‘This Is My House’ is not just a game show

Wednesday: This Is My House; (BBC1, 9pm)

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 5:00 pm
Stacey Dooley at The Ferns

Thanks to lockdown, it’s been a while since some viewers have been inside someone else’s home.

So, the chance to snoop around a stranger’s property might be enough to make This Is My House a winner, even before anyone explains the premise.

Luckily, there is more to the new series than that – it’s also a game show. Imagine a non-celebrity version of Through the Keyhole crossed with Would I Lie to You? and you may be part of the way there.

Or as the show’s co-creator Richard Bacon explains: “This Is My House is a game show with only one contestant – the homeowner. To win all they have to do is prove ‘This is my house!’ But it’s not that simple. Three actors will turn up, steal the contestant’s name and claim that the house and everything in it belongs to them. They all have competing stories. Our judges have one job. To uncover the truth. It couldn’t be easier. Right?”

There’s also a cash prize at stake – but the contestant can only take it back to their house if the celebrity panel correctly identifies them as the owner.

It’s a fairly simple idea, but we’re promised it will lead to many laugh-out loud moments and will also challenge some of our prejudices. Just in case that still isn’t convincing you, there’s also the presenter, Stacey Dooley, who has recently been hosting BBC2’s DNA Family Secrets.

She got her TV break in 2008 when she appeared in the documentary Blood, Sweat and T-Shirts, which explored working conditions in Indian clothing factories. It led to Dooley carving out a career as an investigative reporter, tackling many difficult issues.

Then in 2018 she reached a whole new audience when she won Strictly Come Dancing, and has since also been dabbling in lighter entertainment, with series including Glow Up: Britain’s Next Make-Up Star.

Stacey is clearly looking forward to taking charge of This is My House, saying: “I love to see inside people’s houses so I’m made up to be involved in a gig that allows us to do that in a format that will bring some fun, humour and warmth at a time when we are all so craving escapism. Can’t wait!”

She’s joined by regular celebrity panellists Emily Atack, Judi Love, Jamali Maddix and someone else who know how it feels to lift the glitterball trophy, Strictly 2020 winner Bill Bailey.

Like Stacey, he thinks the time is right for a light-hearted show that will get viewers guessing along (and the ratings for the most recent series of The Masked Singer would suggest they are right). He says: “This is My House is a great show and I am delighted to be taking part. I think it’s a lot of fun, something that everyone needs at the moment, and I’m sure viewers at home are going to love playing along. I consider myself a good judge of character, so I hope I’ll be able to spot the liars from the real homeowner and help win them some money!”

In this episode, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen joins in.

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