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Emma Beck from Radlett appears on Channel 4's Jewish Mum of the Year
A mother of five has been thrust into the limelight after appearing on television show Jewish Mum of the Year.
Emma Beck, 41, was chosen for the Channel 4 programme after producers saw a video the family made celebrating the birthdays of two of her children - September and Tiger-Lily.
A spoof of singer Usher’s OMG, it was originally intended for family and friends to see, but after it was put on YouTube it caused quite a stir in the Jewish community, particularly as Mrs Beck was wearing hot pants and fishnets in the video.
As a result Mrs Beck from Radlett, was selected and filmed the show with seven other Jewish mothers for eight weeks over the summer holidays.
The programme’s premise was for the contestants to undergo a series of tasks, pitted against one another, in order to win the title of Jewish Mother of the Year.
Mrs Beck said: "I had a ball taking part. However they portrayed it - the bickering and all the things that went on - I can still say what I achieved on each task I’m very proud of.
"Among the Jewish people, I was portrayed in a negative light and a number complained about the show.
"It was something that should’ve been embraced, it’s opened up people’s perceptions of Jewish people; in the past they’ve been stereotyped or regarded as very religious.
"It was an opportunity to show all different sides of being Jewish. It was light-hearted entertainment, it was great.
"The reason I did it was to get a likeable factor for the Jewish people, and to show a more modern side - that being a Jewish mother isn’t about being religious."
Tasks included organising a bar mitzvah, match-making and a day out to Southend for Jewish pensioners.
Filming for several hours a day, five days a week, Mrs Beck would then return home and ensure her children had completed their homework and cook their meals for the next day.
She said she felt the separation from her family for such long periods was particularly tough.
But by the end of the third episode, judges eliminated Mrs Beck from the programme.
She said: "I’m a very competitive person, but I knew I would never win it. "People took a dislike to me after the first show, when they saw that I had a housekeeper. There were some really nasty comments made. I was the "Nasty Nick".
"I did have a few arguments, but I speak my mind, what you see is what you get."
After the show’s two finalists prepared a traditional Friday night meal for guests including celebrities David Baddiel and Jay Rayner, Sandi Firth from Leeds was crowned winner.
Mrs Beck said: "The winner’s a nice easy-going person. She was the glamorous winning grandma.
"But a Jewish mother is no different to any other.
"I’m a hands-on mother, I’m with my kids all the time, I’m there for them, and if I can take them down the right path, if I can instil what my mother has taught me, then great.
"I’m not smothering, I’m not neurotic as most Jewish mothers are stereotyped and it’s not all about chicken soup.
"I have no regrets doing the show. I can walk around with my head held high.
"My family were offered the opportunity to film a reality show off the back of this, but my husband was adamant - it would be over his dead body."
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