Overcast and threatening to rain I arrive in Hurstpierpoint, West Sussex, to meet the crew and see the show being made. It’s 2 pm and the 60mm team are taking a well deserved lunch break before launching into their second half hour. The four large canvas prints
being used for this episode are still in the back of the removal’s van.
Pleased with how the first half has gone some of the crew happily chat about the makeover’s progress. Without giving too much away I watch as the team organise the last of the wallpaper and pieces of furniture outside ready for the second half. What appears to be a very relaxed atmosphere, with Terri Dwyer’s 2 year old son Cadon entertaining the crew, is actually highly organised and efficient.
2.30pm and the call goes out to gather the makeover team together. Within 5 minutes they’re all at the bottom of the removal’s van ramp being given their chat through from Sophie Robinson, this makeover’s designer, about plans for the second half. Two minutes earlier she was seen applying her lipstick in the wing mirror of the show’s camper van….oh, the glamour of TV!
Cigarettes and water bottles removed from view - the filming starts. Within two takes, and much hilarity, the team of black t-shirts and white dungarees are raring to get into the house. The stop watch is started. The two daughters, who approached ITV for the 60mm, are busily swept into the house with all of the excitement but in actual fact looked incredibly nervous.
Standing outside there’s a subtle backdrop of accompanying rock music from the team’s catering van up the road. The production coordinator standing next to me shouts the time check "24 minutes" through the intercom system to the ear pieces of the team. Shouts and woops of excitement come through the open windows of the house as the team chivvy themselves on.
Twelve minutes left to go and finally the canvases - Breakers
and Daisy Field
get taken into the house. Sophie Robinson had chosen all four images about two weeks earlier from the online galleries
. No-one other than the team is allowed into the house now so I have no idea which rooms the canvases are being hung. A few minutes later the Red Sea canvas
is unwrapped and taken in.
With five minutes to go everything seems calm with the last of the furniture, plants and flower arrangements going in. "One minute to go" is called out to the team in the house and the shouts start up again. Outside there’s frantic chasing for two dining chairs and odd accessories as I keep well out of the way. Then the count down in seconds starts. All the team join in as they chant from 10, 9, 8, 7….. then the whistle blows and that’s it. Slowly and wearily the team pour out of the house, well, they have been on location since 7.30am.
Now the camera crew have an empty house in which to set their lighting equipment up before the big surprise. During this time Terri stands on the drive interviewing the two girls about their reason for the asking the 60mm team to transform their Dad’s home. A shout goes out as the Dad’s car is spotted driving down the road towards them. The body language of the girls and the colour that has drained from their faces says it all really. The Dad really has no clue about this makeover.
The rest can be seen on ITV this winter. Just keep an eye out for the Hurstpierpoint makeover and the four large canvas pictures.