Mon | Dec 5, 2016

Keeping up with the Spencers

Published:Friday | April 24, 2015 | 12:00 AMDaraine Luton
Kern Spencer and daughter Kianna.
Peggy Spencer, Kern's mom.
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Kern Spencer, a former junior energy minister, is producing a reality series which will give Jamaicans a peek into the lives of the Spencers.

And he says that there is a great chance that the propensity of his mother, Peggy Ewen, to threaten to beat him and his other siblings as a means of disciplining them could come out in Following The Spencers.

The programme, to be aired on local television starting tomorrow on CVM, will also be showed in the tri-state area of the United States, Canada and in Europe, Spencer told The Gleaner.

"The show is not about Kern Spencer. The show is about a Caribbean family that is involved in TV production and I happen to be in that family," he said.

"The show is geared towards giving the world an idea of what the typical lifestyle of a Caribbean family is. We are doing it through the eyes of a family that is involved in TV production," Spencer added.

Ewen, known in St Elizabeth as Ms Peggy, Spencer said, would "depict the typical example of what a Caribbean mother would be like growing up a middle-income family Ö . She is somebody who believes that notwithstanding the fact that her children are grown men, she still believes she can beat them when they step out of line, and you see that coming out".

 

INTERACTING WITH DIFFERENTPEOPLE

 

He told The Gleaner that the show will feature the Spencers interacting with persons from many strata of society, including politicians, sporting personalities and entertainers.

The Spencers follow another of his programmes, Campus Vybz, a reality TV series on lifestyle, entertainment, food, sports and all other aspects of university life.

The founding member of Super 'K' Studios, a public relations, production and marketing company which operates Best of Jamaica TV (BOJ TV), said the idea of The Spencers came out of a desire to make use of several candid moments captured while in the production of videos.

"One day we were in the editing room reviewing some footage and we realised that when Gully Bop was at the height of his popularity, we were there rapping with him, the cameras were on and we were having candid discussions. We were saying that there is so much footage Ö going to waste that could create some good drama for interesting viewing and fulfil the TV appetite," Spencer said.

"You look in the USA and you see the Kardashians doing it and they seem to be making some money from it, but most importantly, they are generating employment," he added.

Spencer, a graduate of Munro College, served as Guild president at the University of the West Indies, Mona. He made the transition to national politics when he was named a senator and then parliamentary secretary in the national security ministry.

Shortly after the 2007 general election, which saw him winning the North East St Elizabeth seat on the People's National Party ticket, Spencer was made junior minister in the energy ministry. But his political strides were cut short by his arrest in February 2008, after the auditor general reported that about 176,380 of four million bulbs, costing approximately $92 million under the Cuban light bulb programme, could not be accounted for.

 

ACQUITTED

 

He was subsequently slapped with charges of conspiracy to defraud, one charge for breaching the Corruption Prevention Act, and three charges for breaching the Money Laundering Act. But after six years before the court, he was acquitted after the judged upheld a no-case submission made on his behalf.

Yesterday, Spencer told The Gleaner that he is mindful of the pushback that will come from critics who would want to use the light bulb case to judge him.

"I have gone through six years of the court system and the court has cleared me. I can't continue living my life for persons who would want to continue holding me down or somebody who would want me to continue dwelling on the hurdles that I [have] had in life. I have jumped over those hurdles and all of that is behind me," Spencer said.

"There are going to be people who will be talking - and even more so now, when you are doing a reality show - but my blinders are on and I am just looking to the future," the former businessman and soon-to-be TV star said.

daraine.luton@gleanerjm.com