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Changing Rooms

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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

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      08.06.2010 16:02
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      LOVE IT OR LOATHE IT IT GOT EVERYONE TALKING.

      Before the days when every show was either centred around cooking, gardening or interior design There was nothing much in the way of reality shows on the television. However one programme which became a massive success and paved the way for interior design esqe programmes was changing rooms.

      Changing rooms was aired on bbc. It was presented by a very young and smiley Carol Smiley. Basically the remit of the show was that two sets of neighbours would each be given a £500 budget and a interior designer in order to decorate the other couples room.

      This show was where the likes of Lawrence Llywellyn Bowen and Linda Barker were first introduced to the viewers. All have now gone on to be household celebrities. But back in the day they really were dipping their toes in the interior designing water. Obviously with just £500 budget. Often the makeovers would end up disasterous. Many a time there would be tears shed. I think this is what made the show so popular.

      Everything was made out of mdf. This was left up to cockney carpenter Handy Andy who also became a household name due to his wide boy personality. It just shows how popular this show became as Handy Andy brought out a cheesy remake of if I had a hammer and made it on to top of the pops.

      Lawrence LLywellyn Bowen was always the flamboyant designer trying to turn a one bedroom in a flat into a guild enclustered boudoir. I used to laugh to myself at the body language of the participants when they realsied that Lawrence was going to make over their room. You could see the contimplation of making a run for it flash through their eyes.

      The worst disaster of changing rooms which will forever be ingrained into my mind involved designer Linda Barker. She in all her wisdom decided to have a free hanging cabinet made out of mdf in order to display the owners priceless collection of tea pots. The room was left in order for revealing but just before they were due to go in they heard a huge smash and found the hanging cabinet had dismantled smashing every last tea pot on the way down!!!

      I remember watching the show open mouthed. Feeling really awful for giggling slightly. (well I was only a kid.) but this was just cringeworthy television at it's best.

      In all fairness this show was groundbreaking. It had everyone discussing colours and fabrics. Things that people wouldnt have had conversations about before. There was a huge surge in sales in diy stores where viewers were inspired to try out different colours in paints and fabrics.

      This show also had a great fun element too it as well. The atmosphere was very informal which often led to some fun elements within the show. Carol Smilie was really fantatsic on this show. Her warmth and empathy really helped make the show more special.

      Say what you like about changing rooms. Some of the designs were really awful. But this show was a groundbreaker in paving the way for interior design shows we have today. At the time this show was fresh and different and offered something exciting. I don't think I had ever seen a show of this kind before. Even as a young girl I would be filled with anticipation, wondering what the rooms would turn out like.

      The show was also very honest. It didn't try to edit out the mistakes or skirt over the woman crying cause all her tea pots were smashed to smitherines!! No it was honest enough to admit it had made mistakes and offered the viewers an opportunity to see what was really going on.

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      14.03.2010 20:26
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      Short and sweet but to the point enjoyable programme which the BBC should bring back

      Changing Rooms.

      Even though it has been some years since i last saw this I can still recall it very well, It was a do it yourself programme with a twist , the twist being that it was two couples who swapped houses and redesigned a room in each others houses. It was presented by Carole Smille whom I think can be blamed for giving us the likes or Lawrence LLewlyn-Bowen , and various other so called interior designers, and not to mention poor old handy Andy.

      Handy Andy was shared between the interior designers and if i may so managed to come up with some rather great pieces, in such a short time, it would amaze me if any of his creations were still standing ...actually come to think of it I think one actual piece of his work did collapse on the show ,sending some womans collection of Tea pots crashing to the floor!

      But I do have to say I did find it enjoyable , so much so i even subscribed to the shows magazine and do have every issue, but flicking through it all that i tend to see is stencil upon stencil, which Is another thing we have to be thankful for , the good old stencil, how it can change a bare wall in to a master piece.

