Channel 4’s A Place in the Sun has returned for a brand new series.
As usual, we’ll watch the A Place in the Sun presenters jetting off to a new sunny location as they help homebuyers find their dream property abroad.
But what we won’t get to see is all the stuff that goes on behind-the-scenes and the hard work that goes into finding the perfect property.
RadioTimes.com spoke to popular host Jasmine Harman, who has been a presenter on the show since 2004, and she revealed what goes into making the one-hour episodes we see on weekdays.
“I suppose the main thing is that we film it over several days, so we have to wear the same clothes, or you have to have the same outfit,” she says.
“A lot of time the house hunters will bring several of the same outfit, wash it overnight and then wear the new one and then wash that one. Obviously if you were going to look at five houses, depending on how close together they are, you could do that in a day, but we can’t film that in a day, so it takes quite a long time to get all the different shots. And we try to make sure that you know the house hunters don’t see anything before we’re actually filming them, so the reaction is genuine, whether it’s good or bad.”
Before filming at their chosen locations, Jasmine says they have to seek permission, and they don’t always get approved.
She continues: “The other things that we have to do is get permissions to film in different places. So there’s a whole team working to get in touch with the relevant organisations to make sure that we’re allowed to film on that beach or nature reserve or stuff like that. People don’t really think of this because when you’re watching a great film or television programme it’s sort of catharsis, so you suspend disbelief and you watch it and you just take it for what it is.”
While we see the house hunters visiting up to five properties in one show, the presenter says a lot more are chosen just in case one falls through.
“You might get a house that falls through before you’ve had a chance to show them. It might get sold or you might not be able to get permission from the owners to film or whatever the reason is, which is really disappointing when we’ve worked really hard and selected what we think are the best properties,” Jasmine explains.
Nevertheless, the team always has a “backup plan” ready to pull in at the last moment.
“If our house hunters were to say that one property was eliminated because of a particular reason, but if we knew that maybe another one of our properties might have that same problem, then we would change it so it’s all quite organic when we’re on location because we obviously never let them see any of the properties until the day,” she reveals.
And if you thought the work was done after this, you can think again: there’s a separate team dedicated solely to finding all the properties – a process Jasmine especially likes to get involved with.
“I don’t know about the other presenters, but for me, I’ve always been quite involved in the properties. How it works is the research team will go online, they’ll call up all their contacts in that area and they will search for properties that fit our house hunters’ brief, in terms of location, budget, size, condition, access to amenities or whatever it is that’s important to them,” she says.
“We’ll find a whole bunch of properties that we think are worth viewing. So that’s all done from the UK, and then we have a team who go out to actually record the properties. They’re going to see them in person and they might see 30 properties in a week. The ones that have been selected have to be the best and then you sometimes come up with other ideas.”
Viewers will know that home buyers don’t always fall in love with the properties shown to them on the Channel 4 show. So, how do they get around this?
“We discuss with the director and the series producers in the office of how we think it’s going to work so we might think, they’re going to really love it but they’re going to say that,” Jasmine reveals.
“We’re always anticipating – again, it doesn’t always work out – but then next property we show them will have something that solves that problem.”