Homes Under the Hammer is the BBC’s most successful ever show in the 10am slot, with a 30% share of the morning television market. Since May 2003, the renovation and auction series features not only homes but also commercial and industrial properties which are bought at auction – they often require substantial improvements.
The simple format has remained unchanged throughout the show’s 14-years, as the purchased properties are refurbished and then revisited by the presenters to check how their value has increased as a result of the renovations.
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The show had been presented since its launch by Lucy Alexander and Martin Roberts. However, former children’s television presenter Alexander quit Homes Under the Hammer in 2016 after 13 years, citing a desire to pursue other work.
Property expert and investor Roberts has also hosted Talk Radio’s property chat show, Home Rule with Martin Roberts. He appeared on ITV’s jungle survival show, I’m a Celebrity: Get Me Out of Here in 2016. After the show, he admitted there had been constant disagreements with fellow contestant and former Eastenders actor Larry Lamb.
Retired footballer Dion Dublin joined the presenting team of Homes Under the Hammer in 2015, at the start of the 19th series. The former England player started his football career with Norwich City in 1988 and also played for Manchester United and Aston Villa, before ending his career back at Norwich City from 2006 to 2008.
Following Alexander’s departure from Homes Under the Hammer, new presenter Martell Maxwell joined the show in 2017. The journalist and author had previously presented segments on ITV’s morning show, Lorraine and The One Show after starting her career as a journalist writing entertainment news for The Sun.
According to the BBC, filming Homes Under the Hammer can be “tricky”. In an effort to immerse viewers in the atmosphere of the auction, it involves using two cameras that capture everything from the auctioneer’s performance, to bidding wars and last-minute price escalations.
Once the auction starts, one camera is fixed on the auctioneer and the second spans the members of the public who are bidding. This is the difficult part, as sometimes the action moves quickly if there’s a flurry of bids. The shots from each camera are then intermingled to capture the complete experience.
Following the auction, the buyers discuss the improvements they plan to carry out with an estimated budget. After the renovations have been completed, an estate agent estimates the updated value of the property. The episode always ends with a positive estimate of the property’s increase in value.
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