      Although this programme has now finished I have to say what a loss it has been, the show was really entertaining , it used to make me sit on the sofa hiding behind the cushion as it came to the unrevealing of each others room , the one that really sticks out I think will be the room that was painted all in red with the checkered floor and the woman burst in to tears!
      That really was the start i think of car crash TV , and I know it was at someone elses misfortune but after the initial shock I did chuckle to myself, I wonder if she is still friends with the couple she swapped with?

      There was the occasional room that they reall did turn around and make better than what it was before the teams got to work and if i was in anoyone of the contestants shoes one room being decorated would get me on a mission to do the whole house, especially if it was decorated really well.

      Overall if i could have a wish granted where a programme was concerned aswell as having Birds of a feather bought back this too would have to be in the running , It showed us the way to stencil and how to decorate sometimes elaborately but also did give us the stencil and the odd occasional short cut and some fantastic tips on how to jazz up a boring piece of furniture!

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      11.05.2009 22:43
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      Change EVERYTHING about this show please

      I must admit, the idea behind Changing Rooms seems to be pretty sound - until you see them in action and realise that most of what they do is like a cheap fix, a lot of it is tacky and that some people have actually disliked the new look so much they've actually had to redecorate all over again.
      Carole Smillie, all teeth and smiles, introduces each half hour session where two couples - friends, neighbours or family - nominate a room in their home that the other (armed with a budget of £750 and a team of some of the most AWFUL interior designers known to man) will redecorate over the next 48 hours...

      These designers, two of whom - Anna Ryder-Richardson and Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen, seem to have achieved some kind of celebrity status and yet one has to wonder why because most of what they turn out is awful and absolutely garishly rubbish. That any of the makeovers actually appeal to anyone is beside me, although a recent re-run showed a Japanese style bedroom which did look ok if you like that sort of thing.
      The workmanship is very ship-shod, but then again , I guess with a budget of only seven hundred and fifty quid, what do you expect? There really is truth in that you get what you pay for.

      Unlike Ground Force, which does seem to achieve some excellent results in the gardening department in the same 48 hour time frame and on limited budgets, indoor decorating takes time and preparation to do properly. You can't just slap a coat of paint over old wallpaper or old cupboard doors and expect perfect results. It doesn't work. Sometimes they've even stapled fabric to walls - give me a break. Do it properly or don't do it at all.
      I find the whole team on this show annoying and for the most part, very untalented. I'm at a loss as to how this show ever got the following it did the first time around. If people were watching for d-i-y hints, they could do better by going to the local library and checking out a few books on the subject or looking in some of the many decorating magazines that are out there now. Maybe it was just to laugh at the awful results and to wonder what these people had done to each other to merit such awful makeovers. Maybe I've got it wrong - maybe they just all had awfully bad taste and were really doing their best. Then again, I could be wrong. It might even be that I'M the one with the problem - how silly of me not to think that garish purple and orange don't go together!

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      10.02.2009 15:32
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      A great programme - especially when they got it totally wrong

      Back in the mid nineties this was must watch TV. I had totally forgotten about it until this weekend when I was clearing some books out and came across a changing rooms book I had been given for christmas one year.

      The idea of the programme was that two sets of friends would swap houses for a couple of days and with the help of a designer and "Handy Andy" they would redecorate one room in the house with a budget of £500.

      This would be no repainting of the wall from beige to mushroom - this would be painting the room bright red, puttling shutters on the windows, removing doors and making anything and everything taht you could possibly think of from MDF.

      Some of the changes were readily accepted by the couples when the "big reveal" was done at the end of the programme, but the ones that were the best and funniest were the ones that the couples hated - the one that really sticks in my mind is the bright red and black bedroon that made the couple cry when it was revealed and they said that their bedroom looked like a tart's boudoire.

      This was one of the mainstream designer programmes and really made people like Laurence LLewelyn-Bowen, Anna Ryder Richardson and Linda Barker household names. It was presented by Carole Smilie for whom this also became a sprinboard to many other jobs.

