When the news broke last month that Dion Dublin had signed for Homes Under the Hammer, we had to check our calendars to make sure it wasn’t April 1st. But it turns out that alongside his successful footballing career, the former Cambridge, Coventry and Aston Villa centre-forward has been scoring regularly in the property market too.
And just as he has continued to find a use for his knowledge of the game as a pundit on Sky Sports, he’s also keen to take his passion for property into presenting.
Lucy Alexander and Martin Roberts have been doing a great job up front for the long-running BBC1 daytime show but with their partnership now in its 19th season, spreading the load to avoid fatigue is just good tactics.
So how did Dion do in his first appearance? Let’s find out, as we look at more Homes Under the Hammer…
No slow start from the bench for Dion. Just moments into Lucy and Martin’s to-camera opener – filmed, as is traditional, in the well-kept gardens of a property completely unlike any of those they will be looking at on the programme – he gets his introduction.
“[Property development] is not easy,” Martin reminds us. “But get it right and it’s a really rewarding and fulfilling world to be in. And someone who knows all about it is Dion Dublin…”
Diving in from the right, Dion is eager to get started, telling us “Great to be here and, as you know, property can be incredibly rewarding but can throw up some unexpected surprises.” It certainly can – like a former footballer presenting a show about it.
Dion’s new teammates seem just as excited to see him and as they bask in the glow of his warm, towering presence, one thing becomes immediately clear – Martin and Lucy might know a bit about property but they’d have no chance defending a corner from Dion.
The new signing is given the prestigious first property – a three-bed semi in Dartford – and sets about laying out the attractions of the area: “great transport links”, “one of the government’s key growth zones” and the Bluewater shopping centre (a favourite with local footballers and their WAGS) right on your doorstep.
The house is not much to look at but Dion assures us “I can see straight away what needs to be done on this 80s throw-back semi,” and we believe him.
His plans to knock through a dividing wall in the kitchen and add a new wall to create a separate lounge are convincing. “Two stools either side, you can have your breakfast in here – I can watch the football in there undisturbed,” he says pointedly, as we begin to wonder whether it’s his wife behind the camera.
Upstairs, bedroom sizes are described as “good” and “decent”, and – as you might expect from a man who has scored a few close range headers in his time – Dion even manages to find space in the “box” room.
He’s also keen to create even more space to manouevre by refitting the bedroom and bathroom doors so that they open into the rooms rather than outwards onto the landing.
As it turns out, Dion’s plans are almost identical to what the buyers end up doing – a great first outing for the new frontman who’s already proving himself to be a fantastic signing for the Homes Under the Hammer team.
All together now… “He shoots, he scores, he moves internal doors, Dion Dublin, Dion Dublin…”
Homes Under the Hammer is on BBC1 at 10am, Monday to Friday