Reality Returns

Which reality tv shows earn you the biggest bucks, and which reality stars earn the most?

Whether it be about finding love, living together or a good old fashioned talent contest, reality tv shows are a popular staple of British Television and as a result, thousands of people across the country are inspired to follow in the footsteps of their celebrity heroes and take part in a reality show.

But which one should they take part in? We have looked into the finances and social popularity of a plethora of the most renowned reality stars from the past decade to reveal who the most successful are and which shows enabled them to gain that success.

The Reality Shows with the Greatest Returns

The most successful reality shows

Using a formula combining estimated net worth (ENW) and social media earnings to create a scoring system out of ten we discovered that ITV’s The X Factor is the number one show for becoming successful with a huge score of eight. The former contestants analysed average over £28,000 per post on Instagram, and have an ENW of over five million.

When it comes to overall wealth the X Factor comes in a distant second to The Real Housewives of Cheshire, who average a massive ENW of just under £13 million pounds. Although as you will see later this number is significantly boosted by one extremely wealthy individual, The Real Housewives also struggle to be as popular on social media making the second-lowest amount per post of all the shows we studied. This drops their overall score down to 4.3, making them the third-best show.

Love Island ranks highly for social media popularity with an average of £11,220 per Instagram post, and an average of over 2.3 million followers. Combined with an ENW of over £2 million, it ranks as the 4th best show overall with a score of 3.7. Two spots higher in the list we travel up north to the Geordie Shore, cast members of this reality show average £3 million in ENW, as well as boasting just under five million followers and around £7700 per post. Combining this they score five, but it is still trailing the X Factor by some distance.

Is winning the show important?

Of course, the aim of competing is to win, but is winning a social media programme the most probable route to success? In a word, no. There are plenty of examples of contestants who failed to win the reality show going on to greater financial and social success than those who beat them. Molly-Mae Hague is the most successful person from Love Island with an average score of 5.52, this is over two points higher than the highest-ranking winner of the show, Dani Dyer.

The most successful former candidate on The Apprentice is Luisa Zissman who also finished second on the show, she ranks 14 places above the woman she lost to (Leah Totton). Furthermore, she is worth almost three and a half million pounds more and earns over seven times as much per Instagram post.

On the other hand, we have the members of pop band Little Mix who won the X Factor almost a decade ago. The three current (and one former) members make up four of the top 5 in our rankings chart. However, they are an exception to the rule as historically contestants who didn’t win the show went on to greater success. Although it was before the last 10 years of our study, the likes of One Direction, JLS and Olly Murs all found huge success without winning.


The Reality Stars with the Greatest Returns

Whichever show they were a part of, each of these reality tv stars has fared differently in terms of their individual financial success. Using the same calculation that definitively told us the best average show we can reveal that former Little Mix member and X Factor contestant Jesy Nixon is the most successful with an average score of 6.38/10, beating former bandmate Jade Thirwall into second place. The Little Mix quartet would have a stranglehold on the top of the rankings if it wasn’t for Love Island’s Molly-Mae who comes in fourth place.

She is also the reality star who earns the most per Instagram post as she earns an estimated £65,520 every time she hits the ‘share’ button, this places her just ahead of Jesy Nixon with £64,740. Molly-Mae’s partner Tommy Fury is the highest-earning male by this metric as he rakes in £7590, this ranks him 14th on the list behind a top 10 which is exclusively female.

However, in terms of net worth, there is a much more even split at the top of the rankings, with six males and four females. Coming at number one is Real Housewives of Cheshire star Dawn Ward who is estimated to be worth an astronomical £42 million, this is double what second-placed Spencer Matthews from Made in Chelsea has in the bank. Unlike the other categories, celebrities from these two shows rank highly for net worth which may be more to do with the fact that they are shows about people who are already rich rather than what they have earned as a result of the programme.

Outside of these shows, the highest ENW belongs to Mark Wright of TOWIE with £11 million, before he appeared on the programme he was a struggling footballer which indicates that the show had a much bigger impact on increasing his earnings.



For each person, we calculated an overall score based on the following three factors, giving a normalised score out of ten for each, before taking an overall average score across all three.

Estimated net worth

Sourced from the following:

Instagram followers

The number of followers on Instagram, as of February 24th 2021.

Estimated Instagram earnings per post

Calculated using HypeAuditor’s Instagram Money Calculator, which estimates the amount that an account can charge per post, based on factors such as follower count and engagement.

Figures were converted from US dollars to pound sterling using XE, as of February 24th 2021.