      This programme whilst now out of vogue did make us all look at our own houses and realise we could do just as well - if not better than many trained designers!!!!!

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        25.06.2008 11:44
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        Changing rooms is worth watching just to see the disasters

        Well...what can I say about Changing Rooms? A makeover show on the BBC. The presenters/decorators were Carol Smilie; Laurence Lewellynn-Bowen; Linda Barker; Handy-Andy Kane and a few others. The designers created some classy and memorable designs. However they were also guilty of creating some horrendous and revolting desings and many mishaps ensued. One of the most memorable mishaps was when a contestent wanted Linda to design and build some shelves for her valuable collection of Antique teapots. - What a BIG mistake! When they were finished the shelves looked lovely, but when the teapots were put on, the shelves suddenly gave way and all the reapots were runied. - Not one was spared.

        When Linda told the woman she was absolutely crushed. - Not only did they have sentimental value; they were also worth a lot of money. - Oh yeah - I am not sure if she had them ensured either. They were irreplaceble. This moments has been shown on various count down lists and outtake shows.

        Changing rooms was entertaining, but certainly controversial!

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          13.09.2002 20:35

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          I would never in a million years let the Changing Room team touch any of my rooms - not even the guinea pig's hutch. First of all, they must have a team of a hundred workers out of camera view for all the work to be completed in the time they state. Smiley Smiley Carole Smilley - what a silly woman, flitting from house to houre, and not really doing much except a stint on the sewing machine. And where do they get the paint colours from? Yuck! Last night's programme had some green-tinge paint on a wall, then they shoved some gold paper stuff on it, removed it to leave a beautiful marble effect - ha ha, it looked more like the contents of a baby's nappy. They even covered a lamp shade with a fishnet stocking (yes, really tasteful I know). Then they bound the frame of a cheap mirror with even cheaper off-cuts of leather - oh dear! The only quite good thing last night was a concertina picture. Wife's picture one side and husband's the other, so whichever angle you viewed the picture from you would see either him or her - or, quite alarmingly a blend of both of them if you viewed it in the centre. Maybe if the picture was Brad and Jen it would be ok, know what I mean? A kind of insight into what their kids may look like - scary! I don't really think this programme would inspire you decorating wise - it would just steer you clear of what not to do in your home. Everything they make looks fit to fall apart!

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          10.06.2002 07:16
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          • "TREE BRANCHES"

          I'm sorry but in some ways changing rooms is ruining my reputation! As a designer myself, I am down to earth but resently people persume that I'm going to rip them off, some think that I would be like Linda barker,Maybe its my hair colour! As for Linda barker she recently did a room in a fantasy theme but when the end results came up she had used tree branches going up a wall and half way across the ceiling, Then she called this design, Not if you have dogs. This woman is only trained in fine arts and all of a sudden shes a Interior designer, maybe shes in a fantasy land herself , " WORKS REALLY REALLY WELL ", I don't think so Linda . As for LAWERENCE He is the best. The rest of the designers are abit more down to earth and not as crazy as Linda barker. Changing rooms is a interesting watch, inspiring, just watch out for the crazy ones.

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            10.04.2002 04:19
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            I feel quite conned. When I first heard of Changing Rooms I pictured a girls sixth form swimming gala with hidden cameras. I am not a happy bunny. What I want to know though is why do they do everything so cheap? I think I would rather save up and get the job done properly. Oh yeah, and why do they stencil everything? Seems a bit weird to me. Would you trust your best mate or neighbour to do up your house? I wouldnt. I know for a fact that he would just put a couple of comfy sofas in my bedroom, a large widescreen TV and a massive fridge full of lager. I would never get rid of him. Especially because I would deck out his pad with freshly laid bandicoot manure and Barney the Dinosaur stencils. Carol Smillie is well fit though. I was chuffed when the Daily Star printed those topless pics of her from her younger days. I knew she was bit a bit of a minx on the quiet. And she has a Scottish accent which helps. Even though she's Scottish. Is it me or have carpet and wallpaper died a death? Its all bare floors and painted walls now. Soon we will all be living in mud huts again. Mark my words. Another thing that gets me is that when they have done everything they always give a price that seems well cheap, but they never take into account that for the audience to do it at home they would have to buy all the expensive tools. For the audience to do the DIY I mean. Actually, is it really DIY if your neighbour does it for you? I dont think it can be. Anyway, thats just about all you can say about Changing Rooms. A bit of a let down really. Unless you catch an episode where the couple obviously hate what has been done to their homes. Heh, heh, heh. Almost makes it worth watching.

