Scis­sors, pa­per ... mock

Love It Or List It’s Neale Whitaker and An­drew Win­ter swap bad puns and tell-all about their TV bro­mance

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - TV Guide - - Front Page -

WHEN An­drew Win­ter is asked where he first met Love It or

List It co-host Neale Whitaker, his an­swer per­fectly sums up their re­la­tion­ship.

“I think it was on Tin­der, wasn’t it?” he asks, with­out f linch­ing.

“I knew you were go­ing to say that, I was just wait­ing for it. Yeah, I swiped the wrong way!” Whitaker laughs.

“He was a huge fan. I wasn’t so much a fan of his work, but he was a huge fan of mine,” Win­ter quickly adds.

Prop­erty ex­pert Win­ter, who is also the host of Sell­ing

Houses Aus­tralia, and style guru Whitaker, who can be seen on Chan­nel 9’s The Block, are Aus­tralia’s new­est TV bro­mance and view­ers ap­pear to be lap­ping up the chem­istry.

Love It or List It de­liv­ered Fox­tel’s Life­style chan­nel their big­gest se­ries launch au­di­ence when the show pre­miered last year and the pair have just wrapped up a much-an­tic­i­pated sec­ond sea­son.

The for­mat is sim­ple: prop­erty own­ers who can’t de­cide be­tween sell­ing their house or stay­ing put en­list the help of Win­ter and Whitaker.

The odd cou­ple then do their best to con­vince them one way or the other, with Win­ter pre­sent­ing them with al­ter­na­tive prop­er­ties he be­lieves are bet­ter suited to the own­ers’ needs; while Whitaker over­sees a ren­o­va­tion he hopes will win them over and con­vince them to stay.

While the show has tapped into our cur­rent ob­ses­sion with all things prop­erty, the chem­istry be­tween the two hosts has been in­stru­men­tal in its suc­cess.

Their nat­u­ral ban­ter and clever barbs aren’t forced and aren’t so reg­u­lar they take away from the main pur­pose of the show.

And they’re ex­actly the same when the cam­eras stop rolling.

Sit­ting down on set dur­ing film­ing at one of the houses they were fight­ing over, the pair were like a cou­ple of kids af­ter a few too many cor­dials.

“Be­cause you’re here to­day,” Win­ter tells TV Guide, “we’re sit­ting at the same ta­ble but nor­mally I’d be out there.”

Whitaker chimes in: “We speak through our lawyers usu­ally,” be­fore clar­i­fy­ing “we’re jok­ing, of course, we get on re­ally well.”

Win­ter’s not con­vinced, quip­ping: “Re­ally? I don’t like you.” One point to List It. Asked about how the pair­ing came about, Win­ter doesn’t skip a beat.

“It was a last-minute thing be­cause Love It or List It Aus­tralia cast me for the host and we nearly had an­other host but Neale of­fered to do it for half the price or a load of free cab charges so they thought, ‘ How can we re­sist?’.”

It’s not long be­fore Whitaker gets his re­venge and scores a cou­ple of points of his own.

Talk­ing about his co-host’s re­cent Gold Lo­gie nom­i­na­tion,

the for­mer Vogue Liv­ing ed­i­tor smiles: “He’s gone from in­suf­fer­able to more in­suf­fer­able.

“I had a lady from the Nether­lands on my In­sta­gram feed want­ing to know how she could vote for you. I looked up Dutch for ‘don’t bother’.”

Win­ter was over­whelmed by the Gold Lo­gie nom­i­na­tion.

“I hadn’t re­alised at the time but no­body from a non free-to-air chan­nel had ever been nom­i­nated so it was a huge deal and a mas­sive pat on the back to Fox­tel. In that re­spect, it’s bril­liant,” he says.

And he didn’t miss a chance

to take cheeky digs at his fel­low nom­i­nees, in­clud­ing Grant Denyer, who would go on to win the award.

“I’ve got no idea who the other nom­i­nees [were] to be hon­est – Tracey Denyer, is it? Grant Ker­shaw or some­thing like that?

A Cur­rent Feud,” he laughs. There’s no doubt both hosts love to have a laugh at the other’s ex­pense, mak­ing the whole ‘ love it or list it’ spec­ta­cle all the bet­ter; but com­pe­ti­tion aside, Whitaker says the fam­i­lies in­volved are the only ones who can re­ally make the right de­ci­sion.

“At the end of the day it’s about

these peo­ple’s lives. If they de­cide to list and not love it, I can’t get up­set be­cause I know they’ve made the de­ci­sion that is the cor­rect one for them,” he says. Win­ter’s not so for­giv­ing. “If they make the de­ci­sion to love it, then I’m in f loods of tears and I’m an emo­tional wreck for weeks,” Win­ter says.

“I re­ally take it per­son­ally – I’m a real es­tate agent, I sell the dream and they haven’t bought it!”

LOVE IT OR LIST IT

8.30PM, WED­NES­DAY, FOX­TEL’S LIFE­STYLE

Home run: Neale Whitaker and An­drew Win­ter are back for a sec­ond sea­son of Fox­tel hit LoveI­torListIt.

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