Pulling a "worldie" and "tashing" on, MTV show Geordie Shore is a special kind of cultural phenomenon. Ahead of the premiere of its latest season, Clio Francis talks to the show's resident "shagger", Gaz Beadle.
Unlike most reality television which claims to follow the lives of its stars, Geordie Shore has a more simple premise.
Get a group of young people, put them together in a house for six weeks and film them drinking, partying and fumbling with each other.
The formula seems to be working, the show - which is set in Newcastle upon Tyne in northern England - is a ratings success for MTV. Its latest, fourth season regularly pulled in more than one million viewers an episode in Britain.
Softly spoken and polite on the phone - Beadle, 24, says he is jet-lagged and tired after his whirlwind trip to Australia and New Zealand. He has spent the last week zigzagging from the Gold Coast to Perth doing press and nightclub appearances ahead of the latest series.
He keeps his more than one million Twitter followers updated on his hectic schedule in frenetic if not grammatically correct tweets: "Bondi beach, birds, banter, bitches, bikinis, buzzing, beautiful, bums, behave, banging, bring it on . . . ," he wrote last week.
This is his first trip to New Zealand and in between radio appearances and interviews, he is hoping to squeeze in a bungy jump.
But life wasn't always buxom blondes and international travel for Beadle. Before Geordie Shore he worked as a bathroom tiler. He had even been looking at trade jobs in New Zealand before he was selected to be part of the show.
Beadle's fame is one brought about by doing nothing other than drinking, partying and picking up women on television. It is a strange kind of celebrity.
"It's weird because it is just going out. It's not like you're a singer or someone who's built their way up . . . we're just going out, getting smashed and partying. It's kind of like what we've always done but with a camera crew with you . . ." He also says that what you see on the show is truly how they are - there is no acting.
Beadle appears to be the ultimate womaniser in the series, describing himself as "mint in bed". But just how many women have graced his sheets remains a mystery - even to the man himself.
In November, British tabloid The Daily Star reported Beadle had slept with triple figures since the show started.
But Beadle told The Dominion Post he was uncertain over an actual figure.
"Honestly, in between shows we do nightclub appearances and things like that. If you think that we do five of those a week and you do that for two years you know . . . it builds up."
One of the long-running storylines on the show has been the tortured will-they, won't-they romance between Beadle and fellow cast member Charlotte-Letitia Crosby. The pair - who have hooked up and broken up over several seasons of the show - remain friends.
It was Crosby who first named Beadle's impressive appendage "The Parsnip".
"Put it this way, Charlotte is in love with me and I love her as a person, do you know what I mean?"
Beadle hints that there may be some developments with Charlotte in the upcoming series.
"There's a thing which happens between me and Charlotte that was a bit of a shock to me but I think everyone will be loving that."
But doesn't Beadle ever just want to relax at home and stop chasing "birds"?
"The one time I've done that was in Cancun [in season three] after 48 nights out in a row. The producers came in and were like, ‘right-o, we're going out', and I said, ‘I can't. I can't get out of this bed, man. I can't do it'. It's the best job in the world in my eyes but it is the most tiring."
Regular watchers of the show will be familiar with the Geordie Shore morning-after routine. The lucky ladies or fellas of the night before (often picked up by the cast at nightclubs) will be called a taxi in the early hours of the morning and whisked away.
Which begs the question, how do you politely ask your latest lover to leave, and fast?
"It's the most awkward moment. In the morning when you walk through the house and everyone else is having breakfast, it's just like, ‘oh my God'."
As for those conquests who would like to stick around, bad luck. "That's not allowed in the Geordie Shore house. You gotta go."
The pressure of knowing his sexual antics are being caught on camera doesn't bother him. " . . .You forget the cameras are there. We know all the camera crews we work with, they're all about 26, 27, and they're all pretty cool people. So when you've been together every day for 14 hours a day for like six weeks, they become like your best mates."
But away from the show, Beadle thinks people would be surprised by his quiet lifestyle. "Honestly, if you knew what I was like . . . I live with my Granddad, so when I'm at home I do things you would never expect. I sit and watch TV with me Granddad and we watch war documentaries and stuff. I watch Westerns."
And what does Granddad think of his exploits on the show?
"He knows I'm on a show but he doesn't really know what it is. I don't think he gets the whole concept just yet."
The show returns to New Zealand screens next month. Season five promises something a little different, with the cast heading to European nightspots Amsterdam, Barcelona, Prague and Tigre to help run stag and hen party packages.
THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GEORDIES
A worldie: a good looking woman
Getting mortal: getting drunk
Tashing on: kissing someone
Jog on: get out of here
Season five of Geordie Shore starts on February 26 on MTV.
- The Dominion Post
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