An Interview with the Presenters

What distinguishes this series from other property shows?

Melissa Porter:‘I Own Britain’s Best Home’ is the ‘Dynasty’ of property shows! The glamour of the homes, the dramas that unfold as we thrash out whose home will go through. What sort of properties feature in the series?

MP: Stuff that most of us can only dream about. Filled with gadgets and gizmos that even Bill Gates would be proud of. Hydraulic garages, depth adjusting swimming pools, biometric access capabilities, crystal-encrusted ceilings, platinum skirting boards…

Do you have a particular favourite of the properties in this series?

Russell Harris:All the properties featured have a story to tell. If I had to choose one, it would be Graham Carr’s School House in Wiltshire. You could hardly swing a cat in there, but Graham has made the most of it. It’s jam-packed with objects that wouldn’t look out of place in the British Museum. The end result is a home full of objects to appreciate and ultimately to connect with.

What particular qualities make a great home?

Michael Holmes:The people come first, naturally, but after that it is the location, including the views and surrounding environment. The house itself needs to be well designed. I think open-plan living works really well, especially combined kitchen, dining and living spaces. And simple things help create the homely atmosphere, like a real fire, flowers and pictures and pieces with personal meaning and history.

As an interior designer, have you picked up any tips throughout the series?

MP:Quality of products and finish are key to a scheme looking top notch. You don’t always need to spend a fortune.

What is your advice for renovating an old home?

MH: Know your objectives –why are you renovating? Be hard headed: don’t fall in love with a wreck that will ruin your finances. Get a friendly designer or builder on board for advice. Look for a property with a problem that is putting other buyers off, but which you can solve –such as dereliction, sitting tenants, lack of parking or just bad decoration. And don’t take on too much!

Is now a good time to be developing property?

RH:The safe option for the individual is to take a fresh look at what they have already got – their own home. Developing the space you already call home could be financially rewarding and, if not, at least you’ll have somewhere really nice to live for the next few years.

MH:People are still improving their homes, and those who are taking a long-term view, i.e. creating a home rather than speculating on making a profit, are carrying on with their projects. [As a result] TV property shows are taking a different and more thoughtful approach, with an emphasis on ‘nesting rather than investing’.

Do you hope the series will inspire viewers to transform their own houses?

RH: Yes, I do. ‘I Own Britain’s Best Home’ is like a glossy property magazine that you might flick through in the doctor’s waiting room, which provides an amazing amount of ideas and inspiration in a short space of time. The show cuts to the chase and leaves you with a head full of clever things you could do with your home. So if you want to feel inspired and to see how truly wonderful a home can be, then watch the show!


About the author

  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three
  • ITV1
  • ITV2
  • 4
  • E4
  • Film4
  • More4
  • Five
  • Fiver
  • Sky1