Brits on the move call the prop­erty busters

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Tv -

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.

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