Changing Rooms

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For other uses, see Changing room (disambiguation).
Changing Rooms
Format Lifestyle, DIY
Developed by Peter Bazalgette
Ann Booth-Clibborn
Nick Vaughan-Barratt
Presented by Carol Smillie (1996–2003)
Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen (2003–04)
Starring Linda Barker
Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen
Laura McCree
Anna Ryder Richardson
"Handy" Andy Kane
Graham Wynne
Liz Wagstaff
Gordon Whistance
Oliver Heath
Michael Jewitt
Rowena Johnson
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 17
No. of episodes 165 (inc. specials)
Production
Running time 30 minutes (per episode)
Broadcast
Original channel BBC Two (1996–97)
BBC One (1998–2004)
Picture format 4:3, 16:9
Original run 4 September 1996 (1996-09-04) – 22 November 2004 (2004-11-22)
Chronology
Related shows DIY SOS
60 Minute Makeover

Changing Rooms is 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.

Format[edit]

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 leads 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,[citation needed] 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.

History[edit]

The show began on BBC Two, at 9pm on 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, 17 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:

Final episode[edit]

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.

Disasters[edit]

In one episode, a Linda Barker room was being built to accommodate a large collection of teapots. Overnight, the shelves collapsed, demolishing the valuable collection.

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.

Overseas editions[edit]

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.

Australia's Nine Network also produced a local version hosted by Suzie Wilks who was assisted by Peter Everett, James Lindsay, Catherine Morton and Tim Janenko-Panaeff. The show is now defunct.

MDF[edit]

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".

Transmission guide[edit]

Original series[edit]

Series Start date End date Episodes
1
4 September 1996
9 October 1996
6
2
28 July 1997
22 September 1997
8
3
10 March 1998
14 April 1998
6
4
16 July 1998
16 September 1998
10
5
6 January 1999
3 March 1999
8
6
6 September 1999
20 December 1999
10
7
5 May 2000
9 June 2000
6
8
4 September 2000
13 November 2000
9
9
27 November 2000
3 May 2001
11
10
11 September 2001
22 October 2001
7
11
25 February 2002
10 August 2002
13
12
26 August 2002
7 November 2002
8
13
3 April 2003
14 July 2003
12
14
15 September 2003
15 December 2003
13
15
5 January 2004
23 February 2004
7
16
19 April 2004
14 June 2004
8
17
9 August 2004
22 November 2004
12

Specials[edit]

Entitle Air Date
Series 1 Highlights 30 December 1996
Changing Rooms Stripped Bare 5 December 1998
Christmas Special: Arran 25 December 1998
Redecorated 2 April 1999
The World of Changing Rooms 30 August 1999
A Morning with Changing Rooms 13 December 1999
Tenerife 27 December 1999
When Changing Rooms Met Ground Force 13 February 2000
When Changing Rooms Met The Navy 2 September 2000
When Changing Rooms Met Ground Force 2 24 October 2000
Boscastle Christmas Special 28 December 2004

See also[edit]

External links[edit]