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.

“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.

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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 Rooms is on Channel 4 on Wednesdays at 8pm and on All 4

@lucytweet1

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