Box Watch: Phil Spencer finds money’s tight in Harrogate, while they practically decorate with it in Marbella Mansions

This week's TV homes show highlights include the couple who swap the estate agent for a PR man in Phil Spencer: Secret Agent, and the modest little pad in Marbella Mansions that rents for £16,000 - a day

Such is the Power of Phil that in every episode of Phil Spencer: Secret Agent (Tuesday 30 July, 5pm, 4Seven) our hero makes it his mission to get an offer on a house that’s not selling.

And who better than Phil to break the news that your bathroom‘s filthy, your knick-knacks are common and your house reeks of dog. Would we rip up our gnome-emporium gravel gardens and replace them with turf for anyone else?

In this episode Phil has his work cut out in leafy Harrogate where, as that darn recession gathers pace, couple Jenna and Andrew need to downsize pretty sharpish.

Phil musters all his diplomatic skills to point out that, not only is their house overpriced by £40,000, but the children have been given the run of it, there’s damp in the bedrooms and the work-in-progress shower is ‘just not good enough’. This goes down well with Andrew. Who’s a plumber.

But we know that Phil’s only being cruel to be kind and anyway, £2,000 later, the work’s done and dusted. But hold the phone… where are all those buyers?

O dear. Jenna and Andrew have decided to ditch estate agents in favour of a PR man called David who mentions alternative routes, Twitter and a Facebook page – while the blood slowly drains from Phil’s face.

‘Alternative route!’ spits our not-so Secret Agent. ‘It’s so far off the beaten track it’s down a rabbit hole and off to Wonderland!’

If you think this is one of those episodes that ends with ‘I’m sure that soon enough they will be able to move on…’, you’d not be far wrong.

But look at these gorgeous people who live, work and party in Marbella! Surely such sun-kissed brows are never furrowed by the financial worries of us ordinary folk.

There are no raindrops in Marbella (it’s official), but if there were raindrops one day, these people would walk between them.

Yes this is the world of Marbella Mansions (Thursday 1 August, 6pm, Home) where the heels are high, the tans are deep and the narrator’s that Robert Webb from Peep Show.

In previous episodes we’ve met interior designers Jonty and his
partner Sebastian who, it says here, are well known in Marbella ‘for
their outrageous and colourful design style’ – not to mention their
£10,000 dog house. Such japes!

And Hayley from Bournemouth who –
at 28 – project manages and furnishes a £6 million mansion with one hand while editing her own design magazine with the other.

In this episode it’s
property agent John Davies who has the task of managing Marbella’s most
expensive mansion – yours for £16,000 a day. It’s not in the
Hoseasons brochure. I’ve looked.

Yes there’s a whole cast of estate
agents and developers ready to take us from our grey little lives in grey little Britain and give us just a peek into this world of the
super-rich where the Carrara marble runs to acres and the Ionic columns to the heavens.

Call me old fashioned, but I’m yearning for Harrogate.

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