Suzie Wilks hosted the original series of Changing Rooms.
Suzie Wilks hosted the original series of Changing Rooms.

Changing Rooms is coming back to TV

GET ready to warm up your hot glue guns, because Changing Rooms is coming back to TV.

Network Ten has announced it's bringing the quirky renovation show back to life early next year but hasn't yet revealed who will host the program.

"Our new show will capture the essence and appeal of the original format and re-energise it, with strong storylines and more kitchen and bathroom reveals, which are proven favourites with Australian viewers," Network Ten's Chief Content Officer, Beverley McGarvey, said.

"Changing Rooms proved that renovation could be more than informative: it could also be full of fun, big characters and tension. We cannot wait to bring our exciting new version to viewers."

If you've never seen Changing Rooms, you're in for a treat.

Two teams, often married couples who are friends, get a limited budget and the help of an interior decorator and tradie to make over a room in their friends' house.

 

Suzie Wilks with handyman James Lunday.
Suzie Wilks with handyman James Lunday.

 

The original series, which debuted in 1995, was hosted by Suzie Wilks - who previously opened up to news.com.au about some of the behind the scenes dramas.

THE HOURS WERE PUNISHING

"For all of us, it was really gruelling," Wilks said.

"For instance, we'd start shooting at 6am which meant I was there at 4am for hair and makeup. We'd finish at 1am and then we'd be back on location at 6am. We'd do that for two days straight. It was really full on. We'd put in 50 hours of filming for a 26-minute episode."

CONDITIONS WERE TOUGH

"There were hot lights and you couldn't put on the airconditioning because it would mess up the sound," Wilks said.

"You'd literally be dripping in sweat. It was so uncomfortable."

MASSIVE STUFF-UP

At the end of each episode, the contestants were blindfolded, escorted back into their homes and were then shown what their friends had done. The big reveal was the highlight of each episode, but it didn't always go to plan.

"On one of our earliest shoots, we did the reveal and the lady opened her eyes and she burst into tears and she was absolutely devastated," Wilks told news.com.au.

"My reaction was, because I hadn't been around TV for a long time or anything, I said, 'Stop shooting!' I mucked up the shot because I told them to stop because she was really upset and I wanted to comfort her and I really felt for her because her house, she felt, had been destroyed.

"How green was I? I was still in that lovely space of, you just don't do that to people and hurt their feelings. I was in the wrong business, I should have been a vet," Wilks joked.

CHEEKY CONTESTANTS

"You only get one shot at that money shot, that's it," Wilks said.

Unfortunately some of the male contestants on the show figured that out, and often took advantage of it.

"Sometimes you'd get a pinch on the bum from a husband. Seriously. But I just had to stand there and say, 'Thanks for watching,' and you can't do anything and they know it.

"It wasn't just me either. Sometimes some of the male designers would get a pinch on the bum from one of the husbands.

"I'd have a smile plastered on my face so firmly but inside I was thinking, 'Oh my god, this sleazy man's got his hand on my backside.'"

 

Peter Everett was one of the interior designer on Changing Rooms.
Peter Everett was one of the interior designer on Changing Rooms.

CONTESTANTS CRACKED

"As the hours went on, they'd go through so many emotions and get so frustrated," Wilks said.

"By the end of these long shoot days they'd be thinking, 'Where's the glamorous side of television? This is hell on earth.'

"Some people would spit the dummy. They'd want to walk out and we'd have to talk them back in. Often it was my job to counsel them and say, 'Come on. I know it's hard. I know you're exhausted. But you committed to this.' At the end they were always glad that they finished."

NOT MANY OF THE MAKEOVERS LASTED

"Some of them just weren't practical," Wilks told news.com.au about the zany makeovers.

"There was one designer who put hot pink fur all around the walls like wallpaper. I couldn't believe it. Bizarrely, I think the people actually ended up liking it.

"But we did go back and do a couple of shows about what people had done to their rooms. A lot of the people had reverted back to their old taste. One couple, as we were leaving, were literally pulling out everything and throwing it over the balcony into the front yard."

 

Suzie Wilks hosted the original series but we don’t know who will host the reboot yet.
Suzie Wilks hosted the original series but we don’t know who will host the reboot yet.


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