Judges: Gordon Whistance, Duncan Bannatyne, Gary McCausland and Naomi Cleaver
Five, 31 August 2006 to 2007
Ann Maurice, of Five's hit home makeover show House Doctor, heads a sort of The Apprentice-lite in which she seeks someone who knows their stuff, interior design-wise, to become her protege.
If this sounds like a rather thin concept for a show, well then it is. Not least because Ms Maurice is not even an interior designer, rather a "home-stager", who spends her time decorating rooms in such a way as to facilitate a quick sale for the house. Considering that the entire home-staging philosophy can be pretty well summarised in sixteen words ("remove personal items and other unnecessary clutter; paint walls neutral colours; evict pets to avoid odour") there's precious little that can bring much variety to the proceedings. Hence while the candidates on The Apprentice are off designing marketing campaigns and running cruise ships, we are left here with such joys as the "shelf-dressing challenge" (apparently, heavy objects should go at the bottom of a shelf unit. Who knew?), and such insightful analysis as, "group 1 decluttered well," and "Scott's cushions were excellent."
Add to this an unnecessarily urgent voice-over, a hilarious bit before the commercials where Ann looks stern to camera, and that old reality TV workhorse "splitting the contestants into little groups and telling each whether they've got through or not in an intentionally long and misleading sentence", and that about sums it up for Interior Rivalry (which sounds like it's supposed to be a pun on something. But what? Answers on a postcard). We can only hope it's being produced with a sense of irony, or we all might just be doomed.
Series 1: Scott Waldron
Series 2: Kate Letteriello