Channel 4’s Britain’s Most Expensive Houses followed millionaire house hunters searching for their dream home last night – but viewers slammed the programme for the ‘vulgar’ displays of wealth.
The show, which aired last night, went inside exclusive estate agent Sotheby’s as they marketed historic houses, stately homes, millionaire mansions and penthouse pads to various high end clients.
The programme saw a first-time buyer with a staggering £4 million budget, while a Russian agent also offered an unnamed client a virtual tour of a London property on the market for £40 million.
Meanwhile one Londoner was left amazed at how much they could buy with their £2 million budget outside of the capital.
Viewers slammed Britain’s Most Expensive Houses last night as they criticised the fly on the wall documentary for showing ‘rich silver spooned types’ searching for property when ‘many can’t afford food.’
First time buyers Zak Johnson, 34, and his girlfriend Charli Fisher (pictured outside Springfield Court in East Sussex), who have been hunting for a house with the estate agent Sotheby’s International Realty, had a budget of £4 million
Highgate’s 10 bedroom Heathfield House featured in the programme, which is currently on the market for a whopping £40 million
Agent Polina offered an unnamed Russian client a tour of the incredible London mansion during the show and said her contact was focused on ‘space and security’
Londoner Ali was motivated by the Covid-19 lockdown to take the plunge and leave the capital for the countryside with her £2 million budget
The mother-of-two said she fell in love with a country estate in York on the market for £1.5 million, with a huge tennis court and wrap around stables
Meanwhile the programme also featured the £2.35 million home of former Liverpool football club chairman Peter Moore, one of the finest homes on the Wirral
The football boss said he was keen to get his mansion on the market, and offered the estate agents a tour of his incredible spacious home
Many of those watching were left stunned by the programme and criticised the displays of wealth on show.
One commented: ‘Only Channel 4 can put a show about spoiled and rich silver-spooned types at a time when many people can’t afford to put food on the table.’
Another wrote: ‘What an utterly abhorrent programme in today’s current climate.’
Another wrote: ‘These people live in cuckoo land. Spend less on houses and donate more to charities I say. It’s a shame that those who can, don’t.’
Another added: ‘I just watched, people with budgets of millions! Cannot get my head around that sort of cash.’
A fourth commented; ‘One word to describe the whole programme – vulgar!’
Many viewers were critical of the programme, with some branding it ‘vile’ and others suggesting it was ‘vulgar’ given the ‘current tone in the UK
‘Good grief these houses are vile,’ another wrote, ‘This programme has no soul.’
But who exactly are the millionaire house hunters able to splash the cash in the middle of a pandemic on a brand new mansion?
RUSSIAN SEARCHING FOR A ‘SECURE’ HOME
At the start of the documentary, the estate agents met at Highgate’s Heathfield House, which was on the market for £40 million.
It had ten bedrooms and seven bathrooms over four floors, topped by a glass dome with a glass lift, not to mention its gym, spa room, steam room, one of the largest inside pools and tennis court.
The team were desperate to sell the property, and enlisted the help of agent Polina, who is head of the Russian desk within the London office.
She explained she has an extensive black book of contacts who could be interested in the home.
For those looking to remain in the hustle and bustle of the capital, Highgate’s Heathfield House is now on the market for £40 million
The expensive property, which is situated in one of London’s most exclusive suburbs, comes with a gate at the front and a lengthy driveway
Heathfield House is topped by a glass dome with a glass lift and also comes with ten bedrooms and seven bathrooms over four floors
She said: ‘I am Russian myself, originally from Moscow. My client is a high net worth individual, today I will use my wonderful iPhone to show her around.’
Polina explained her client was searching for ‘security and space’, before offering the contact a virtual tour of the property.
After the viewing, the agent said: ‘I have a feeling she liked it. She was absolutely fascinated by this beautiful room.’
The luxury property, which is on the market for £40million, features a balcony which offers views of the sprawling garden outside
The enormous home, which is just six miles from Selfridge’s, also comes with a gym, spa room, steam room, one of the largest inside pools and a tennis court
LONDONER WHO WANTS A COUNTRY PILE
Londoner Ali was keen to relocate back to Yorkshire from London, having been motivated to leave the capital during the Covid-19 lockdown.
The mother-of-two lived in London for several years but now wants her children to get the Yorkshire education that she did.
With a £2 million budget, she said she was amazed by how much more she could get for her money by moving away from the south of the country.
Mother-of-two Ali settled on moving out of the capital during the Covid-19 lockdown and returning to Yorkshire in order to find a more spacious home
She was offered a tour of a country estate on the market for £1.5 million, which features a huge open plan kitchen living area, as well as a tennis court and wrap around stables
The mother-of-two, who said she had worked in London for several years, was amazed by how much more her money could buy after returning to the north of the country
She was shown a six bedroom, five bathroom country estate in Yorkshire which was on the market for £1.5 million.
