Lots to annoy you as TV auction hits town
Homes Under The Hammer BBC1
HOMES Under The Hammer chose the Nat King Cole classic A Little Street Where Old Friends Meet to introduce us to the property under auction in Glebe Street, Stoke. They could have chosen Let There Be Love but it wouldn't really have reflected the mood towards the council up the road.
Homes Under The Hammer, an alternative to prescription drugs favoured by insomniacs the world over, was yesterday in Stoke.
If you saw a big bubbly bloke with a Foghorn Leghorn haircut wandering the graves of Stoke Minster, that was Martin Roberts, the presenter. If you don't know him, think an Evo-Stik League Division One version of Phil Spencer.
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Martin was keen to give daytime viewers, two-thirds of them in traction in hospital, a little local knowledge.
"Stoke-on-Trent," he said, "is often simply known as Stoke." To think some people claim the BBC is dumbing down.
"Its full name," he continued, "derives from an old English word used to describe a location for a meeting, and sometimes worship. So Stoke-on-Trent means meeting place on the river Trent." Short of reaching through the screen and patting viewers on the head, I'm not sure he could have been any more condescending.
Martin wished to introduce us to a three-storey office and retail premise next to the minster. "So," he pondered, "will this property ring my bell?" Funny you should ask, Martin. I'd just been thinking what a good clapper you'd make for Big Ben.
It's always fascinating to be shown around the interior of a three-storey office and retail premise, and this was no different. "Obviously it's got lots of potential," said Martin, "but is it as flats, offices, or a shop?" Failing that, what about Quasar?
The property's standout selling point was its three-storey spiral staircase. "It would," noted Martin, "make a wonderful feature." Thankfully, he refrained from sliding down the banister.
In tension-soaked scenes matched only by a taut Hitchcock thriller, we were invited to follow the property's fortunes through the auction process. Eventually it ended up in the hands of a pair of young developers. The only surprise was we were spared the full renovation process.
A couple of local property experts then came along to make a valuation on its rental values. They're now officially famous enough to qualify for this year's I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here.
"Property," we were told at the start of the programme, "can change people's fortunes for better or for worse."
I have to report it's done me no favours.
After watching Homes Under The Hammer I didn't wake up properly all day.