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              09.04.2002 23:07
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              Changing Rooms is a well know television program where two couples (usually family, friends, neighbours etc) swap houses and decorate a room in each others house. They are given a budget (£500 I think?!) and have two days to completely change the room. They are each ‘given’ a designer to work with. These designers are supposed to help but are more like instructors – “we are painting this room vomit green whether you like it or not”. There’s also Handy Andy who runs between the two teams helping with all of the hard work, i.e. building shelves/television cabinets/walls out of twigs and sticks. Carol Smillie presents the program and also helps out with all material type stuff – covering settees, making cushions/curtains etc. Obviously having such a low budget everything is bought on the cheap. They may get discount on the paint due to the fact that nobody else in their right mind would ever buy these colours and the shop had hundreds of tins of it left. Nothing is secured properly – curtains are put up using staple guns, things are glued on…. I can just imagine everything falling down a week after everyone leaves. I think the object of this program is to make the room look as garish and ugly as possible. The designers may have a secret plot and they are in hysterics afterwards down at the pub when they are discussing their days work, “I made them paint the room green and yellow”, “I made some kitchen cabinets out of dirty rusty old chicken wire”, and so on. And this is why we love the program. Don’t you love it when they open their eyes and they are speechless – because they cannot believe the room could look so bad. And then they try and look pleased, “yes, it’s really………nice??!?”. We just like to see people upset – admit it! Why else would we have these programs? I think the desig
              ners must be given a set of rules before each series starts: 1. Always find the most disgusting colour paint in the shop to use. Never paint the room just one colour and make sure there is something red or green in the room. Never use dull colours and never let the people on the team choose the colour. 2. Paint dries in 20 minutes. 3. Wallpaper does not exist. 4. Neither does carpet – although old thick factory flooring is acceptable. 5. There will always be a better floor underneath the carpet, that’s why we put it there in the first place. 6. Staple guns will always hold heavy objects – like bookshelves – in place forever. 7. Glue things into place with superglue because we will never want to move them ever again. 8. Use dirty objects around the room – like beach pebbles that have been sicked on by kids and shat on by dogs. Do not wash them. 9. Always argue over who uses Handy Andy the most. Give him impossible takes to do like building a wooden fire place. 10. Use fairy lights behind wood to act as stars in every room because when one bulb goes we want to take the whole lot down and unscrew them all to find out which one it it. 11. Paint all of our expensive furniture a different colour. We never liked the original colour anyway which is why we bought it. 12. Build big cupboards to hide all of our junk away and then shove everything into it that you couldn’t get in the room. 13. Build television cabinets that have closing doors because we never actually use the tele anyway. 14. We like dirty scabby chicken wire to be used in the kitchen next to the food. 15. When the room is finished use lots of fruit and flowers around the room to give it that ‘fresh’ feeling and to hide all of your mistakes. I would suggest NEVER volunteering to go on this program. Not unless you have just bought a new house and you don’t mind it being wrecked.
              It is funny watching other people have theirs done though.

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                04.02.2002 04:44
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                • Uninspireing

                what on earth does the BBC ever think that Changing Rooms is fashionable and gives the publis top tips on DIY. The programme is basically about 2 designers with their wacky ideas decorating (or should i say destroying) 2 neighbours houses. The concept sounds good, but the programme is rushed into the weekend - and surely this isn't very practical. A budget of £500 is given to each team and you can tell with the large amounts of MDF being used. When decorating the home i think about actually improving it - not making it look cheap and very tacky - but what do you expect with a can of paint, MDF and Handy Andy! None of the rooms which have be done look as if i want to rush out to the DIY shop and redo my bedroom - some of the things they do look worse than a 5 year old could achieve!

