Keeping up with the Beckhams: what we can expect from the ‘British Kardashians’

Alice Hall
·6-min read
Team Beckflix: Posh and Becks have signed a deal to be reality TV stars - Getty Images
Team Beckflix: Posh and Becks have signed a deal to be reality TV stars - Getty Images

In what appears to be a homage to simpler times (the early noughties, when low slung jeans were on trend and people still cared about Big Brother), British reality television is making something of a comeback. 

First, it was the Sussexes. Earlier this year, they were rumoured to have signed a £112m Netflix deal to film a fly-on-the-wall reality television show. Now the Beckhams are getting in on the act. It’s been reported that they’ve landed a £16m gig with Netflix for a 2021 reality show that will follow them about town (or towns – they’re quite the globetrotters) and show unseen archive footage of the family. 

If this all sounds a bit Keeping Up With the Kardashians, only 10 years later, then it may well be. And it’s probably a shrewd move, too: the Kardashian clan used reality TV to gain both stardom and riches, and while the Beckhams already have both of those, they also have four children to keep and investments in fashion and sport – two areas that are hardly blossoming in Covid.

Whatever their reason for seeking the Netflix dollar, it’ll be interesting to see how the Beckhams fare in the world of Reality TV 2.0. Will they be able to (literally) keep up with the Kardashians? And will ‘Beckflix’ mark an improvement on The Real Beckhams, their 2004 fly-on-the-wall documentary (of which, more below).

Here’s what we can expect...

Love and marriage

As with all successful reality TV series, the storylines in Keeping Up With the Kardashians are driven largely by relationships – and their struggles. Throughout its 19 series, the show has seen Kris and Caitlyn (then Bruce) Jenner navigate their strained marriage, then divorce; Kim get married to rapper Kanye West; and Kourtney cope with her dramatic break-up with the American socialite Scott Disick.

Can we expect the same level of drama from the Beckham clan? If you asked us in 2004, we might have said yes. That was the year in which David was accused of having an affair with his personal assistant Rebecca Loos. But the pair weathered that storm, and these days they appear tightly knit. So, expect to see displays of marital bliss: think warming clips of Posh and Becks heating up soup together on the Aga. Yawn.

Maybe the true romance (and drama) will instead come from the two older members of the Beckham brood, and their partners. This year, 21-year-old Brooklyn got engaged to his girlfriend, the American heiress Nicola Peltz. And while things look cosy now (note the recent Instagram post of the two canoodling in the bath), the course of young marriage planning doesn’t always run smooth. Perhaps we can expect footage of the pair having a barney over the star-studded guest list to their nuptials (“I told you not to sit Gordon next to Elton!”). Or a Meghan and Harry-style dilemma when Nicola tries to whisk Brooklyn off to the Los Angeles hills. 

If all else fails, there’s always young Romeo, 17, and his girlfriend Mia Regan – who have been dubbed Posh and Becks for the TikTok generation – to turn to. Much like Kendall’s grounding influence in the Kardashians, Romeo and Mia should provide some youthful energy as they leap around the kitchen, trying to catch Posh in the background of their TikTok videos. 

A new generation of Beckhams

That brings us nicely onto the children – possibly one of the reasons why Posh and Becks have chosen to embark on a reality TV venture. All eyes will be on Posh here: can she emulate the success of mega ‘momager’ Kris Jenner, who has overseen the growing empires of her progeny to huge success? In March 2019, for example, Forbes estimated that 21-year-old Kylie’s make-up range was worth $900 million. 

The Beckhams certainly aren’t short of projects to plug. Brooklyn is a budding photographer who completed an internship with Rankin in 2019. Admittedly, his career didn't get off to the best start, with one source saying that he “lacked basic skills”. But Posh will be comforted to know that such setbacks didn’t stop any of the Kardashians pursuing their entrepreneurial ventures. In 2010, the Kardashian sisters even waded into the world of finance when they released a prepaid Mastercard called the Kardashian Kard. Anyone for a trip to the Bank of Brooklyn? 

But it’s Cruz, 15, who could enjoy the limelight the most. He’s a singer, having released a single back in 2016, at the age of 11 – and as Kim herself knows, there’s no better way to launch a sub-par music career than off the back of a reality television series. 

As for Harper Seven? At nine years old, it’s tricky to judge how frequently the couple’s daughter will feature in the programme. Harper is probably the least well known of the Beckham clan as things stands – but let’s see if we’re still saying that in a year’s time.

An improvement on The Real Beckhams 

Posh and Becks in their more youthful days - STR Pascal Deschamps/Reuters
Posh and Becks in their more youthful days - STR Pascal Deschamps/Reuters

In 2004, the Beckhams released a 90-minute documentary film that followed the family’s move to Spain, as David signed for Real Madrid. In case you’ve forgotten, the plot mainly involved Victoria, clad in oversized sunglasses and a trademark pout, being chauffeured around Madrid while David fiddled with his baseball cap and talked about football. To put it bluntly, the documentary was a bit of a flop.

We should cut them some slack though. This was in the days when reality television – now rich with puffery and toothy smiles – was a deadly serious business. Fast forward 16 years and things are slightly less frosty (take note, VB) and more knowing. Expect an improvement on the earlier documentary’s scenes of the pair walking around a Spanish supermarket. 

A glimpse into Cotswolds living

Anyone who has seen Keeping Up With the Kardashians will know that most of the drama occurs when the family are sitting around the marble kitchen table, picking at salads out of a plastic container. But it’s likely that the Beckhams, who are now established members of the Cotswolds set, will bring an earthier approach to our screens. 

The family saw out lockdown in their rural barn conversion, where David was particularly quick to embrace the ‘cottagecore’ trend for rustic living. In one Instagram post, he is pictured leaning on a stick in a field while wearing a tweed flat cap, looking every bit the uncomfortable-Londoner-in-the-countryside. He’s also taken up beekeeping. 

Watch out for Gordon Ramsay and the Delevignes popping around for Sunday roast.

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Another day , another walk & another hat 🎩

A post shared by David Beckham (@davidbeckham) on Jun 13, 2020 at 7:46am PDT

A hoard of Instagram promotions

It’s no secret that the Kardashians are some of the most successful influencers out there. According to one report, Kylie Jenner is paid around $1.2 million (£960,000) for a single post on Instagram.

Could the Beckhams be tempted by a cheeky deal or two? Given David’s new aesthetic, we predict he could be the new face of Hunter wellies, or perhaps a new Homebase range of garden hoses. For Posh, perhaps something a little more classy; a brand of Cotswolds cake mix, or a range of leather dog collars modelled by the family’s spaniels, Olive and Sage. You heard it here first.