Brits on the move call the property busters
ROSIE and Andy are sick of living in the London commuter belt and want to shuck their busy jobs, up sticks to Devon and spend more time together. They also wish to help Andy’s brother, Matt, get on the property ladder in Bristol. Who are they going to call? Why, Britain’s favourite property busters, that’s who. Enter the gentle, balding Phil Spencer, and the sledgehammer- wielding Kirstie Allsopp, who will sort out this young couple before you can say Felldownhead or Folly Gate.
Funny place names in Devon aside, this is an addictive program for stickybeaks like me who are obsessed with lifestyle shifts and property makeovers. A spin- off from the Location, Location original, the format involves city folk who want to split their lives between an urban pied- a- terre and a nice little place in the country.
There’s no shortage of picturesque countryside in Britain so the show works to some degree as a travelogue and Spencer and Allsopp’s property searches also see them venturing abroad to look for dream farmhouses, villas and potential- plus ruins for their lifestyle- changer clients.
Off the screen, the pair are real estate agents so the show is brimming with practical advice. Although aimed squarely at a British audience, there’s still much interest to be gleaned when it comes to attic extensions, barn and church conversions and knocking down walls. Especially knocking down walls: Alsopp is never happier than when she’s standing stoutly in her stilettos and instructing potential buyers how to smash through some crummy old wall and transform a pixie- sized kitchenette into a grand family- sized kitchen- diner.
Rosie and Andy are a couple from real- estate central casting: polite, reasonable, willing to laugh at Allsopp’s jokes. Tonight’s searches are successful, which is not always the case in Relocation, Relocation , and everyone is happy, especially Rosie and Allsopp. ‘‘ Women get their own way 90 per cent of the time,’’ says our property hostess with more than a soupcon of smugness. Spencer grins gamely, as is his wont each week.
In the realms of real- estate shows, this is one of the best. It’s faster and zappier than the How To Channel’s Escape to the Country and Fantasy Homes by the Sea , both from Britain and hosted by the rather drippy Catherine Gee. Relocation, Relocation also manages a classier type of couple than those featured on the perennially popular Property Ladder , most of whom refuse to listen to the advice of presenter Sarah Beeny, even though she’s a hugely successful property developer and can spot rising damp and sharky tradesmen a mile off.
Relocation, Relocation is classic armchair viewing, always enjoyable and what fun it is to watch others lose their way through the property maze. Pour me another cuppa.