DIANNE BUT­LER OUT OF THE BOX

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LIFE­STYLE shows named af­ter Shake­speare quotes. Had to hap­pen. Imag­ine what some of those lines from The Mer­chant of Venice can be­come, in the right hands. I mean, surely an­other se­ries about money is over­due.

I don’t know if there is in fact any Not To Build quandary in To Build Or Not To Build. It’s al­most psy­chot­i­cally up­beat and as­pi­ra­tional. Pic­ture Kevin Mc­cloud on ice and you’re there. This is the first episode tonight, and it’s a tremen­dous way to be­gin — an enor­mous fake Ge­or­gian kit home in North Lon­don on a block of land that used to be a beer gar­den. And if there’s one thing the pre­sen­ter Si­mon O’brien likes more than a beer, it’s 10 beers.

The own­ers, Barry and Gill, scoped the land for a while — it’s a re­ally big block, would’ve been a great beer gar­den — and heard that the de­vel­op­ers who bought the pub were go­ing to put a block of flats on it. They paid $627,700 for the land alone, and now have a pid­dling $392,000 to use on the house. They’ve de­cided to be their own project man­agers, which we all know from watch­ing Grand De­signs can re­ally go ei­ther way. They will, how­ever, be sav­ing them­selves over $31,000, and we know this be­cause it’s in a lit­tle sign that comes up on the screen.

Barry and Gill have saved an un­spec­i­fied amount by liv­ing on-site in a car­a­van. Many coun­cils here wouldn’t al­low this, so lucky them. Si­mon points out the fur­ther gain they’re mak­ing by be­ing able to act as their prop­erty’s se­cu­rity guards. It’s only later we learn the true ex­tent of the de­pri­va­tion, when Barry re­veals he’d been go­ing down to the lo­cal gym and us­ing their ‘‘ chang­ing fa­cil­i­ties’’ ev­ery three days. Gee I hope it’s been worth it. To Build Or Not To Build Life­style Home, 7.30pm

Cheers to beers: Si­mon O’brien

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