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                  09.10.2001 03:50
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                  TV Rooms is on as I speak, I am sat here writing about it, as I am watching it. I have watched it over the past year, as I have just started getting in o DIY. It helps me quite alot as it shows me how to do simple DIY jobs such as putting various types of shelves up, and putting curtain rails up! Simple stuff, but it makes things alot easier when you have got something to refer to. Simply record it on video,index it by jobs done on that particular program, and when you need help, its at hand! The show is well presented and is done by a bunch of good looking ladies, and a few handy men. Carol smiley is just plain annoying, living up to her name! The other one, who always wears low cut tops!, is very nice indeed, but dont let that put you off your DIY. The basic idea of the programs is neighbours swap keys for a couple of days, and cahnge eachn others rooms with a budget of £500, they normally go over this by a few quid though! The program flows very nicely, and each section is defined using good graphics, I especially like the end bit, where they some up how much everything cost. The bit at the end is a bit cheesy, when they have to close their eyes, whlst in there new room. It was best when that guy with curly hair , Loi Bowen, did a room in REB and BLACK, and they hated it! And told him so on live TV, quality viewing, turn it on NOW!

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                    08.10.2001 21:51
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                    Time for a winge I think. I do try to alternate my ops from outrage to wonderment. It keeps me sane and you lot guessing. Changing Rooms. Is it still going? Yes, I'm afraid it is. Do I still watch it? Yes, I appear to. Why? No idea, but probably the comedy factor. There is something quite vindictive about this programme. It seems a little more than bad fate that on each programme someone's lounge is painted the exact same colour that they plain and clearly said they hated. I reel in horror at some of the cheap tricks they try to get away with. Wooden floor? Ooh, bit pricey - anyone got a permanent marker and some bootpolish? Why sew when you can staple? Because it holds it together for longer than the duration of the show - that's why. Fetch me an antique - I'm thinking silver spray and stencils... MDF fireplace with marble paint effect - Mmmm, lovely, but watch out you don't get it near any naked flames! Let's paint the walls lilac - no-one's done that before... AS FOR THE TEAM. Carol Smiley (spellcheck! spellcheck!) saves the day by being blunt and cheerful at the same time. "Hmm, actually I think she said she hated orange? But Hey ho! I'm sure It'll look fab" (Cringe to camera) Laurence - not sure I want to talk about him - I met him once and he was very rude and arrogant. But I will. I was willing him to cut his hair for so long but now wish I hadn't. What a disaster. he's trying to be Duirmurd Gavin (again, sorry, no point spell checking that one) Congratulations, you have transformed yourself into eighties footballer meats cupid, you silly man! As for his crimes against interiors, well, there have been many. He's getting better but still has a nasty evil streak for leaving unfinished bodge jobs. STAY AWAY FROM MY HOUSE! Handy Andy is ne
                    cessary and suits his role really well as an all round, hard-done-by cheeky chappy. No complaints there. The other designers are fine in their own right. Perhaps a little too much bright pink on the side of the girls and overuse of pastel blue for the guy (what's his name?), but all in all, harmless experimentation. Actually, you know what...I've changed my mind. They can stay. You can paint my Monday nights any colour you like, that's fine. It makes me chuckle, cringe and feel ever so smug. Just don't touch my front room!

