Working Girls meets the ‘Cheryl Cole of Reading’ on BBC Three

by Lisa McGarry

At a time when some young girls seem more interested in celebrity and finding a rich other-half rather than fulfilling their potential, Working Girls is a timely reminder of what it means to work.

In each episode of the series, girls with a non-existent work ethic will be teamed with a hugely successful business woman. Will the work-shy girls be whipped into shape by their mentor? Will they change their ways for good? Over an 8 day period, the girls will have to prove their worth by satisfying their mentor’s tough working demands and performance levels. Will they learn any lessons? Will they realise their potential? Will they make it to lunchtime?

The girl’s internships have not been chosen at random – its in their DNA. We’ve traced their female ancestors back for 200 years, and their modern day granddaughters will be following in THEIR working footsteps. Their ancestors paved the way for modern working women – can this personal history inspire them to raise their game and change their life?

In the first episode of the series we meet the ‘Cheryl Cole of Reading’ Kaycie who dreams of marrying a footballer and would love to be a model. However, at the moment she is living the lifestyle of a model WAG but without the income. Kaycie has not had a job for over a year and doesn’t plan on getting one anytime soon! She thinks men should work for women and survives on money from her boyfriend, mum and benefits – the latter she claims usually goes on lip-gloss.

Kaycie is paired with mentor Kate Thompson who is an award-winning business woman, entrepreneur and the manager and proprietor of the Heritage Market in Liverpool. Kate dropped out of school at 16, with no qualifications, and at 17 became pregnant with her daughter. When at 21 her partner left her, Kate had no money and had to work extremely hard to gain employment and support herself.

Like Kate Thompson, Kaycie’s great-great Grandmother ran her own market business. Having been supported by her husband her whole life, when he passed away and in an era of no state benefits, Kaycie’s great-great Grandmother had no choice but to support her self and provide her own income. Will Kaycie be able to survive in an industry where her ancestors have succeeded?

Kate wants Kaycie to experience all areas of her business starting at the coffee bar, and culminating in a celeb studded art event for over 2000 people. However, after coming to blows on day one, Kate refuses to have Kaycie back again, so Kaycie’s work experience in Liverpool comes to an abrupt end.

Six weeks later and still without a job, Kaycie is given another opportunity to experience to world of work, this time with mentor Carina Svendsen, General Manager for the Missoni Hotel in Edinburgh. Carina started as a pot-washer and has worked her way to the top of a very male dominated industry. With guests such as Lady Gaga and Madonna at the Missoni Hotel, Carina expects the very best from her staff and thinks she can teach Kaycie that through work she can achieve a great sense of satisfaction and achievement.

If Kaycie can impress with her tasks such as cleaning the bedrooms and washing-up in the kitchens, she will be given the opportunity to help host a huge event at the hotel which will be attended by none other than Missoni family. Will Kaycie make the most of her second chance and survive a week in work to prove that she can make a change and become a working girl?

Thursday 3rd March at 9pm on BBC Three