“We were actually grateful and fond of the staff, though not reciprocated.”

“We were actually grateful and fond of the staff, though not reciprocated.”
Manor House‘s Sir John, also known as John Olliff-Cooper, says in a chat that the family was “actually grateful and fond of the staff, though not reciprocated.” He also reveals that his wife’s sister, Avril, “won’t talk to me at all, which is fine.” He and kitchen maid Antonia Dawson, who challenged his comments about poor people, also discuss other parts of the show, including learning of the Sept. 11 attacks during the production, which occurred throughout the fall of 2001.
John’s wife, Anna Olliff-Cooper says in a chat with the butler that at first she “didn’t see myself as one of the upstairs participants” and now thinks she “could’ve done one of the downstairs jobs.” And butler Hugh Edgar reveals he “had training for four days from the adviser to ‘Gosford Park,'” and confirms that “[t]he chamber pots were used.”

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.