Homing in on the best of British building
Relocation, Relocation 8.30pm, LifeStyle
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