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                      13.07.2001 03:21
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                      Take some nauseous presenters and "designers", add a whole lot of jobs NOT well done and you have the recipe for the disasters that pass as makeovers on this show. If you really think about it, the fact that two of these so-called designers flaunt their double-barrelled names at every turn, and are mired in their own self-importance, should give us all a warning. In the beginning, I do think the show tried to be useful, and Kim wilde guested oen time and her ideas were quite decent ... but does it have to be like panning for gold to get a decent makeover? would I want them in my home? Definitely not! And if I were a true friend or neighbour, would I wish these cowboys on someone I cared about? I think not. I must admit, the idea behind Changing Rooms seems to be pretty sound - until you see them in action and realise that most of what they do is like a cheap fix, a lot of it is tacky and that some people have actually disliked the new look so much they've actually had to redecorate all over again. Carol Smillie, all teeth and smiles, introduces each half hour session where two couples - friends, neighbours or family - nominate a room in their home that the other (armed with a budget of £750 and a team of some of the most AWFUL interior designers known to man) will redecorate over the next 48 hours.. These designers, Anna Ryder-Richardson and Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen, seem to have achieved some kind of celebrity status and yet one has to wonder why because most of what they turn out is awful and absolutely garishly rubbish. That any of the makeovers actually appeal to anyone is beside me, although a recent re-run showed a Japanese style bedroom which did look ok if you like that sort of thing. The workmanship is very ship-shod, but then again , I guess with a budget of only seven hundred and fifty quid, what do you expect? There really is truth in that you get what you pay for. Unlike Ground Force, which doe
                      s seem to achieve some excellent results in the gardening department in the same 48 hour time frame and on limited budgets, indoor decorating takes time and preparation to do properly. You can't just slap a coat of paint over old wallpaper or old cupboard doors and expect perfect results. It doesn't work. Sometimes they've even stapled fabric to walls - give me a break. Do it properly or don't do it at all. I find the whole team on this show annoying and for the most part, very untalented. I'm at a loss as to how this show ever got the following it did the first time around. If people were watching for d-i-y hints, they could do better by going to the local library and checking out a few books on the subject or looking in some of the many decorating magazines that are out there now. Maybe it was just to laugh at the awful results and to wonder what these people had done to each other to merit such awful makeovers. Maybe I've got it wrong - maybe they just all had awfully bad taste and were really doing their best. Then again, I could be wrong. It might even be that I'M the one with the problem - how silly of me not to think that garish purple and orange don't go together!

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                        25.05.2001 08:05
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                        Come on, now, you really can't hope to get through an entire review of Changing Rooms and not talk about that jerk, Laurence Llewellwyn Bowen, now can you? So, let's get the embarrassing thing out of the way first. As awful television personalities go, Laurence Llewellwyn Bowen (Lewelin, Lewwelynn? Ah, who cares, Lozza will do for the little prat), just doesn't go far enough ... away that is. The man is an absolute joke, a farce, a fey, fawning fop with so little to commend him that you could wrap him up in silver paper and shove him through a key hole. How anyone could dream of making a STAR out of someone like that is totally beyond me, but that's what they've gone and done - Lozza is an awesome MEGASTAR of galactic proportions (as big as his floppy cuffs anyway). Okay, enough, I won't mention him again. The fad for TV makeover programmes daily passes new boundaries - in the beginning there was Ground Force and it washed up, put a bra on and came inside to admire le chaise longue - rechristened Changing Rooms and fronted by Carol Smillie, this has been a runaway, overwhelming hit like you wouldn't believe and is totally absorbing, but you know why don't you? The formula goes like this - two couples (and there's been some pretty tenuous versions of couples I can tell you) swap house keys for the day (Mrs dave27, you better get to bed - this could be a little racey for you - oh, I see, okay, Mrs dave27 you can take the leather off now ... your knuckles I meant) and make over a room in the other party's house in two days for 500 quid. They can't see it until it's finished and each couple gets a designer (well, they say they are, but I have my doubts) to help them realise their worst nightmare. The tension builds to those moments at the end of the show when Carol asks them to open their eyes and tell her what they think. Now you bloody well know what t
                        hey think don't you, but it's always WOW! Well almost always... you've got to remember that episode where it all went badly wrong and one of the victims took an unreasonably defiant dislike to their charming new abode and said so - classic television. I await the day when a harridan takes the scissors to old Lozza and does a makeover on his cuffs and locks - now that would be worth a view! I love Changing Rooms desperately, but I just wish the couples would be a tad more honest at the end. When they really let their feelings show this is wonderful, addictive telly and you know it's what we're all after - like on You've Been Framed when the women eff and blind.

