It had to be done. A programme called MotherTruckers has been broadcast on Channel 4 following the lives of female truck drivers so I had to watch it and comment. Really.
It was actually surprisingly ok.
Let's just set the scene for my reaction to a programme like this.
1. I hate real life documentary shows. I think that the general public make extremely bad television. Gareth Malone is a friend of mine from school but I haven't watched any of his programmes I hate the genre so much. I don't care if I sound like a snob but that's the way it is.
2. I also hate seeing reflections of myself in any work of culture high or low brow. This is partly because I feel envious that I wasn't in it or I hadn't written it but also because I like to think of myself as unique and special and don't like to find out that I'm not.
3. I am used to being the only woman trucker around and I don't seek out the company of other women truckers. I try and avoid the "I'm the only gay in the village" type attitude and be friendly if I do meet another one but I don't generally seek them out. I like being an alien.
You may well be thinking, "Oh get over yourself woman", and you may well have some justification for thinking that but hey, that's the way it is.
So given all that, you would have thought that I wouldn't like MotherTruckers but in actual fact I did. The girls are an interesting cross-section. There are some extreme examples - the transsexual, the former ballet dancer, but they both came across as really nice people and not just put there for the sensationalism of it. There is a good cross-section of areas of HGV work too. Some of them are out all night and all week, some of them are day workers, some are in construction which I was really pleased to see and I hope we see more of that. It is the most difficult area of trucking I've worked in in terms of the actual driving so it's nice to see it on the telly.
The one thing I couldn't stand was the voiceover. The name MotherTruckers I have heard used to refer to female truckers before and I don't especially mind it as a joke on occasions. I found it really jarring that such a posh female voice would be used to say the name over and over again. Fair enough, call the programme by that title, it's a very Channel 4 thing to do, but MotherTruckers is not a word used in everyday parlance and it was used far too often and sounded ridiculous and sensationalist in that accent. I don't think it fitted with the tone of the programme which was actually quite kind and respectful of the women and their real lives.
I'll be interested to see where they go with it. I'm sure sooner or later something will wind me up about it but so far I have been pleasantly surprised.