It’s hard to know what would compel anyone to do a TV show about property-flipping at a time like this. The UK is going through a desperate housing crisis, the rental and sales markets are out of control and the cost of living is a nightmare for millions.
Despite the circumstances, someone somewhere was spinning the wheel of a TV show generator and watching it land on a “reality competition programme”, “property development”, “£100,000 prize money” and finally “weirdly boring”. she came with me George Clarks turn quicklyFalse and sometimes crazy entertaining attempt.
The first episode aired tonight on Channel 4, as TV engineer Clark (most famously from George Clark’s amazing roomsExplaining the rules to the six participating teams with real estate experts Stewart and Scarlett Douglas. Each team will be awarded £100,000 to spend throughout the year on the purchase and renovation of property. Going over budget means disqualification, and whoever made the biggest profit at the end of the year would win and keep £100,000.
Ultimately, the premise of exploiting an unbridled UK market to fuel the show with bets and drama seems uncomfortable, because for many it is the very state of this market that means home ownership, and all the rights that come with it, is out of reach.
This was true even for some of the candidates. Two of the teams featured in the first episode – Pamela and Gordon from Norfolk and Zoe’s mother from Sussex, who handled the process on their own – were lifelong tenants who dreamed of using the prize money to buy their homes. Being prepared to spend a year of their lives earning £100,000 without any guarantees seemed like an indictment of the current system that locks up many.
In fact, much of what happened in Episode 1 seemed more like a crash course in what we know about the impossibilities of the state of property in the UK more than entertainment might have been intended. There was Zoe’s bid to buy a three-bedroom house in Birmingham with disastrous leaks and a target price of £27,500. It was bid at an online auction and the property sold for £81,000, presumably for someone else with a bigger budget looking to turn a profit.
Elsewhere my favorite real estate allegory has risen. It’s all too common when you read one of the many articles on how a young couple “took their first steps on the property ladder,” tucked somewhere in the bountiful version of how they bravely made homemade sandwiches instead, after some business like Pret brought in the rest Their generation is useless, the big caveat would be that the couple in question had also received a large financial gift from their family members.
The fact that the 28-year-old journalist Harriet, who was also working alone, was able to ask her father-in-law and sister-in-law, the building contractors, to renovate the apartment she bought for free – resulting in a profit of nearly £19,000 on sale – felt the trend. In practice it once again showed the unevenness of the market.
It is a shame that this series comes from Clark, who has written so eloquently (for this paper, actually) about the housing crisis and the need for radical and transformative public housing, which is at odds with the exhibition’s “quick” profit-centric approach. The concept itself is very annoying because it simply treats home ownership as a game to be played when it means so much to the many who want it but can’t afford it.
But the most unhappy side of George Clark Flip is that it wasn’t just a bad idea of taste, it wasn’t fun either. They hope at least to be surprised by what they have achieved, because a Fantastic designs– The style pays off, but the revamp shown at the end of the episode wasn’t very inspiring – instead it was plenty of white paint and neutral rugs.
The show was ultimately predictable because anyone who has ever struggled with the housing market in this country, whether for sale or rent, has run into the many hurdles it represents. The experience is usually so horrific that I can’t imagine watching a TV show about it.
George Clark’s ‘Flick Flip’ continues on Channel 4 on Wednesday 1st June at 9pm