For years, property programmes on TV have set viewers dreaming of their perfect home. But what does ‘perfect’ mean when it comes to a house? A cosy pied-à-terre in London, a disused barn in the country to do up or maybe an old farmhouse in Scotland with acres of empty land around it?
Now, a survey of 1,000 people up and down the country has revealed that over half of all viewers are less interested in the number of bedrooms in their house than the opportunity to batter Phil Frigging Spencer from Location Location Bloody Location and Phil Frigging Spencer: Secret Bastard Agent with a frying pan and bury his still-warm body in the garden.
‘I used to think two bathrooms were essential for my dream place,’ said James Barker, a 38-year-old interior designer from Fulham. ‘Now the only advantage I can see now is having a spare one in case I can’t get the bloodstains out of the tiles after washing the blunt instrument I’ve just taken to Phil Twatting Spencer’s insufferably smug fizzog.’
The sentiment was echoed by sculptors Olivia and Felix Greenaway, who are seeking to move their family of five from Guildford to South Devon but are finding most properties have too much of space around them. ‘Five acres of garden – why would I need that?’ asked Olivia. ‘Eight feet by four should be enough to dispose of the dismembered carcass of Phil Frigging Spencer, seal it up with cement and put the kids’ trampoline on top.’
Media analysts have long divided over whether property programmes were watched by people looking for serious guidance on moving house or as wish-fulfilment for those who cannot afford the dream houses they typically show. Now, it is universally agreed that they are mainly a vehicle for the deep-seated wish to kick the living shit out of the awful presenters.
‘They saw a lovely old three-storey, timber-framed manor house in Shropshire on Escape to the Country last night,’ said Teresa Jacobson, 41, from Kent. ‘It had roses climbing all the way up the front. My husband and I just sighed and said what we wouldn’t give to drop Kirstie Sodding Allsopp from the top of that. There was even space in the estate for a few horses, who could finish the job by trampling all over her if necessary.’