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Digital Spy gets the Helen Flanagan treatment at Celebrity Super Spa

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The offer of having a manicure from Helen Flanagan or James 'Arg' Argent might not sound like everyone's idea of a great day out in Liverpool.

However, for Digital Spy, this invitation from Channel 5 to visit the set of its latest celebrity reality show was too bizarre yet brilliant to turn down.

Helen Flanagan in 'Celebrity Super Spa'

© Channel 5

Helen Flanagan in 'Celebrity Super Spa'



Starring chefs, actors and, er, Arg, Celebrity Super Spa sees famous faces let loose on the public, performing treatments from back, sack and crack waxes to vampire facials and fish pedicures. Oh. The. Glamour.

The unfortunate souls who have signed up to learn how to preen, pluck and supposedly pamper are aforementioned former Coronation Street actress Helen and The Only Way is Essex star Arg, alongside professional ghost-botherer Yvette Fielding, Shameless actor-come-proper hard nut Jody Latham and chefs John Burton Race and Rustie Lee.

Teaching them and overseeing their efforts is Herbert Howe, owner of 'Herberts of Liverpool' - the real-life hairdressing salon that counts Colleen Rooney and Alex Curran as customers. The not at all over the top pink chairs and endless diamante are outrageously WAGtastic.

Helen Flanagan, Herbert Howe in 'Celebrity Super Spa'

© Channel 5

Helen Flanagan, Herbert Howe in 'Celebrity Super Spa'



'Herberts' has been ransacked by Channel 5 and transformed into a TV set, and it's here where we've come to meet all of the celebrities, poke around and have a treatment. The first person we come across is the man himself. With flamboyancy ratcheted up to 11, Herbert is all bright blue suit, yellow Doc Martins, yellow tie and yellow hair.

He has 52 years of experience in the beauty biz (just how old is he?), his hands are coated in endless rings and he proudly states that he's called The Bling King.

Herbert is thoroughly lovely, but completely crackers and so cartoon-like that somehow it's hard to believe this softly-spoken Scouser is real. It's also hard to believe BBC Three haven't turned up to do a The Call Centre-style docu-soap about this slightly surreal place.

One by one, the celebrities arrive to chat to us in the room where they come to 'relax' after they have performed treatments. This is all in full view of cameras, which are rigged in every nook to capture their moans and bitches about their customers - and each other.

Jody Latham in 'Celebrity Super Spa'

© Channel 5

Jody Latham in 'Celebrity Super Spa'

John Burton Race, Rustie Lee in 'Celebrity Super Spa'

© Channel 5

John Burton Race and Rustie Lee in 'Celebrity Super Spa'



Helen, Yvette, John, Jody and Rustie all turn up, but Arg is notable by his absence.

Settling on a sofa, Yvette reveals that she "nearly needed counselling" after performing a treatment on someone, adding: "That image is burned onto my pupils and I would rather spend the night with the devil in a haunted house than go through what I went through." She won't say what it was exactly - but bloody hell.

Meanwhile, Jody says that she show "goes way beyond beauty treatments. It's graphic," and John reveals that Arg never stops eating.

Then, not for the first time, Helen falls asleep in the company of Digital Spy. With a Starbucks in hand, she curls up on the sofa and closes her eyes for a kip. Bold as brass.

Poor Hels. It was her 23rd birthday party at the weekend, and she admits that she's completely hungover. "I'm so sorry, I'm really not myself today. I'm literally feeling so ill - I'm dying," she exclaims. This lot are full of hyperbole.

Yvette Fielding in 'Celebrity Super Spa'

© Channel 5

Yvette Fielding in 'Celebrity Super Spa'

James 'Arg' Argent in 'Celebrity Super Spa'

© Channel 5

James 'Arg' Argent in 'Celebrity Super Spa'



Halfway through the interview, she then starts flapping and looking a bit unwell. She leaves the room, iPhone in hand, and says she's off to the toilet. Shortly afterwards, she returns and proclaims: "Is it nearly lunch time yet?". That's the end of that, then.

This manicure is not looking promising.

However, Arg has now turned up. We later overhear that he was late because he was filming an advert for Pizza Hut alongside Paddy McGuinness. Supposedly that is really a thing that is happening.

With a packet of Walkers Prawn Cocktail crisps in hand (what was that, John?), Arg sighs and says that he can't be bothered to do any treatments today. Oh dear.

Not one to completely disappoint, Arg dutifully poses with us and our hands, giving the illusion of performing a manicure, and we have a thoroughly nice chat about starting his own band, how his "time will come" for taking part in I'm a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! and why he had a "dark period" on TOWIE.

Digital Spy's Frances Taylor, James Argent for 'Celebrity Super Spa'

© Channel 5

James 'Arg' Argent fakes a manicure for Digital Spy



Arg also says that "there's been a few awkward moments here - especially some of the waxing on men I've had to do", and adds that he's happy to do any vajazzles. Er, we're okay, thanks!

When we do meet Helen, she's perked up slightly after taking 40 winks. Taking our hands, Helen begins to file our nails and says that they're nice. Well, she actually describes them as 'sick' - but we think we get the idea.

"I have enjoyed this so much. It's not been like work at all, it's just been so much fun," she says. "My agent said to me, 'Would you like to do it?', and I thought it will keep me really busy and it seems fun. When I came into the show I was having a difficult time, and this really picked me up.

Digital Spy's Frances Taylor and Helen Flanagan for 'Celebrity Super Spa'

© Channel 5

Digital Spy gets a 'Flanicure' from Helen



"I was laughing every day, and just felt so much happier - it's actually going to be hilarious to watch."

Helen also says she doesn't think having a spray tan at 1.30am is strange, that she wouldn't rule out being on any reality TV shows and that she believes people will be shocked by her next foray into acting.

And with that, our Flanicure - if you will - is complete. Okay, so we might have arrived expecting the full works, and all we actually came away with is lightly filed and slightly shorter nails. But really, with this lot in charge, what would you expect?

Celebrity Super Spa starts on Friday, September 13 at 10pm on Channel 5.

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