DIANNE BUTLER OUT OF THE BOX
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