Advertisement - Content continues below
TV

Even Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen can’t save the Changing Rooms reboot

We’ve seen too many perfect Instagram interiors accounts – the new Changing Rooms doesn’t work, says Lucy Sweet.

Any attempt to revive the Nineties is always futile. No matter how many Friends reunions and bucket hats there are out there, there’s no going back.

We are now entirely new people, with new brains and new ideas and new machines. Liam Gallagher is an old man, Kurt Cobain has been dead longer than he was alive and staple-gunning fun fur to a sheet of MDF and No More Nailsing it on to the wall of a semi-detached house in Derby is now considered a hate crime.

Nobody has told this to the producers of Changing Rooms, however, which has decamped (camp being the operative word) to Channel 4, and brought a brand new bag of hideous interiors tricks with it.

Like the living rooms it once merrily dismantled, the cast of designers and presenters has altered beyond recognition. Carol Smillie probably couldn’t hit ‘delete’ fast enough on the email from her agent, Handy Andy has bitten the dust and instead of Anna Ryder-Richardson – who exuded chaotic posh-girl-on-a-gap-year-in-Goa energy – we have Naked Attraction’s Anna Richardson, the go-to for any show involving stripped chests and shiny knobs.

We know the script now. The anarchic derangement is gone

There was some redemption in the form of Changing Rooms OG Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, who appeared out of nowhere in a pair of squeaky-looking leather trousers, lounging like an opium fiend on the wipe-clean DFS sofa of a woman called Claire in Swansea.

Claire’s friends and neighbours, Kirsty and Lisa, were on a mission to get rid of her beige living room, but pink was off limits. “We are travelling to the Floating Palace of Udaipur,” Laurence announced grandly, twizzling his moustache, then proceeded to paint it flamingo pink, put a blue rattan sex swing in the middle of the room and create a door with HIS FACE ON IT.

Advertisement - Content continues below
Advertisement - Content continues below

“It’s men-tal. Totally men-tal,” said Claire somewhat unnecessarily, in her sing-song Welsh accent.

Meanwhile, across the road at Lisa’s, two interior designers called Russell and Jordan who could barely hide their metropolitan contempt tried to convince Claire to go for a drag queen look they called Shantay Swansea.

Article continues below

In the end, this involved turning Lisa’s bedroom into a hideous purple and pink BDSM lockup with chains and ‘art’ in the form of a wall of hair. “It’ll grow on you,” they protested, when she looked like she was about to be sick.

So far so hideous, but whereas once there was a level of genuinely anarchic derangement that came from low budgets and hangovers, the innocence is gone. We’ve seen too many perfect Instagram interiors accounts, watched too many YouTube DIY tutorials.

We know the script now. So how about we just put away the peacocks, pop the wall of hair in a binbag and gently close the door with LLB’s face on it before anyone else gets hurt?

Changing Roomsis on Channel 4 on Wednesdays at 8pm and on All 4

@lucytweet1

Advertisement - Content continues below

Support The Big Issue and our vendors this Christmas

Every time you buy a copy of The Big Issue, subscribe or donate, you are helping our vendors to work their way out of poverty by providing 'a hand up not a hand out.' You’re helping Big Issue vendors achieve their #BigWish

Recommended for you

Read All
Claudia Winkleman on Rose Ayling-Ellis, representation, and the role of TV
Strictly Come Dancing

Claudia Winkleman on Rose Ayling-Ellis, representation, and the role of TV

Greg Wise: 'Strictly is not really about dancing. It's about being alive'
Strictly Come Dancing

Greg Wise: 'Strictly is not really about dancing. It's about being alive'

Claudia Winkleman: 'Representation is everything' on this year's Strictly
TV

Claudia Winkleman: 'Representation is everything' on this year's Strictly

Kathryn Hahn: 'Looking at Paul Rudd is like staring at the sun'
TV

Kathryn Hahn: 'Looking at Paul Rudd is like staring at the sun'

Most Popular

Read All
Video showing Boris Johnson repeatedly 'lying' to parliament hits 40 million views
1.

Video showing Boris Johnson repeatedly 'lying' to parliament hits 40 million views

Legacy benefits freeze left disabled people living on ‘historically’ low payments, court hears
2.

Legacy benefits freeze left disabled people living on ‘historically’ low payments, court hears

'Noel Gallagher was mega hungover and Will.i.am kept walking off' - The stories behind Big Issue photoshoots
3.

'Noel Gallagher was mega hungover and Will.i.am kept walking off' - The stories behind Big Issue photoshoots

Plans to remove British citizenship without notice 'would repeat Windrush mistakes'
4.

Plans to remove British citizenship without notice 'would repeat Windrush mistakes'

With temperatures dropping and fewer shoppers on the high street, our vendors need you now more than ever. Buy, subscribe or donate.