There's Something About Miriam is a reality television show filmed in 2003 and originally aired in the United Kingdom on Sky1 in February 2004. Hosted by Tim Vincent, it featured six men wooing 21-year-old Mexican model Miriam without revealing that she was a transwoman until the final episode.
Brighter Pictures managing director Gavin Hay said "they had made a point of never referring to Miriam as a woman when getting the men to take part."
Miriam said, "Several of them wondered about me in the first few days. But as the series unfolded, I really thought that we got to like and know each other as friends and had a lot of fun." In response to allegations that she revealed her big secret by lifting up her skirt she was quoted as saying "I want to say that I would never lift my skirt up on national TV. My mother brought me up very well." On the version that aired, Miriam chose Rooke as the winner and then said in front of the assembled contestants:
I tried to be honest with all of you, not just some of you. Yes, I am from Mexico, I am a model, and I'm 21. But Tom, I really love spending time with you and kissing you. You see, I love men, and I love being a woman. But... shh, quiet everybody, please, quiet. But you see, Tom... I am not a woman. I was born as a man.
Rooke initially accepted the prize money and the trip with Miriam on camera, then rejected the prize prior to airing and joined the other contestants in a lawsuit.
The show was aired in Australia by Network Ten in May 2004, in Poland by TVN in January 2005, and in Argentina in 2005 on America TV. The show was picked up by Fox Reality for airing in the United States in April 2006, and was aired in October 2007,
These guys were duped in more ways than one - while Miriam has a few unexpected bits in her package, she's notably deficient in others. It has become clear Miriam requires a personality implant. It must've been a challenge to find a transsexual pretty enough, mean enough and sufficiently attention-seeking to play this tawdry game, but what these producers found in Miriam is a sultry-looking dill prone to the cheesiest of clichés.
Other British commentators contrasted Miriam with the positive response to Nadia Almada, a Portuguese transsexual woman who won Big Brother UK a few months later. That show was also produced by Endemol.
However, the show garnered high ratings in the final episode (970,000 viewers - large viewership for Sky One), and Miriam went on to become a guest on Big Brother Australia 2004.
When the show aired in the United States on the 2007 Transgender Day of Remembrance, trans author Julia Serano noted, "Programs like 'There's Something About Miriam' not only reinforce the stereotype that trans people's birth sex is 'real' and our identified/lived sex is 'fake,' but they perpetuate the myth of deception and thus enable violence against us."
Video artist Phil Collins featured contestant Mark Dimino in an installation on "people who believe their lives have been ruined by appearing on reality TV."