Great House Giveaway host reveals how pandemic affected Channel 4 show

The Great House Giveaway host Tayo Oguntonade has said the effect of the pandemic on the housing market made his role “more difficult” in the forthcoming series of the Channel 4 show.

The Bafta-winning programme sees two strangers hoping to get on the property ladder given money to buy a property at auction.

They then have six months to redevelop the property into a desirable home with the aim to sell and split the profits, but if they fail the house goes back to auction.

Tayo Oguntonade (C4/The Great House Giveaway/PA)
Tayo Oguntonade (C4/The Great House Giveaway/PA)

Property expert Oguntonade, who has joined the hosting team as part of Channel 4’s Black to Front diversity project, said that due to coronavirus restrictions he and co-host Simon O’Brien had to choose and purchase the properties for each pair.

He said: “It wasn’t too much pressure, but it was definitely more difficult because of what the market offered in the pandemic.

“House prices went up and the market became very competitive. We had to deal with buying in that environment and that was something that nobody had expected.

“There wasn’t more pressure, because when buying property you focus on the numbers, you don’t put any emotion into it and you play the market.

“It’s an investment property so the numbers guide the investment decision. It’s not about who likes what, it’s about profit.

Simon O’Brien (C4/The Great House Giveaway/PA)
Simon O’Brien (C4/The Great House Giveaway/PA)

“I think we still managed to buy some good houses at some good prices, even in such a competitive market.“

The show won a TV Bafta award in the new daytime category in June this year.

O’Brien said receiving the accolade had been “amazing”.

“It’s the highest accolade you can have in our industry,” he said.

“(Production company) Chwarel and Channel 4 along with Together, really stuck their neck out because there was a big risk involved with the first series.

“There were no hidden numbers or figures. They got their house and their budget and if they did well, they did well but if they failed, well then they fail.

“That’s what made it such a raw series and I think Bafta recognised that.

“We were up against some big hitters and yet a tiny little company called Chwarel and myself are now the proud winners of a Bafta.

“I’ve been working in this industry, as well as doing properties up for 35 years now and that’s just the pinnacle.”

The Great House Giveaway series two airs from September 6 to September 10 at 4pm on Channel 4.