it all really,' piped up one old dear.
But Brenda – the show's biggest complainer and probably a huge thorn in poor Mary's side – was our favourite, objecting to almost everything possible, including saying she felt uncomfortable selling the cakes because she ‘didn't know where they were made' and they were ‘out in the dust' – even though they were on a market stall outdoors. Mary, you have the patience of a saint.