The mother-of-two was amazed by the property, which also boasts paddocks, a tennis court and an American barn, saying: ‘I love this, this is fabulous. I love it.’
Ali explained: ‘I’m thinking at this point, with this property, how much more you get for your money.’
FIRST TIME BUYERS WITH £4 MILLION BUDGET
Meanwhile first time buyer Zak Johnson, 34, who runs a sustainable fashion brand, and his girlfriend Charli Fisher enlisted the help of Sotheby’s International Realty to find their dream home.
The couple are joining a mass exodus, which has taken place in the capital, since the start of the coronavirus epidemic.
‘It would be nice to have that extra space,’ said Zak who is an avid kite surfer and scuba diver.
John Fisher, who works in Sotheby’s Surrey office, said that people are gravitating out of town looking for more space.
A step inside the Georgian mansion, Springfield Court, which is on the market for £2.995 million, reveals a spacious living room which offers views of the sprawling garden outside
Springfield Court, which is a Grade II listed regency villa near Rye, in East Sussex, comes with its very own wine cellar, library and orangery
The property, which offers a piece of history in every room and is now on the market for £2.995 million, also comes with a spiral staircase
‘During the first lockdown you had people isolating in multi-million-pound houses in London which were no bigger than a postage stamp,’ he said.
The first property he showed the couple is a Grade II listed regency villa near Rye, in East Sussex, which was on the market for £2.995 million.
The Georgian mansion, Springfield Court, was set in seven acres and had its own orangery, wine cellar and library, with a bookcase from 11 Downing Street.
‘The staircase is amazing,’ said Charlie, who creates luxury lifestyle content for different brands. ‘I feel like I’m in a modern-day Downton Abbey.
Charli and Zac also paid a visit to the £6.95 million Chalfont Manor, in Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire, with the estate agent (right)
The luxury property comes with a spacious living room that comes with a fireplace and windows that offer views of the swimming pool outside
The home in Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire, also features a lavish dining room that is fitted with chandeliers and wooden beams on the ceiling
The couple were wowed by the home, which also comes with a landscaped garden by Chelsea winner Kate Gould, a swimming pool and a TV and games room
The couple were tempted to go over their budget as they are shown the property, which also features a £1 million Steinway cinema room
Zak and his partner were left spoilt for choice as they are shown around the expensive property and had to decide if it is worth going over their budget
‘The ceilings are a lot higher, so it makes you feel as if it’s a little bit more spacious. I love old properties. There’s a piece of history in every room.’
The next property on the viewing list was a 1920s £6.95 million Chalfont Manor, in Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire, which would bust their budget.
But Fisher decided to show them anyway, saying: ‘Whilst it is above their budget, there is no doubt it will tempt.’
‘Very often people can look above their budget. If you dangle a few bits, you never know somebody might nibble.’
The final property the couple will be given the chance to visit will be the £3.5 million period property, Addington House, dating back to 1450, in the village of Addington, in Surrey
The property is one of the oldest continuously inhabited homes in Britain and its provenance dates back to the time when Henry VIII went there with Anne Boleyn
A spacious kitchen in the property, which is on the market for £3.5 million, comes with a central island, a large stove and hanging rustic lights
A step inside one of the many rooms inside Addington House also reveals a cinema room which can accommodate a number of guests
A step outside the expensive home also reveals a large garden that features a swimming pool and comes with a seating area which the couple said would be perfect for pool parties
With a landscaped garden by Chelsea winner Kate Gould, swimming pool, TV and games room and £1 million Steinway cinema room, the couple were tempted.
‘This is phenomenal,’ added Zak. ‘It’s hard when you go and see something over budget because you’re always going to fall in love with it horrible.’
The final property on the list was a £3.5 million period property, dating back to 1450, in the village of Addington, in Surrey.
One of the oldest continuously inhabited homes in Britain, its provenance dates back to the time when Henry VIII went there with Anne Boleyn.
‘I love the property,’ said Charli. ‘I love the fact that there’s so much history with it, the entertaining space. If this was north of London, I would definitely say yes.’
FOOTBALL BOSS DESPERATE TO SELL
Football boss Peter Moore also appeared on the programme as he enlisted the help of Sotherby’s in order to sell his £2.35 million home in the Wirral
The programme also featured the £2.35 million home of former Liverpool football club chairman Peter Moore, one of the finest homes on the Wirral.
Hidden behind private electric gates, the house had a floodlit tennis court, tree house, zip line, pond and summer house.
The home has eight bedrooms, five bathrooms and an indoor pool complex, plus a gym and a summer house.
Hidden behind private electric gates, the house had a stunning reception room as well as a floodlit tennis court, tree house, zip line, pond and summer house
The enormous property also features eight bedrooms, five bathrooms and an indoor pool complex, plus a gym and a summer house