Keeping Up With The Aristocrats on ITV will dispel a few myths about the landed gentry in the UK. If Downton Abbey is how we imagine the blue-blooded owners of stately homes still live, then ITV’s new three-part documentary series will show the reality. The light-hearted series follows four of Britain’s prominent aristocratic families over one social season. Their homes may be grand, luxurious and steeped in history but they’re also very costly to run, which means their cash-strapped owners have to come up with money-making schemes.
For Lord Ivar Mountbatten and his husband James that involves opening a pop-up restaurant at Bridwell Park, their 18th-century stately home in Devon. They enlist Michelin-starred chef Jean-Christophe Novelli to cater the event (see our picture below), but with tickets costing a hefty £165 a head, everything will need to be perfect on the night.
Meanwhile, Lord Gerald Fitzalan Howard and his wife Emma (see pictured below too) are hoping to pay the exorbitant running costs of their 126-room home, Carlton Towers in Yorkshire, by turning part of their 3,000-acre estate into a vineyard. "People think Gerald and I are very rich and the bottom line is we are absolutely not," says Emma. "It’s a constant source of worry trying to keep a house like this bubbling along financially."
Ivar’s cousin, Princess Olga Romanoff, charges visitors £14 for a tour of her home - 13th-century Provender House in Kent - to help pay for its upkeep. Twice-divorced Olga, whose great uncle was the last Tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, is also on the lookout for her ideal man — ‘a trained killer-type with a good body and charm'.
But when Olga, now 71, was younger, her mother had other ideas for her perfect match. "My mother always had delusions that she could get me married off to poor Prince Charles,’ says Olga. "Lord knows why, I’d have been terrible for him!"
'Keeping Up With The Aristocrats' release date
Keeping Up With The Aristocrats will begin on ITV on Monday January 17 at 9pm and the remaining episodes will run weekly. After each air date, the three episodes will
be shown on streaming service ITV Hub. We will update here if there's a US or worldwide release date, and also if the show lands on BritBox.
Is there a trailer for 'Keeping Up With The Aristocrats'?
We are still awaiting a trailer from ITV for Keeping Up With The Aristocrats and will post here if and when one arrives.
'Keeping Up With the Aristocrats' episode 2
In the second episode of Keeping Up With the Aristocrats we'll see Princess Olga Romanoff is trying to raise cash to pay the annual £50,000 running costs of Provender House by hosting tour groups (much to the surprise of her visitors who can’t believe their guide is a real-life princess!) before she travels to the Isle of Wight to attend a commemoration to her great uncle, Tsar Nicholas II, the last Emperor of Russia. Also on the island are Lord Ivar Mountbatten and husband James, who are competing at Cowes Week regatta. But as a rookie sailor, will James sink or swim trying to uphold the proud Mountbatten maritime name?
Meanwhile, Alexandra Sitwell’s ancestral home of Renishaw Hall is looking like a disaster zone – the builders are renovating the ancient plumbing and wiring. To get away from the constant banging, Alexandra organises for three generation of Sitwell women to have their portrait sketched by royal artist Nicky Phillips. And while they’re away, husband Rick treats Lord Gerald Fitzalan-Howard to a boys day out racing fast cars. Fresh from the track, Lord Gerald heads home to Carlton Towers for a massive celebration for wife Emma’s 60th birthday. But what will Lady Gerald make of her surprise birthday present – being sawn in half by society magician Archie Manners?
I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s.
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