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The £1 Houses explores the all-too-familiar social issue of affordable housing – or lack thereof – by following a group of first-time buyers as they take advantage of a local council’s scheme of selling off derelict houses for just £1 each.
It is a once it a lifetime opportunity but the small price tag comes with some big risks. They must invest thousands of pounds of their own money renovating the properties within 12 months, or the Council can take it back with no compensation. And they must commit to live in a run-down area known for crime and anti-social behaviour.
The opening episode was Channel 4’s most watched programme that week, premiering to an impressive consolidated audience of 2.6 million viewers and outperforming Channel 4’s slot average by 22%.
“The show (not the scheme) works because it has all those makeover game show elements – tantrums and tears, setbacks and pressures – that make good television. But it’s real, and so you actually care.”
Sam Wollaston, The Guardian