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                          09.04.2001 14:24
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                          Changing Rooms is perhaps the best known of the current suite of home makeover programmes currently on television. Presented by Carol Smillie, the basis of the programme is very simple. Two couples - who know each other as friends or family - agree to nominate a room in their house which the other couple then have two days and a budget of £750 to "makeover". The designs are overseen by one of a selection of regular designers, and there is also a resident handyman - "Handy Andy" - to help them do the trickier pieces of work. The show has been running for several years now and boasts a comprehensive catalogue of designed rooms - classic properties, foreign properties, churches - they've all experienced the Changing Rooms phenomenon at one time or another. So is Changing Rooms any good? Nope. Changing Rooms is a self-indulgent exercise in bad taste. Whilst I do not consider myself to have any qualified skills in interior design, I fully understand the principles of "You pay peanuts - you get monkeys". In Changing Rooms, cheap is good - everything should be done by re-using bits of old tat, or finding rolls of fabric whose price is only undercut by their revolting colour. The big failing of most television makeover programmes is that they seem to think that we all want to see how to "recreate that look at minimum cost" - and Changing Rooms leads the way. The limited budget not only extends to the supplies; it gets liberally applied to all the techniques too. Hideous wall paper is seldom removed from a wall - liberal coatings of purple paint are simply applied to its surface - strangely enough this causes a sort of wrinkly, "oh look my wallpaper's gone all bubbly" affect. There is no preparation or methodical work going on here - it's a race against time with every corner cut, shortly before being covered with MDF and sprayed silver. Personally speaking, I like to see thi
                          ngs done properly - if this means spending some money then so be it. The "designers" have one simple mission. Find out what the room owners hate - and then ensure that this comprises a major feature in the room. If they are told not to use pink, then you can bet your bottom dollar the one colour they will use is pink. "Leave my table alone" equals "Cut the legs off my table and use it as a South Indian mural". If I ever had the misfortune to hire these people they would be fired - or beaten to death with a roll of chenille curtain fabric - whichever was easier. It's always interesting to see what the designers' homes look like - if you've ever seen pictures or interviews, you will know that they never look like their designs. It's a bit like a hairdresser with a bad haircut - very off-putting. I will concede that a couple of the designers are genuinely likeable - Anna Ryder-Richardson is quite mad - but that doesn't increase my liking for the premise behind the show. In fact, most of the designers are rather pretentious - if that's possible with £750. This shows' one saving grace is the last minute - no, not because this means that the show is finally over - but because the contestants reactions have become established as one of those "Will they be honest?" moments that make compelling viewing. In a similar way to Blind Date - where you want the couple to hate each other - you are willing the Changing Room victims to break down, and mourn the loss of their beloved Three Piece Suite. There have been tears; fireworks and swearing as people realise the extent to which their friends have stitched them up. I long to go on the show, and play along for the whole show just to have my 60 seconds of glory, gradually scouring the room and exposing the wobbly bits of wood, peeling off the badly fitted wallpaper and tugging the crappy curtains so that they plop on to my "turtle-waxed floo
                          r". I have never quite been able to decide the target audience for this show. For those who are interested in interior design, I'm quite sure that most of the programme content is generally considered to be tripe (although I have this suspicion that Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen is revered in many quarters). If you were looking for some DIY tips, I would suggest that 30 minutes in B&Q would be a much wiser use of your time. For serious makeover-addicts, then surely Better Homes with Carol Vorderman is preferable, because they seem to have an unlimited budget. Nonetheless, Changing Rooms has provided great direction for all DIY fans out there. At least they all know how not to do something??

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