DIANNE BUT­LER OUT OF THE BOX

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Sunday -

WOULD like to say I’ve had worse, but I haven’t.’’ Well. Blow me. Can’t say I had heard Jamie Durie say this to a client at the end of a job on Back­yard Blitz.

But is he jok­ing? That’s what you’re won­der­ing. Or is he hold­ing a tyre iron in his hand, swing­ing it round above his head like it’s a pair of women’s undies he’d picked up off the stage in his old Man­power days? And why a tyre iron? It’s be­cause there’s a tiny bit of a car theme in this gar­den makeover, the first episode of Jamie’s new USbased se­ries start­ing tonight on Life­Style’s lat­est chan­nel.

Christo­pher and Lau­ren live in south-cen­tral Los An­ge­les and do up cars from the 1950s. They’re about to get mar­ried. Their back­yard looks ter­ri­ble — it’s like T. S. Eliot’s Waste Land, only with­out the lilacs — and yet they want to have their wed­ding re­hearsal din­ner there.

What is a wed­ding re­hearsal din­ner for ex­actly? Isn’t that the 1200 din­ners you have when you live to­gether first?

Any­way, the only things grow­ing in their gar­den are zuc­chi­nis — huge zuc­chi­nis — and crepe myr­tles, Jamie says, though I did see a very nice datura in the back­ground. He may want to think about

Mas­sive zuc­chi­nis: Jamie Durie rip­ping it out be­fore the big day in case some of those Cal­i­for­nia types are tempted to eat it and en­hance their wed­ding ex­pe­ri­ence . . . God knows some wed­dings need hal­lu­cino­gen­ics. Some mar­riages, too.

One episode in, I can say with con­fi­dence that I like this show a thou­sand times bet­ter than any­thing I have seen of his on any com­mer­cial net­work. I was ner­vous, though. You prob­a­bly are, too.

Plus makeover show— how many more do we need? This fol­lows the ba­sic floor plan, but it feels more real than his old work, like we’re get­ting closer to an au­then­tic ex­pe­ri­ence. There’s a Hol­ly­wood word for you. Au­then­tic. The Out­door Room with Jamie Durie Life­Style Home, Fox­tel/ Aus­tar, 7.30pm

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