|This article does not cite any references or sources. (January 2013)|
|Developed by||Peter Bazalgette
Anna Ryder Richardson
"Handy" Andy Kane
Graham Wynne and others
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||15|
|No. of episodes||130+|
|Running time||30 minutes (per episode)|
|Original channel||BBC Two then BBC One|
|Picture format||4:3, 16:9|
|Original run||4 September 1996– 22 November 2004|
|Related shows||DIY SOS
60 Minute Makeover
Changing Rooms was a do-it-yourself home improvement show broadcast in the United Kingdom on the BBC between 1996 and 2004. The show was one of a number of home improvement and lifestyle shows popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The show was later franchised, generally under the same name, for the local TV markets in the United States, New Zealand and Australia.
The premise of the show was for couples to swap houses with friends or neighbours with each pair decorating one room in each other's homes. This lead up to a finale with both couples seeing their rooms, and meeting up again - almost invariably on still friendly terms. With the show including some top designers, their ideas could be a little over the top, which led to a few tears and tantrums. Changing Rooms was originally hosted by Carol Smillie, and assisting with the remodelling was a Cockney carpenter, "Handy" Andy Kane.
The show began on BBC Two, at 9pm on Wednesday 4 September 1996, before transferring to BBC One for the start of the third series in 1998. The final edition was broadcast on 22 November 2004 after a successful 8 year, 15 series run. The cancellation was announced on 27 August 2004. The former designer on the show, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, took over presenting the show from Smillie in 2003 for series 14 and 15. "Handy" Andy went on to host his own DIY shows. The designers on the show during its run included:
- Linda Barker
- Oliver Heath
- Michael Jewitt
- Rowena Johnson
- Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen
- Laura McCree
- Anna Ryder Richardson
- Liz Wagstaff
- Gordon Whistance
- Graham Wynne
In November 2004, a special episode was taped in Boscastle, Cornwall, for Christmas broadcast. Designers Anna Ryder Richardson, Graham Wynne and Gordon Whistance took on the task of restoring the decor of homes and businesses damaged in the floods of August that year. The episode was broadcast on 28 December 2004.
The show gained popularity through the sometimes unusual designs of Llewelyn-Bowen and the reactions of some participants who disliked their newly designed rooms. Famously, one room of Llewelyn-Bowen's was decorated entirely in animal prints on the advice of the neighbours. The homeowners described it as resembling "a tart's boudoir" and pointed out that the neighbours, also friends, had known of their dislike of animal prints but had suggested them to Llewelyn-Bowen as a joke.
In another famous episode, Anna Ryder Richardson designed a room for a couple where she placed framed erotic French undergarments around the room. On entering the room, the woman screamed aloud and shouted, "Why would I want this shit in my room?! I've got children!" and burst into tears. Richardson apparently blushed brightly.
In another episode, after a room had been designed, it had to be redesigned because the owner of the room missed her old fireplace.
The show has been franchised and variations of it appear in several other countries, sometimes with a different name - such as Trading Spaces in United States. The original Changing Rooms is also broadcast overseas, for example, on BBC America and featured in various US shows, the Sex And The City episode "Lights, Camera, Relationship" being one example.
A New Zealand edition of the show was produced for several years, also called Changing Rooms. It was identically formatted to the British series, with host Kerry Smith, "Handy" Andy Dye, and regular designers including Donald Grant Sunderland, Neil McLachlan and Sally Ridge. A handful of international shows were produced, each featuring one couple in New Zealand and one in the United Kingdom.
Medium-density fibreboard was a material used frequently on the show. It would be untrue to say it gained cult status as a result of this, but it did become famous enough that it helped the Changing Rooms team make an appearance on the British charity appeal Children in Need. During the show, which is essentially a televised variety show, the team performed "YMDF", a parody of "YMCA".
- Series 1: 6 editions from 4 September 1996 – 9 October 1996
- Series 2: 8 editions from 28 July 1997 – 22 September 1997
- Series 3: 6 editions from 10 March 1998 – 14 April 1998
- Series 4: 10 editions from 16 July 1998 – 16 September 1998
- Series 5: 8 editions from 6 January 1999 – 3 March 1999
- Series 6: 10 editions from 6 September 1999 – 20 December 1999
- Series 7: 6 editions from 5 May 2000 – 9 June 2000
- Series 8: 9 editions from 4 September 2000 – 13 November 2000
- Series 9: 11 editions from 27 November 2000 – 3 May 2001
- Series 10: 7 editions from 11 September 2001 – 22 October 2001
- Series 11: 13 editions from 25 February 2002 – 10 August 2002
- Series 12: 8 editions from 26 August 2002 – 7 November 2002
- Series 13: 12 editions from 3 April 2003 – 14 July 2003
- Series 14: 13 editions from 15 September 2003 – 15 December 2003
- Series 15: 7 editions from 5 January 2004 – 23 February 2004
- Series 16: 8 editions from 19 April 2004 – 14 June 2004
- Series 17: 12 editions from 9 August 2004 – 22 November 2004
- Special: Series 1 Highlights: 30 December 1996
- Special: Changing Rooms Stripped Bare: 5 December 1998
- Special: Christmas Special: Arran: 25 December 1998
- Special: Redecorated: 2 April 1999
- Special: The World of Changing Rooms: 30 August 1999
- Special: A Morning with Changing Rooms: 13 December 1999
- Special: Tenerife: 27 December 1999
- Special: When Changing Rooms Met Ground Force: 13 February 2000
- Special: When Changing Rooms Met The Navy: 2 September 2000
- Special: When Changing Rooms Met Ground Force 2 : 24 October 2000
- Special: Boscastle Christmas Special: 28 December 2004