30 Jan: Hannah Hauxwell: Britain’s First Reality Star

Running a remote Yorkshire farm, with no flushing toilet and no electricity is an unlikely route to TV stardom, but 46 year-old spinster Hannah Hauxwell managed it on 30th January, 1973, when ITV aired the landmark documentary ‘Too Long A Winter’.

Speaking lyrically about her singlehood, how she braved the bitter Winter, and how she survived on a grocery budget of just £5 per month, Hauxwell’s story inspired thousands of viewers to send her food parcels and arrange for her homestead to be modernised. In a series of follow-up films, Hauxwell travelled to America, met the Pope and Queen Mother, and became arguably the UK’s first ‘reality TV star’.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explain how Hauxwell came to be featured on the programme that made her name; revel in an era where it was possible to be a TV personality without ever having even seen a television; and wonder if such a career trajectory would be possible today… 

Further Reading:

• ‘Hannah Hauxwell: the lasting legacy of the daughter of the Yorkshire Dales’ (Yorkshire Post): https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/interactive/hannah-hauxwell-yorkshire-dales-legacy

• ‘Hannah Hauxwell: ‘She didn’t ask to be filmed, but her natural personality made her a star’ (The Northern Echo, 2018): https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/15913703.hannah-hauxwell-she-didnt-ask-filmed-natural-personality-made-star/

• ‘Too Long A Winter’ (Yorkshire TV, 1973):

#70s #TV #Celebrity

There’s an extra FIVE MINUTES of Hauxwell chat exclusively for  🌴 CLUB RETROSPECTORS 🌴members today – and more than 80 bonus bits to unlock when you sign up to support our show! Join now via Apple Podcasts or PatreonThanks!