Posts filed under ‘TV programmes’

How to be on property TV: Get a fixer-upper

This is a legacy post from the blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

Are you digging out your workman’s boots and hard hat while channelling your inner Sarah Beeny? Then presenter, actor and property renovator Simon O’Brien wants to hear from you.

From Brookside and Fraggle Rock to My Derelict Dream Home, Simon O’Brien will front the new UKTV property TV show

O’Brien will be the front man of the aptly named TV show about finding your new property called My Derelict Dream Home due to air on UKTV in 2012.

As you’d imagine, transforming a wreck into your ultimate house  is likely to take time, which is why the producers need to find you now –  they’ll presumably be following you (and your muddy boots) around for the next year or so to capture all the drama of taking on an unloved property as a renovating challenge.

Plus, you’ll no doubt also get to hang (or at least meet) Simon O’Brien who made his name on Brookside back in the 80s. O’Brien has since featured on Grange Hill, been a radio and TV presenter and was even part of the short-lived, but much loved UK version of Fraggle Rock.

For more details about My Derelict Dream Home contact Joe Forrest at True North Productions on 0113 394 5480 /

December 1, 2011 at 2:06 PM Leave a comment

Estate agent video mockumentary goes viral as backlash bites

This is a legacy post from the blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

When was contacted last Tuesday about a new fly-on-the-wall documentary about estate agents called we weren’t sure what to make of it.

The production company insisted it was real, but to our eyes, it had a decidedly mockumentary feel to it. The footage followed a day in the life of an unnamed West London estate agent. (Scroll down to watch the video). James and Charlotte – the two estate agents who star in the film – are portrayed in an unflattering light.

Instead of posting the video on this blog, as the production company had asked, we tweeted it out to our followers to see what they thought. While we felt it was funny (in a laughing at ourselves kind of way) we were under no illusions that others might not feel the same way – and they didn’t.

The problem with this film is that its aims appear to be confused. While it’s now been revealed that it was made by the estate agents Douglas & Gordon – an agent with a reputation for innovation – and features one of their negotiators James Turner in the leading role – the reason for the film is unclear.

On the one hand, Ed Mead, a director of Douglas and Gordon told the Daily Mail that it was intended only for industry insiders and the hype around the film has since “got completely out of hand”. Meanwhile,  the production company have been touting it as a fly-on-the-wall, factual documentary.

Lee Helliar, the producer, emailed us last week and said: “We managed to capture the devious side of London estate agents, a side that’s normally shrouded in secrecy. We felt obligated to share our footage with the rest of the public to reveal the true colours of those who claim to help buy and sell our homes.”

She then asked: “I would add that as ‘the public’ do we really mind what our agent does to sell the house as long as we get the best price. Are we morally complicit?”

And that’s the problem with this film. It’s a film about estate agents that is essentially a piece of fiction. While Douglas & Gordon now say it was only intended for internal use, the production company Real Impact Productions says it’s something else entirely and is shopping it all over town.

So what’s at stake here? While this film, which clearly cost a good deal of money to make, is a much needed chance to have a laugh and blow off some steam, the shine is taken off because it’s not clear who is laughing at whom.

September 26, 2011 at 10:38 AM 3 comments

Basketball rules! We’re sponsoring the UK’s No.1 team

This is a legacy post from the blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

Basketball is one of the UK’s fastest growing sports and we’re chuffed to announce our sponsorship of Liverpool’s local squad the Mersey Tigers during the 2011/2012 season, which for them kicks off with an away match against the Cheshire Jets on October 2nd.

Drew Sullivan (right, with the basketball) is captain of Mersey Tigers team.

This season, we are sure, will be as good as the last one when Mersey Tigers topped the British Basketball League (BBL) helping build on their growing reputation and popularity in and around Liverpool and beyond. And they’ve found a new home too – the city’s Echo Stadium.

The BBL league, which was established four years ago, is made up of 12 teams from around England and Scotland. The other teams are the Cheshire Jets, Durham Wildcats, Essex Pirates, Glasgow Rocks, Guildford Heat, Leicester Riders, Milton Keynes Lions, Newcastle Eagles, Plymouth Raiders, Sheffield Sharks and Worcester Wolves.

To celebrate our sponsorship of Mersey Tigers, we borrowed captain Drew Sullivan (pictured, above) to show him around a property for sale. It was, to the least, a tall tale. So thanks to Drew for his time – particularly given he was training hard at the time with his team mates in the GB olympic basketball team.

September 21, 2011 at 3:21 PM Leave a comment

Properties with a partner: advice and experience

This is a legacy post from the blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

Love and property. You might not immediately put the two together, but a new show from the folks at Channel 4 are planning a new documentary that does just that.

The BAFTA award-winning team behind One Born Every Minute and 24 Hours in A&E  are working on a new seven part show about love and living together.

Details are a bit sparse at the moment, but what we do know is that the doco will delve into the lives of one couple who’re living together and feature a further six couples in love (of all ages):  from first kiss to final farewell. No doubt they’ll be laughs, tears and possibly even a few tense moments over some tricky DIY projects!

Best of all, Channel 4 are on the hunt for a couple to feature in the documentary. If you and your partner are on the cusp of moving in together, then it could be you. Email Anna Dangoor at or call 020 3465 9060 to find out more.

August 16, 2011 at 9:23 AM Leave a comment

TV’s newest property show: All aboard the house hunting bus

This is a legacy post from the blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

So far this year we’ve had Caroline Quentin saving country manors in Restoration Home; Sarah Beeny being dramatic in Help! My House is Falling Down; Mary Portas taking a pop at estate agents in Secret Shopper; and Kirstie and Phil trading property details for swimming togs in Vacation, Vacation, Vacation.

All aboard the property bus: First stop home ownership

Now it seems ITV is readying itself to climb aboard the TV property bandwagon with a new offering – intriguingly named Drive to Buy.

As far as we can tell, the concept is a kind of Amazing Race meets Escape to the Country hybrid and, to be fair, it’s a new one on us.

Essentially the programme  features four pairs of house hunters in a bus driving around various bits of the UK and looking at three homes for sale at discounted prices.

The house hunters are all looking for similar properties at similar prices and the competition part of the show comes down to the fact that each pair can make just one official bid on one of the properties. The sting in the tail is that offers can only be made immediately after viewing the property and before the bus drives away from the home – after which the property goes “off the market”.

Unfortunately the identity of the host is still top secret, although we think Jonnie Irwin or Jasmine Harman would look great in a bus driver’s hat.

While we wait to find out who’ll be collecting the fares on the Drive to Buy bus, house hunters keen to test their property poker faces against home buying rivals can now apply to take part in the show.

Applicants need to be in a position to buy a property from August this year and should contact production company Renegade Pictures for more information and an application form by emailing  or calling 020 7449 3298.

July 27, 2011 at 4:37 PM Leave a comment

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