Fast Fashion Complaints

Fast fashion and online deliveries are becoming increasingly popular, especially during lockdowns, as the only way to receive clothing from your favourite brands. Looking at the most complained about brands, we will highlight how important it is to resolve complaints online to protect your brand.

When analysing reviews, Trustpilot scores, and Twitter sentiments, which fast fashion brands are the most complained about and which are the best when it comes to a speedy, reliable order?


The Most Complained About Fashion Brands

Taking all of the factors into account, the worst fast fashion brand for complaints is Zara, with an overall score of 2.51, with 423 weekly Twitter complaints, an average Trustpilot score of 1.5 and 78% bad reviews on Trustpilot.

Dorothy Perkins, is ranked as the second-worst brand, with a 4.20 overall score, with 93 weekly Twitter complaints, 1.6 Trust pilot score and 76% bad reviews.

And H&M is the third-worst fast fashion brand with an overall score of 4.32, 1.7 Trustpilot score, 69% bad reviews and 145 Twitter complaints.


The Least Complained About Fashion Brands

Taking first place is the fast fashion brand Oh Polly, with a Trustpilot score of 4.6, with only 7% bad reviews on Trustpilot and 33 weekly Twitter complaints, for an overall score of 9.85.

Not far behind in second place is I Saw It First, with an overall score of 9.34, with 105 weekly Twitter complaints, a 4.4 Trustpilot score and 7% bad reviews.

Finally, in third place, is Missy Empire with an overall score of 9.15, with a 4.1 Trustpilot score, 7% bad reviews but just only four weekly Twitter complaints!




We ranked each brand on the following three factors: Average Trustpilot Score, % Bad reviews on Trustpilot and Complaints on Twitter. Giving each a normalised score out of ten on each factor, before taking an average overall score across all three factors.

The average review score and percentage of ‘bad’ reviews were both taken from Trustpilot, while for the number of Twitter complaints, we used an official Twitter API to pull the number of average weekly Tweets to each brand which mentioned the following words: wrong size; money back; hasn’t arrived; refund; poor quality; slow; disappointed; multiple DMs; no reply; broken; damaged; late; stained, missing.

Please note we pulled the number of average weekly tweets from the fast fashion brand’s customer service accounts and removed any from the research who didn’t have a dedicated customer service account.

We’re Hiring a Paid Ads Executive!

Come join our awesome, award-winning, digital agency based in the heart of Edinburgh (although, as Covid has shown us, remote working is becoming the “norm” so we’re happy to accept applications if you feel you tick all the boxes- you have to be UK based though and willing to travel to Edinburgh at least twice a month once travel restrictions allow)! We are looking for a Paid Ads Executive to join our vibrant team, with particular expertise in Facebook Ads & Google Ads (Search, Shopping, Display) Campaigns.


About Us

We are a social media and digital marketing agency with a varied client portfolio of quirky and elegant brands, from long-standing family businesses and startups to global companies. 

We’re entering the teenage years of Pilot Fish; saying hello to new clients and colleagues more than we ever have before. We’re a small but mighty team, and it’s an exciting time to join the agency as our Paid Ads team grows.


In Brief

We’re looking for a passionate Paid Ads Executive (FB and Google Ads, mainly) to join us full-time, to help us plan, execute and optimise our clients’ paid campaigns. Work at Pilot Fish Media is, like most agencies, fast-paced and exciting, and no two weeks will look the same; we work closely together as a team, to come up with exciting, creative and innovative new ways of doing digital for our clients; and you’ll be a key player in that.


What would you be doing?

  •         Planning, execution and day-to-day management of Paid Advertising campaigns
  •         Ensuring campaigns are meeting (and exceeding) the client’s goals and are aligned with their objectives
  •         Frequently test audiences, creative assets, ad formats and copy across platforms to optimise campaigns
  •         Working closely with the Paid Advertising Director to create bespoke digital strategies
  •         Analyse performance of campaigns, assist with monthly reporting and recommended next steps
  •         Stay up to date with the latest best practices across platforms 


What the right candidate will have:

    • Curious and innovative – you are passionate about seeing what work’s, what doesn’t and always coming up with a next step
    • Performance-driven – you’re not satisfied with mediocre and are motivated by driving the best results for your clients
    • Initiative – you take full ownership of your clients, working autonomously as well as collaborating with the wider team to drive outcomes.
    • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
    • A sound understanding of the digital marketing ecosystem and digital strategy more broadly
    • 1+ years of experience in Paid Advertising in a similar, fast-paced role. Ideally, you’re quite familiar with the tools, but we’re willing to train and develop the right person!
  • Candidates with agency experience and generated proven results across both Lead Generation and eCommerce brands will be favourably considered.


