Hom­ing in on the best of Bri­tish build­ing

Re­lo­ca­tion, Re­lo­ca­tion 8.30pm, LifeStyle

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Tv - Stephen Matchett

THIS pro­gram proves that na­ture does in­deed ab­hor a vac­uum, be­cause the only rea­son it ex­ists is to fill time on television. The premise is less te­dious than tragic: get a cou­ple of con­sul­tants to help peo­ple who want to buy a home plus an in­vest­ment prop­erty. Ex­cit­ing it is not, but ev­ery­body in­volved does their Bri­tish best to mud­dle through.

Hosts Kirstie All­sopp and Phil Spencer try to in­ject an el­e­ment of in­ter­est by gen­tly crit­i­cis­ing their clients in some episodes and bick­er­ing mildly in a Nick- and- No­raCharles- go- into- Pommy- prop­erty way. And the house hunters are at­trac­tive enough in their ap­pear­ance and as­pi­ra­tions to im­press view­ers, but av­er­age enough not to alien­ate the au­di­ence.

All in all, it is a case of the bland lead­ing the ba­nal in a filler for­mat that is as safe as, well, houses.

And yet in small doses ( this first episode should do it for all of se­ries three) the show is en­ter­tain­ing. This is re­al­ity TV that does not in­volve in­di­vid­u­als who are fran­tic for fame but can­not sing, dance or get on with strangers. And it deals with a uni­ver­sal theme, at least in coun­tries where perv­ing at prop­erty is the new pruri­ence and ev­ery­body as­sumes they have a right un­der some UN con­ven­tion to not only live in a house they love but to make money from real es­tate.

Re­lo­ca­tion, Re­lo­ca­tion is TV for peo­ple who like to fan­ta­sise about buy­ing a new home but aren’t in­ter­ested enough to look at prop­er­ties open for in­spec­tion where they live.

Ap­peal­ing house hunters is the essence of the idea. The cou­ple in this episode score high on the nice- me­ter as they look at houses and fi­nally buy one. Demon­strat­ing they are not only nice but also sen­si­ble, the pair de­cide they can­not af­ford the in­vest­ment flat and knock it back. Theirs are as­pi­ra­tions of a mild kind.

And this is what lim­its the ap­peal of the pro­gram here. By Aus­tralian stan­dards the houses around Manch­ester th­ese peo­ple fall in love with are very mod­est in­deed. They cer­tainly would not rate in the land of the McMan­sion. Even chi- chied and frou- froued for the cam­era, the bed­rooms look small, the kitchens or­di­nary and from the out­side most of the de­sir­able res­i­dences look as though they are lo­cated on the road to Wi­gan Pier.

In the end the mes­sage from the show for most Aus­tralians is that how­ever over­priced the prop­erty you want, how­ever real the risk of an in­ter­est rate rise, when it comes to re­lo­cat­ing, any­where here is bet­ter than there.

The hunt is on: Re­lo­ca­tion, Re­lo­ca­tion hosts Kirstie All­sop and Phil Spencer

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