It's no wonder that Deborah Dunnet and her team at Glasgow based Raise the Roof Productions are overjoyed. The Scottish production company that brings us popular property shows such as Secret Agent with Phil Spencer and Fill Your House for Free with Kirstie Allsop, both directors in the business, has had over 200 hours of television commissioned since the company formed in 2010.
We caught up with Deborah to find out more about Raise the Roof Productions and why they chose Scotland as their base.
Describe your job role at Raise the Roof Productions - As Head of Development, it's my job to come up with new ideas for a TV series, along with my team and the people who run the company. I've been with Raise the Roof from day one in 2010 and since then we've had more than 200 hours of TV programmes commissioned, which as anyone who's ever started a new business will understand, we're pretty overjoyed about!
Raise the Roof Productions are based in Glasgow - why Scotland? - Not many people know this but there's a long history of property related TV programmes being made in Scotland. Location, Location, Location has been made by a Scottish company for more than a decade and Homes Under the Hammer is also produced from a Glasgow office, as is Cowboy Trap amongst many others. Phil and Kirstie have always said they wouldn't even have considered starting up their company anywhere else. "Everything we know about television has been learned from some of the best programme-makers in Scotland so to be able to base our own production company in Glasgow means the world to us" is what Kirstie said when we first opened our offices.
What sort of shows do you produce?- We have produced Secret Agent, which aims to help people sell their homes without spending too much money, Fill Your House for Free, which aims to help people furnish their homes without spending too much money - you can see a theme developing here. Our latest series is called Best of Both Worlds and it's for the 80% of the country who can't afford to live in the countryside but want the perks of country life without spending too much money! We've also made programmes about other subjects but property is our 'true love'. What's especially nice is that Raise the Roof doesn't just make its programmes from a Scottish base but we always aim to film parts of our series here. I grew up feeling like you hardly ever saw the real Scotland on TV, Rab C Nesbitt at best, but we've started the last two series of Secret Agent in Scotland and Fill Your House for Free was filmed in a Glasgow high-street shop.
Phil and Kirstie are the main presenters for your shows. Were they TV presenters that got into all things property or were they property experts that got into TV? - Both Phil and Kirstie ran property-search companies before being screen-tested for Channel 4. I think that's why people really do trust them with what is one of life's biggest decisions. They're not just TV presenters dabbling in pretty houses, they really know their stuff and never forget they're dealing with hundreds and thousands of people's very hard-earned cash.
What's the main difference when working with Scottish buyers/sellers and those in other parts of the UK?- I think across the UK buyers and sellers want the same thing: value for money yes, but really they want a home that they really love. Though myth would have it that the Scots are stingy, I'm yet to meet any Brit who wouldn't want to save thousands of pounds when they're buying so they can make more money when they're selling! I do think the Home Report system in Scotland helps people feel far more confident about their decision. I'm a fan.
What do Scottish home owners and buyers get from watching your show? - I hope they get sound advice, whether it's about how to buy, how to sell, how to make their home feel truly special or how to emigrate from Scotland to Oz. But I also hope they get the thrill we all get from looking at other peoples' properties! I certainly do.
Who can watch your shows outside of Scotland? - Our shows go out in Australia and New Zealand, across Europe, China, India, Taiwan and Israel. I'm afraid there's no escaping Phil and Kirstie.
Deborah, you work creatively in property and television. Describe your own property and what makes it 'home' for you - I could talk for hours about my flat. Whereas, friends post photos of their babies on Facebook, I post photos of my roof terrace. I had been keeping an eye on the block for 3 years, waiting for a flat to come up for rent. Then it did in March, just before the best summer we've seen in Scotland for years. It's very modern and minimal. I'm a huge fan of new builds. Other people look for period features; I look for electric points in the right places and good water pressure.
Newsletter - if you enjoyed this article, why not get more?
Fresh, tasteful, inspiring and brand new, Scottish Property Magazine offers sixty eight tantalising pages filled with beautiful photographs, inspirational ideas and in-depth articles on the following themes:
Lifestyle and Interiors,
Architecture and Self-build,
Renovations and Conversions,
Property News, Markets trends and Money Matters,
Selected properties currently on the market,
For the first four editions we are doing direct targeted distribution. The magazine is sent to 10,000 homeowners across the greater central belt, all of whom are either planning to sell, have just sold or have just bought a property. This strategic distribution will continue next year, however, we will also have it in the shops for sale by next summer. A smaller number also gets distributed to IFA's and brokers across the central belt.