Property is a very British obsession and there have been a multitude of hugely successful TV formats. From selling houses, buying houses, building houses, moving to the country, moving to the sea, downsizing, upsizing … the list goes on and our appetite does not seem to wane. So why do we love property shows? How have they changed as society (and the housing market) have changed, what are the key ingredients to a successful property show and where will the format go from here?
Kerkour has been working as an actor for almost 20 years and at six foot four he is used to playing the “killer” on screen, after roles in Strike Back and Nightflyers.
However, in Home he plays a loveable gentle refugee from Syria, who is looking to build a new life in the UK.
“As an Arab on screen I’d spent most of my life either killing people or being killed,” said Kerkour, “then I get this script about a refugee in the UK and he’s humanised.”
Comedy, the late, great Tony Hancock would often tell his dinner guests, was simply “frustration, misery, boredom, worry – all the things people suffer from”.
This may go some way to explaining the success of a crop of deceptively simple, single-camera comedy-dramas that have all but replaced our more traditional idea of the sitcom in the television schedules.
You wait years for a TV comedy centred on the disruption caused by the sudden arrival of a foreign migrant in a settled world and, suddenly, two come along at once.
This spring, Channel 4 has showcased Home, Rufus Jones’s well-received show in which his uptight character, Peter, and partner return from holiday to find a Syrian man called Sami (Youssef Kerkour) living in the boot of the family car.
Lifestyle channel Home will make the move from pay TV to free-to-air on 1 March.
Emma Ayech, general manager of Home, said that the channel’s move to free-to-air households “gives a greater reach to our channel, offering more viewers the opportunity to watch our great roster of much-loved shows fronted by big name talent. We’re looking forward to welcoming new audiences to our Home.”
Home replaced pay TV channel UKTV Style in 2009. It will move to channel 25, currently occupied by Dave Ja Vu, which will move to a new slot which will be announced in the coming days.
You've thought of a programme idea, you're about to write a winning pitch but first you need to think of your audience. Tailoring content to specific demographics is highly important in television. Clare Laycock explains how to do it.
Clare is Head of Channel TLC at Discovery Networks UK & Ireland. Previously Clare headed up Really, Home and Good Food at UKTV so she knows a thing or two about making great TV for specific audiences.