The Great House Giveaway sees two strangers renovate a house

Great House Giveaway! New TV show sees two strangers renovate a home to try and sell for profit – can they make money from an auction wreck?

  • The Great House Giveaway starts today at 4pm on Channel 4 
  • The show aims to help those struggling to get onto the property ladder 
  • It is presented by former Brookside actor Simon O’Brien

Would you be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty with a complete stranger for a new property television show?

The concept is at the heart of The Great House Giveaway at 4pm on Channel 4 today, and continues weekdays. 

The aim is to help those struggling to get onto the property ladder. It brings together two complete strangers who buy a property at auction (not using their own money).

They then renovate it over six months and try to sell it for a profit. They get to keep any profit they make.

The Great House Giveaway starts at 4pm on Channel 4 this afternoon

It is hosted by Simon O’Brien, a presenter and successful property developer, who portrayed Damon Grant in TV soap Brookside in the 1980s.

The Great House Giveaway’s first episode begins in Leeds, with Vikki, 27, a private investigator – whose dad is a property developer – being paired up with Emily, 28, an electrician and mother of six-year-old Grace. 

The new TV show is hosted by Simon O’Brien, an actor, presenter and property developer

Pictured: Vikki and Emily get stuck into the renovations works at the property near Bradford

Emily and Vicki get a helping hand from friends and family, including Vikki’s sister

Emily said: ‘Everything I do is for Grace. I just want her to have some stability. If I work hard and she sees me do that, fingers crossed she will as well.’ 

The pair successfully bids at auction on a semi-detached property just outside of Bradford, which is bought for £66,500. 

They are given a budget of £9,000 to carry out the renovation, but what do they end up selling it for and do they make any money? 

Pictured: Vikki (left) and Emily go to auction and successfully big on a property

During the programme, Simon assesses some of the work carried out at the property

During the programme, they remove staircases before installing a brand new set, knock down walls, and build an entirely new en-suite in the third bedroom.

As the pair crack on with the work, Simon tells them: ‘Two months down the line, you’re flying through this and the progress is clear.’

However, he later went on to tell the camera: ‘The danger is that they will take their foot off the gas, and they can’t do that. They’ve got to keep ploughing forward and finish everything to the highest standard to get this job done.’

To find out the value of the finished project, an estate agent takes a look at the property, and viewings are arranged among potential buyers.

Simon reveals the news to Emily and Vikki about whether the property has sold in the show today at 4pm.

Pictured: The Great House Giveaway’s Simon O’Brien (centre) with Mike and Manaswi

The third episode of The Great House Giveaway is based in Leicester, with Manaswi, 33, a civil servant, being paired up with Mike, 38, an operations manager.

Manaswi emotionally explains at the start that her dreams of homeownership disappeared following the breakdown of her marriage, which resulted in her returning to live in a small room at her parents’ house.

‘This opportunity will hopefully give me the chance to get onto the property ladder,’ she says.

Manaswi, 33, is seen doing a lot of the hard labour on the renovation project

Taking on a renovation project together: Manaswi, 33, was paired up with Mike, 38

Manaswi and Mike are given a budget of £12,000 to renovate the two-bedroom terrace house, which was bought for £185,000.

Simon explains: ‘It is a gorgeous house. It has the potential to be a fabulous family home in one of the most sought-after areas of Leicester.’

They both get stuck in taking down walls, restoring sash windows and fitting a new bathroom and kitchen.

Mike says: ‘I’ve had a go at fitting my own sink before but I’m well aware that there is a world of difference between fitting a sink in my en-suite and fitting an entire bathroom. But it’s something I’ve got to learn.’

The couple get an estate agent to look at the property as the six-month deadline approaches having almost completed the work.

The programme – being shown on Wdnesday – reveals how the property has been transformed and whether the couple have succeeded in their goal by selling it at a profit.

  • The Great House Giveaway starts at 4pm on Channel 4 this afternoon 


Many people head to the auction room to buy a property that needs lots of work. 

But while this can be a good way to find a project, make sure you don’t get carried away and pay over the odds, as once the hammer comes down, you are committed to the purchase.

A few points to bear in mind at auction:

1. Do not forget that on top of the purchase price you have to pay for the work that needs doing – and the aim is to try and make a profit.

2. Check the legal pack. Make sure there are no absentee freeholders who would make it awkward to resell.

3. Get quotes beforehand so you know what the work will cost.

4. Consider the key selling features for a resale – if the property backs onto a railway line, for example, it will affect how quickly you can sell it on.

5. If you can, pick a property in a good area or near a good school.

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