What we can offer you

  •   A competitive salary based on your experience.
  •   Central Edinburgh office.
  •   A fantastic team to work with. We work hard but a fun, positive atmosphere is very important to us as well.
  •   The opportunity to work on big global brands as well as smaller local companies and start-ups.
  •   Training, development and mentoring and the opportunity to develop your career and move up the ranks as we continue to grow and expand.
  •   Regular team lunches/get togethers (on zoom right now, of course!).



We’re a creative digital agency – so we’re not old school. Be as creative as you want with your application – just make sure you include an overview of your experience somehow, and tell us what excites you about Paid Advertising. Applications will be open till the 5th of March 2021.

Please send your application to our Head of Agency – [email protected].


Influential Titles

The Names That Are Most Likely To Be Social Media Influencers!

In 2019 it was reported that 1 in 5 UK children want to be an influencer when they grow up, but could their name make them more likely to make it as a social media star?

By analysing over 1200 of the world’s biggest influencers across Instagram, YouTube and TikTok, in a variety of sectors, from gaming to beauty, we have been able to reveal the most common names amongst the most successful social media stars.

Social media influencers will often sign sponsorship deals with big name brands to help their accounts get a boost in engagement, but also the deals can be incredibly lucrative. If you want your child to make it big in the world of socials, perhaps naming them one of the below could give them an industry advantage.


The Female Baby Names Set For Social Media Stardom

Looking at female influencers, our list comprised 799 social media influencers from the worlds of beauty, fitness, gaming, travel, food and fashion, merging all versions of the names to give us our totals. For example, in counting influential Jessica’s, we also included the names Jesi, Jessamyn and Jessie.

Some of the most loved stars hold the most popular names, such as Lauren Curtis, a beauty influencer who covers all things beauty on her YouTube channel, Hannah Eden, a fitness professional with her own app, podcast, ebooks and apparel line and ex Love Island contestant Alexandra Cane who has transformed her life through fitness.


The Male Baby Names Set For Social Media Stardom

When we looked at male influencers, we compiled a list of 469 social media stars from the worlds of gaming, beauty, fitness, travel, food and fashion. As with the female list, we then merged derivatives and iterations of those names to give a total number.

The top names are held by some of the largest English and Irish online gamers, such as the hot-tempered Irishman David Nagle, who goes by Daithi De Nogla online, and fitness influencers on YouTube, such as Bradley Martyn and the former English rugby union player James Haskell.



We used various lists of influencers, including those from Hopper, Hubspot and Cosmopolitan, broken down into specific genres of influencers from the gaming, beauty, fitness, travel, food and fashion industries. All together 1268 influencers were analysed from all over the world and compiled together, then separated into male and female gender groups. Those influencers that publicly identify as non-binary were excluded from the data set due to the lack of substantial data for this group.

The totals of each name were counted before merging derivatives and iterations of the same name. This meant that we counted names such as Jesi, Jessamyn and Jessie under the umbrella of the name Jessica.

We’re Hiring: Digital Designer!

Are you an Adobe wizard and a keen Digital Designer looking for some new challenges? At Pilot Fish Media, we’re looking for a Digital Designer to join our talented Edinburgh-based team.


About Us

We are a social media and digital marketing agency with a varied client portfolio of quirky and elegant brands, from long-standing family businesses and startups to global companies.

We’re entering the teenage years of Pilot Fish; saying hello to new clients and colleagues more than we ever have before. We’re a small but mighty team, and it’s an exciting time to join the agency.


In Brief

We’re looking for a super ambitious and talented full time designer to join our expanding creative team and help us support our clients through beautiful creative (illustrations, stills, videos and everything in between), initially at a 6 month term. Work at Pilot Fish Media is, like most agencies, fast paced and exciting, and no one week will look the same; we work closely together as team, to come up with exciting, creative and trend-setting new ways of doing digital for our clients; and you’ll be a key player in that.


What would you be doing?

  • Ideally, having a good time while providing some great work.
  • Be in charge of the creation of visual aspects for assigned clients’ content calendar; this will include full ownership over the creative aspect, both imagery/video and sometimes maybe even copy (it’s a plus if you have a writer somewhere in you!)
  • Brainstorming with the rest of us – to make sure we all keep our work fresh, beyond ‘client boundaries’.
  • Working on ad sets and imagery for delivery towards specific KPIs
  • Campaign ideation; we provide our clients with exciting new ideas which, combined with digital targeting expertise, help them reach new heights with their digital.

Working closely with your account manager and other creatives on a regular basis.


What type of team-mate are we looking for?

