After 16 years off our screens, Channel 4 are bringing back TV show Changing Rooms, with Davina McCall taking over the reigns from original presenter Carol Smillie. Designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen is back - no word yet on Handy Andy I'm afraid.
Incredibly the DIYAWAD (Do It Yourself And With A Designer) show ran for eight years, from 1996 and 2004 – and was memorable for a million reasons. Not just the collapsing teapot shelves.
The show will air across six 60 minute episodes and Davina said: 'I’m so excited to be presenting Changing Rooms. It’s a classic! It’s the perfect time to bring it back, everyone is going DIY and decor mad! I can’t wait to see all the amazing transformations - I might even get stuck in myself if I’m allowed to be let loose with a paint brush!'
Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, who will captain one of the teams of neighbours (the other designer has yet to be announced) added: 'There’s no room for beige in our homes and, just as it was in the 90s, Changing Rooms is once more the homestyle antidote to Britain’s blues (and greys and taupes, and even Magnolia). It’s taken quite a lot of coaxing to get me under the Changing Rooms banner once more, but nothing like as much coaxing as it’s going to take for me to squeeze those leather trousers back on.'
Well, beyond the cast changes and, er, leather trousers, we've been thinking, when the show returns, there are going to need to be a few more changes to the original...
The colour schemes
What colour springs to mind when you think Changing Rooms? Terracotta, surely? The 90s were the terracotta era, but thankfully, given the resurgence of all things 90s, this is one thing that’s stayed in the past. We’re predicting millennial pink and green and absolutely NO terracotta. Or its adjacent brown.
New shelving unit? MDF. New bed? MDF. New table? MDF. New family seating area? MDF. New half-naked women at the foot of the bed? Finest marble. Ok, no, kidding, MDF obvs. In this more sustainable era, surely we’ll have at least a few designers looking to upcycle rather than create something bizarre out of MDF.
No more floating shelves?
After Linda Barker infamously ruined a woman’s lifelong-collected teapot collection by putting them on a floating shelves which then collapsed and smashed it all, there can surely be no more attempts. Watch the clip for a reminder. But honestly, the way they all keep saying it smashed because of some books! ‘The books! We shouldn’t have put those light-weight paperbacks on and it would’ve ALL BEEN FINE’.
In fact the DIY needs to step up entirely
It’s the era of Stacey Solomon knocking up a whole new homes collection from some leftover perfume bottles and a bit of rope while her son Rex is having a nap. We have stepped up our GAME when it comes to DIY. Handy Andy please do not come at us with that drill like it’s impressive, some of us have our own craft rooms.
Why were all the bedrooms so weirdly sexual? Maybe it was just because of Lawrence Llewlyn Bowen, but we feel like we remember everything being about ‘Them needing some space to reconnect’ or such gross metaphors. And there were ALWAYS features around the beds. No bed could be simply divan. More four-posters than a Disney castle.
Medieval living rooms. Greek-themed bedrooms. Tudor-style (MDF) beams. Most Changing Rooms projects were mired in a weird ‘historical’ theme. But like, the type of history American people think of when they think of British castles, yknow?
Yeah any kind of theme actually…
‘Wasn’t there a Laurel and Hardy themed room once,’ asked my friend this morning. Yes. There was. Just because you like something, it doesn’t mean you want it to theme your downstairs loo. Hopefully the new designers will remember this. Probably not though.
I know it’s 2020, but stencilling can’t make a comeback. Can it? Come on, don’t do this to us.
The nice contestants
‘What’s that Trevor? I asked for a classy update on the living room of my 70s semi-detached and you’ve “Run with the space theme” because once when I was pissed I mentioned the first film I remember watching is Close Encounters Of The Third Kind? Oh yes, that’s an MDF circular couch painted to look like the moon but has literally no back support? Stencilled rockets befitting a six-year-old’s bedroom? Am I mad? Oh no – we’re NEIGHBOURS! It’s actually fine.’ Even when they hated the rooms, I mostly remember everyone being kind of alright, or at least pretending they were alright about things (With some noteable exceptions). It’s a post-Love Island and Selling Sunset world. We’re expecting some very ferocious editing and First Dates-style debriefs where they all bitch about each other. Then backstage footage of the ensuing brawl. Imagine it. ‘SANDRA, YOU’VE JUST KNOCKED £50K OFF MY HOUSE VALUE YOU BITCH!’ Come on Channel 4… you know you want to.