May the Best House Win
Voiceover: Guy Porritt
Shiver for ITV1, 22 February 2010 to 24 June 2013 (130 episodes in 5 series + 1 special)
as May the Best House Win Abroad 1 to 26 October 2012 (20 episodes in 1 series)
What would Come Dine with Me be like, if instead of the participants judging each others dinner parties, they judged each others houses instead? May the Best House Win is the answer. Four owners of what they believe to be interesting homes compete to win £1000 for having the best house.
In turns, each of the four home-owners welcome the other three into their homes. After the pleasantries are out of the way, the owner must wait in the garden, and let the other three home-owners loose to explore their home. During this period, the three can voice their opinion freely (and often do) as they investigate every room in the house. Once they have finished their self-led tour, they meet up again with the home-owner, who then serves them afternoon tea and snacks. Before they leave, each of the three visiting home-owners must write on a card, in no more than a short sentence, how they feel about the house. On the reverse of the card, they must write their score out of 10. As the programme progresses, the voiceover comments on the participants and the houses, sometimes attempting a Dave Lamb-style sarcastic put-down. All of the above is repeated a further three times for the other three houses.
When all four home have been visited, the home-owners return to their own homes to find four envelopes. The first three envelopes contain the cards from the other competitors, allowing each home-owner to find out what the others really thought about their home for the first time. The fourth envelope contains the results of the scoring, with the home-owner who received the highest score also finding £1000 in cash inside their envelope. And that's pretty much all there is to it. It's not such a bad programme really, but the likeness to Come Dine with Me is hard to ignore, and makes the programme feel quite derivative.
Following a ten episode pilot run, the series was picked up for a full series, which was broadcast in early 2011.