Weekdays at 11:45am on five

The series that searches for Britain’s best home returns for a new run on Five. Melissa Porter, Russell Harris and Michael Holmes spend 24 hours in some of the country’s most desirable properties before the public vote for their favourite. In the opening episode, Michael visits a renovated townhouse in south London, Melissa samples an eco house in Norfolk and Russell heads to Dorset to check out a sea-view property located on ‘Millionaire’s Row’.

‘I Own Britain’s Best Home’ sees a team of three presenters travel the length and breadth of Britain in search of the nation’s best residence. Property consultant Melissa Porter, property developer Russell Harris and property journalist Michael Holmes have the expertise and the eye to hunt down truly exceptional homes.

After making their selections, the presenters spend 24 hours in their favourite properties, getting acquainted with the features that make them unique. The series emphasises ‘the home’ as opposed to ‘the building’, and aims to encompass the story of the owners’ relationship with their properties. To this end, the presenters get to know the owners and their families to find out what drove them to design and build their homes.

Each programme features three properties of different types and offers tips on how to recreate their styles. At the end of the show, viewers have the opportunity to vote for their favourite. The winner from each heat will go through to the final, where one property will be awarded the coveted title of Britain’s Best Home 2009. The winning owners will also be awarded £20,000 to donate to the charity of their choice.

This week, Michael heads to the South London home of James, Lucy and their two daughters. The 19th-century townhouse was a complete wreck when the couple bought it. “The only way in was through a window because the rest was boarded up!” recalls Lucy. The pair set about transforming the property into a thoroughly modern and fetchingly eccentric home.

Michael enters the house to find the hallway leads down to a huge rear extension. The open-plan kitchen-diner space boasts a curving, wing-shaped roof and wide glass windows that lead out onto the garden. The owners have made clever use of high-street goods to produce inventive, eye-catching wall art.

Elsewhere, Lucy and James have created their own, highly personal studies. Lucy’s room includes examples of Victorian taxidermy, while James’s study features glass panels in the floor that look down onto his collection of antique clocks in the basement below.But the crowning feature of the property is a giant, illuminated clock designed by James and positioned in the garden outside. “This is a really great home,” says Michael.

Melissa’s house this week is a wooden new-build in the Norfolk countryside. Owner Amanda left the London rat race eight years ago to build herself a home that would be in harmony with the environment. “It’s a really nurturing place to live,” she enthuses. “It’s light, it’s airy. The outside landscape is part of your living space.” The home’s eco-friendly credentials include sustainable timber walls and flowerbed rooftops. These features help keep the house’s energy costs to just £500 a year.

Russell’s destination, meanwhile, is Sandbanks in Dorset, the fourth most expensive place to live in the world –dubbed ‘Millionaire’s Row’. Retired businessman Alan and his family live in an extraordinary modern home with a terrific sea view. The property shuns straight lines and fans out in curves from a central spiral staircase. As Russell enjoys a taste of Alan’s home and takes a trip on his boat, he reflects, “You’ve not just bought a house here, you’ve bought a whole lifestyle!” But does Alan’s home have what it takes to reach the final?

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