There’s no escaping Ms Beeny, she’s back on the box with Beeny’s Restoration Nightmare AND Sarah Beeny’s Selling Houses. To celebrate this double SB whammy here’s something we wrote for the “Orkney Bugle” about her last show Double Your House for Half the Money
There was a time when property development/interior design shows were feted as the new rock n’ roll. Designers such as Primark dandy Laurence Llewellyn Bowen and interior designer come mariners’ navigational device, Yorkshire foghorn Linda Barker were inescapable. They happily fuelled the aspirational and thoroughly deluded notion that we could all become rich beyond the dreams of avarice by transforming ourselves into property tycoons. At the same time, we were also encouraged to express our individuality via the medium of interior design. This inevitably led to Joe and Josephine Public boldly experimenting with the sort of psychedelic colour schemes that Ken Kesey‘s Merry Pranksters would have rejected out of hand on the grounds of being too mind-bendingly garish!
However, the recession, caused in no small part by the specious view that the property bubble would continue to expand ad infinitum meant that the property development/interior design TV show format needed to have a major rethink and review just how they could reconnect with viewers.
Nowadays such shows are not about buying and selling per se, but instead they have refocused with the emphasis being on how to improve our homes and in doing so, save money. This brings us onto Channel 4’s “Double Your House for Half the Price,” a brand new property series fronted by the property developer’s answer to Mariella Frostrup, Sarah Beeny. The showsraison d’être reads thus “We really wanted to show people that they can turn their existing home into their ‘forever home’ for a lot less than it would cost them to move-the challenge is to increase the size of their property by up to 100%, and so create their perfect home at a fraction of the cost.” –
The show’s strength is of course Ms. Beeny who brings an authoritative yet calming presence to proceedings. She comes across as empathetic, knowledgeable, and in times of the inevitable crises that develop during the show, almost as reassuring as Morgan Freeman in “The Shawshank Redemption.” Remarkably after the first series of “Property Ladder“, the show that gave Beeny her big TV break, Channel 4 were prepared to let her go, due to the fact that the shows aspiring property magnates, blinded by cupidity rarely paid heed to her tips. And her tips are hard to ignore, for as in her previous TV outings she is almost upstaged by … her ever-prominent nipples! These are nipples so impressive and imbued with such power that even a thick leather jacket fails to mask their unerring ability to remain permanently erect. One can’t help but feel that even the slightest drop in temperature could result in an internal wall being completely demolished. Essentially this show is “Property Ladder” meets “Grand Designs” albeit on a smaller recession friendly scale. However, the projects chosen avoid being overtly ostentatious but still manage to retain a certain “wow factor” as the final “reveal” is shared with the viewers. After all watching somebody construct a new electricity cupboard in a terraced house in Birkenhead, no matter how enthusiastically, would not exactly result in great TV.
Despite the property crash this style of show, which has become something of a Channel 4 staple, remains strangely compelling even if they do induce a vague sense of dissatisfaction with your own home. However you can seek solace in the fact that whilst the housing market has flattened and the yield curve has inverted, Sarah’s redoubtable nipples remain as impressively perky as ever.