  • You love everything to do with design, especially creating engaging digital content
  • You have a very good understanding of designing for web
  • You have a real eye for detail and layout alongside strong art direction abilities
  • You’re a whizz at Adobe Suite – this is key
  • You love presenting your work and are passionate while doing it
  • You work quickly and can handle the pressure and hectic pace of our delivery schedule
  • Ideally, you’ll have worked in an agency for the last 2+ years (but if you’re the right fit, this isn’t essential!)
  • You are a team player and relish the challenge of an all-hands on deck approach
  • You like to push yourself and be pushed out of your comfort zone
  • You have an opinion and are not scared to make suggestions or take constructive criticism

Experience in display advertising, motion graphics and social media would also be very handy.


What we can offer you

A competitive salary based on your experience.

Central Edinburgh office.

A fantastic team to work with. We work hard but a fun, positive atmosphere is very important to us as well.

The opportunity to work on big global brands as well as smaller local companies and start-ups.

The opportunity to develop your career and move up the ranks as we grow and expand.

Regular team lunches/get togethers. (Once restrictions allow)



We’re not asking you to have 20 years (or even 2 years) of experience. However, we do wanna see some of your work. So instead of writing out a long cover letter, show us what you have done or what you can do – be as creative as possible. Whether that’s a video application, a cool graphic or a fake content calendar (or something we haven’t even thought about), send it to us on [email protected] along with your CV.

Ps; we’re a small super collaborative team, so at the moment, we are limiting our search to individuals who are based in or can commute to Edinburgh (once our office opens back up, anyway!)

Applications will be open till the 3rd of February, after which we will review all applications and get back to you in due time.

How to switch off from social media when you’re online 24/7

Now that so many of us are spending the majority of our time at home, we’re all relying on social media to stay in touch with the world, and this is resulting in us getting a bit too much screen time. 

Linked to increase risk of anxiety, depression and a feeling of loneliness, our Head of Agency Daniella, reveals her top tips to switch off from social media and stop us ‘doomscrolling’:

  • Gradually start to limit how much time you spend on social media each day

“The key to breaking a bad habit is making sure you create a gradual transition. Going cold turkey and jumping from spending hours on Twitter and Instagram to nothing probably won’t work in the long run. Instead, make a conscious decision to reduce your social media consumption by 30 minutes each day until you reach a comfortable amount of time online.” 

  • Physically remove your phone from your presence

“It may sound simple, but out of sight, out of mind is a real thing. We’re so used to having our devices as an extension of us and in arm’s reach that by simply removing our phone prevents us from mindlessly checking our socials. Try putting your phone in another room when you’re watching a film or when cooking and eating a meal and dedicate yourself to just one activity at a time. Most importantly make sure your phone is away an hour before bed – you may need to put it in another room or in a drawer to avoid temptation.”

  • Schedule in more meaningful interactions 

“While you may be overhauling your social media use, your friends and family may not, so it’s important to make sure you stay connected with them. Where it’s not possible to see your loved ones in real life, make sure you schedule a phone call. You don’t need social media to stay updated on their life – and you’ll probably leave the call much more fulfilled than just looking at their Instagram story. Better yet, take the time to write them a letter which will not only be a lovely surprise, but a keepsake.”

  • Keep your mind occupied with mindfulness before bedtime

“It’s so easy to sit in bed and lose hours watching the latest Tiktok trends before we actually go to sleep, but the last hour before bed is key to step away from all of your devices. While your phone is away, this is a great time to reflect with some meditation or a gentle form of exercise, such as yoga, to calm the mind and release any tension from the day, which will also help with a restful night’s sleep.”

  • If you’re used to having something to hand, keep them busy

“We mostly pick up our phone because we’re bored and resort to refreshing our social media pages to pass the time, so keep your hands occupied! Journaling has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety and is as simple as picking up a pen and writing whatever comes to mind. It will help you process your thoughts and experiences of the day and give you a medium to articulate and understand your feelings.”

  • Turn your notifications off 

“If you’re struggling to remember when to turn off, try setting a time limit to the apps on your phone. Handy features like ‘screen time’ will give you the option to set app limits to certain – or all – of your apps, so you’ll know when it’s time to give the scrolling a rest. Turning off notifications from socials altogether is another easy way to stop getting distracted and unnecessarily picking up your phone.” 

  • Spend your time online wisely

“If limiting the amount of time you spend on social media is proving a bit of a struggle, then make sure what you are consuming is worthwhile. Go through your following list and take some time to evaluate which accounts have a positive impact on your life, and which aren’t so fulfilling. Unfollow any account that won’t benefit your mental health and fill your feed with what brings you joy – no matter what that may be.”