Channel 4’s ‘Location Location Location’ Household Property Show
If we said that finding your dream home was one of the hardest things you can ever do, I’m pretty sure that we wouldn’t have too many of you arguing the opposite. Whether you’re Wayne Rooney looking for the perfect Lancashire mansion or Bilbo Baggins trying to find the best hobbit hole, it’s likely that at some point in your life you’ve wished that the whole process could be a little easier. I know I certainly have.
With that in mind I guess it was only a matter of time before those in power at the TV companies, who control our ever changing viewing schedules, decided to latch onto the idea of the ‘dream home’ and, thus fifteen years ago, Location Location Location was born.
Fundamentally, it’s an honest and enjoyable show – the natural chemistry between hosts Phil Spencer and Kirstie Allsopp completely pays testament to this and such a relationship between the presenters really does add volumes to the appeal of the show. The earlier episodes of the show were only around 30 minutes long – however, due to the widespread acclaim and viewership that it generated, the top dogs at Channel 4 decided to extend the runtime to a 60 minute slot.
To the first time view Kirstie and Phil’s style can appear a little bullish, however this really does help in the tough, profit-driven house marketing. As the episodes progresses, we get more and more of an insight as to how this can help drive a deal. Believe us when we say that when charm and charisma falter, the tendency to take the bull by the horns and force your way to what you want, can really get the results! The whole idea of Allsopp and Spencer negotiating with the estate agents has actually become one of the integral parts of the show – although, it has been said in recent interviews that this was never actually intentional.
As much as the personalities of the two hosts can take over the show, the properties are still the real stars of the piece – as they are with other shows that we’ve looked at, such as Grand Designs and The Restoration Man. Some of the houses featured have more potential than a junior Wayne Rooney, whereas others need a bit of creative storytelling (which is always delivered by the presenters) to truly get the audience (and the guests) fully engaged. Rather than just simply taking their guests around the properties in their current state, a lot of emphasis is put upon how the dynamics of the building can be changed – going from simple things such as changing the position of the sofa or swapping the hi-fi system for an old school jukebox to adopting an ‘open plan’ design for some of the rooms.
For the initial seven years of the show only one house-hunting couple was featured, however in 2007 the series came back after undergoing something of a revamp – now featuring two different couples with completely different tastes, tied together only by the fact that they were hunting their dream pad. This change also meant that the show would go on to occupy a 60 minute slot as opposed to the previous 30 minute allowance, Channel 4 would later go on to report that this increase in the runtime had led to remarkably higher ratings.
For a short while Location Location Location had a sister show, creatively named ‘Relocation, Relocation’ – which used to air in the winter months, so as not to coincide with its sibling series. This dealt with couples who would buy a home in a more open, rural area alongside a property (often a shop or store) in a more urban area. However, due to unforeseen economic conditions in 2011, this was cancelled – although, if you’re interested you can still catch the ghost of ‘Relocation, relocation’ living through a series of re-runs on More4.
All in all ‘Location Location Location’ is one of the longest running property shows of all-time, and when you look at it – both as a downright entertaining show and as a snapshot of the current property ladder – you can see why. It looks like in its current format, both the show and the Phil/Kirsty combo, will be on our screens for a long time to come.