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Changing Rooms
Created byPeter Bazalgette, Ann Booth-Clibborn, Nick Vaughan-Barratt
Presented byCarol Smillie (1996–2003)
Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen (2003–04; 2021–22)
Anna Richardson (2021)
Theme music composerJim Parker
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series17 (BBC)
2 (Channel 4)
No. of episodes165 (inc. specials) (BBC)
12 (Channel 4)
Running time30 minutes (original)
60 minutes (revival)
Production companiesBazal (1996–2002)
Endemol UK Productions (2002–04)
Shine TV (2021–2022)
Original networkBBC Two (1996–97)
BBC One (1998–2004)
Channel 4 (2021–2022)
Original release4 September 1996 (1996-09-04) –
14 September 2022 (2022-09-14)
60 Minute Makeover

Changing Rooms is a do-it-yourself home improvement show broadcast in the United Kingdom on the BBC between 1996 and 2004. The series was revived on Channel 4 in 2021.[1]

The show was one of a number of home improvement and lifestyle shows popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The show was later franchised, generally under the same name, for the local TV markets in the United States, New Zealand and Australia.


The premise of the show was for couples to swap houses with friends or neighbours with each pair decorating one room in each other's homes. This leads up to a finale with both couples seeing their rooms, and meeting up again – almost invariably on still friendly terms. With the show including some top designers,[2] their ideas could be a little over the top, which led to a few tears and tantrums.


The show began on BBC Two, at 9pm on 4 September 1996, before transferring to BBC One for the start of the third series in 1998. The final edition was broadcast on 22 November 2004 after a successful 8-year, 17 series run. The cancellation was announced on 27 August 2004.

Changing Rooms was originally hosted by Carol Smillie, and assisting with the remodelling was a Cockney carpenter, "Handy" Andy Kane. The former designer on the show, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, took over presenting the show from Smillie in 2003 for series 14 and 15. "Handy" Andy went on to host his own DIY shows.

In November 2004, a special episode was taped in Boscastle, Cornwall, for Christmas broadcast. Designers Anna Ryder Richardson, Graham Wynne and Gordon Whistance took on the task of restoring the decor of homes and businesses damaged in the floods of August that year. The episode was broadcast on 28 December 2004.

In October 2020, Channel 4 announced that it would be reviving the show, with Llewelyn-Bowen returning as presenter alongside Davina McCall.[3] On 22 March 2021, it was confirmed that McCall would not present the revived series due to scheduling conflicts and the delayed filming of the show as a result of coronavirus restrictions.[4] On 5 May 2021, Anna Richardson was confirmed as McCall's replacement.[5]


The designers on the original version during its run included:


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In one episode in series 8, a Linda Barker room was being built in Wandsworth to accommodate a large collection of teapots. Overnight, the shelves collapsed, demolishing the valuable collection.[6]

The show gained popularity through the sometimes unusual designs of Llewelyn-Bowen and the reactions of some participants who disliked their newly designed rooms. Famously, one room of Llewelyn-Bowen's was decorated entirely in animal prints on the advice of the neighbours. The visibly upset homeowners described it as resembling "a tart's boudoir" and pointed out that the neighbours, also friends, had known of their dislike of animal prints but had suggested them to Llewelyn-Bowen as a joke.

In another famous episode, Anna Ryder Richardson designed a room for a couple where she placed framed erotic French undergarments around the room. On entering the room, the woman screamed aloud and shouted, "Why would I want this shit in my room?! I've got children!" and burst into tears. Richardson apparently blushed brightly.

In another episode, after a room had been designed, it had to be redesigned because the owner of the room missed her old fireplace.

International versions

The show has been franchised and variations of it appear in several other countries, sometimes with a different name – such as Trading Spaces in United States. The original Changing Rooms is also broadcast overseas, for example, on BBC America and featured in various US shows, the Sex and the City episode "Lights, Camera, Relationship" being one example.

A New Zealand edition of the show was produced for several years, also called Changing Rooms. It was identically formatted to the British series, with host Kerry Smith, "Handy" Andy Dye, and regular designers including Donald Grant Sunderland, Neil McLachlan and Sally Ridge. A handful of international shows were produced, each featuring one couple in New Zealand and one in the United Kingdom.

Australia's Nine Network also produced a local version of Changing Rooms from 1998 to 2005, hosted by Suzie Wilks who was assisted by Peter Everett, James Lindsay, Catherine Morton and Tim Janenko-Panaeff. The show is being revived by Network Ten in 2019.

In the Netherlands a Dutch version – In Holland staat een huis – was broadcast by RTL4 from 1998 to 2006, hosted by Martijn Krabbé. In 2022 it will be revived on SBS6.

Transmission guide

Original series

Series Start date End date Episodes
1 4 September 1996 9 October 1996 6
2 28 July 1997 22 September 1997 8
3 10 March 1998 14 April 1998 6
4 16 July 1998 16 September 1998 10
5 6 January 1999 3 March 1999 8
6 6 September 1999 20 December 1999 10
7 5 May 2000 9 June 2000 6
8 4 September 2000 13 November 2000 9
9 27 November 2000 3 May 2001 11
10 11 September 2001 22 October 2001 7
11 25 February 2002 10 August 2002 13
12 26 August 2002 7 November 2002 8
13 3 April 2003 14 July 2003 12
14 15 September 2003 15 December 2003 13
15 5 January 2004 23 February 2004 7
16 19 April 2004 14 June 2004 8
17 9 August 2004 22 November 2004 12

Revived series

Series Start date End date Episodes
1 18 August 2021 22 September 2021 6
2 10 August 2022 14 September 2022 6


Entitle Air Date
Series 1 Highlights 30 December 1996
Changing Rooms Stripped Bare 5 December 1998
Christmas Special: Arran 25 December 1998
Redecorated 2 April 1999
The World of Changing Rooms 30 August 1999
A Morning with Changing Rooms 13 December 1999
Tenerife 27 December 1999
When Changing Rooms Met Ground Force 13 February 2000
When Changing Rooms Met The Navy 2 September 2000
When Changing Rooms Met Ground Force 2 24 October 2000
Boscastle Christmas Special 28 December 2004

See also


  1. ^ Samadder, Rhik (24 November 2014). "What happened to all the Changing Rooms stars?". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  2. ^ Williams, Kathryn (18 August 2021). "The designers on the new Changing Room revival". WalesOnline. Retrieved 8 April 2022.
  3. ^ West, Amy (9 October 2020). "Big Brother's Davina McCall joins reboot of Changing Rooms". Digital Spy. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  4. ^ "Davina McCall pulls out of Changing Rooms reboot". Radio Times. 22 March 2021. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  5. ^ "Anna Richardson confirmed to host Changing Rooms reboot". Radio Times. 5 May 2021.
  6. ^ "Linda Barker's Changing Rooms Teapot Disaster". Archived from the original on 22 December 2021 – via YouTube.