The Great House Giveaway Rating: Our Changing Planet Rating: The promised sell-off of Channel 4 can’t come too soon

The Great House Giveaway

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Our Changing Planet

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The promised sell-off of Channel 4 can’t come too soon. Britain’s second state-owned broadcaster is in desperate need of privatisation — and if you doubted it, The Great House Giveaway (C4) supplies final proof.

This property makeover show is a straight rip-off of BBC1’s long-running daytime schedule-filler, Homes Under The Hammer.

A house is bought at auction, DIY builders and decorators renovate then sell it, and at the end of the episode we count up their profit.

Presenter Simon O¿Brien buys a run-down house at auction on The Great House Giveaway

Presenter Simon O’Brien buys a run-down house at auction on The Great House Giveaway

The C4 version, which shifts to a teatime slot all this week, isn’t merely unoriginal.It’s so penny-pinching, it almost pays for itself.

Presenter Simon O’Brien buys a run-down house at auction — this one was a derelict three-bed terrace in Stafford, with wallpaper hanging off in strips and ivy growing through the broken windows.He shelled out £118,000.

Simon handed the keys to paramedic Sarah, 52, living in a rented property with partner Mark, and 24-year-old Paige, who was still at home with Mum. The women hadn’t met before: sbotop they were left to get on with the repairs, boosted by a £12,000 loan from Simon.

We watched them knocking through walls, wrestling with flatpacks and boarding over the ceilings — though it looked as if Mark was doing most of the heavy work.When it came to the sale six months later, Paige and Sarah had to pay back every penny — as well as covering the cost of borrowing, taxes, estate agent fees and legal bills.

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