The reality of life on The Street

THERE are sugar-coated, scripted and fake tan reality shows.

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And then there is The Street.

It's fair to say that BBC's new three-part series about life on Sauchiehall Street did not hold back.

Among the incessant swearing there was a truly shocking racist attack on a busker called Melo, who admitted: "Since '98 I have been abused every day."

There was drunkenness and there may well have been fake tan - it is, after all, a street known for its night life - but that is where the similarities with other reality shows ended.

Of course, it wasn't trying to be The Only Way is Essex.

It was doing exactly what it said on the tin: showing the reality on one of Glasgow's busiest streets.

But it is little wonder that retailers in the city's Savoy Centre - one of the stars of the show - were left feeling embarrassed.

On Monday night's opening episode we saw bumbling centre manager Jim publicly shame a businessman who wasn't up for Sunday opening.

"That's not how we do things here," said one of the traders when I visited on Tuesday.

"He was playing up for the cameras... that's not the Savoy at all."

The traders' main concern is that most of the those staff, including Jim, are now long gone - the series was filmed nearly two years ago.

They also felt the show was sensational.

Seeing intoxicated revellers act outrageously on screen is nothing new - but such scenes worry the people whose livelihoods depend on the success of Sauchiehall Street.

The Savoy, after being threatened with closure in January, is desperately trying to change its image.

most of the street's businesses have been calling out for help for years.

Whether it's business rates, rent or footfall fears, these people need support and encouragement.

The sad thing about The Street is that you'd be hard pushed to see any improvement since it was filmed. If anything, things have got worse. There are more empty shop units than ever.

The street has been let down by the city council, the Chamber of Commerce and the marketing bureau.

While Buchanan Street and Argyle Street get all the marketing money, Sauchiehall Street has been shoved aside.

It is seen as unfashionable, even though its potential is endless.

In the early 1960s Sauchiehall Street was the original 'style mile', before marketing chiefs had even dreamt of the slogan.

Upmarket retailers like Daly's and swish cinemas such as La Scala and the ABC, made it the jewel in Glasgow's crown.

What did this street, once synonymous with all that was good about Glasgow, do to deserve its current fate?

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