New BBC TV show sees local judges search for St Albans’ best address

The Best House in Town judges: (l-r) Olwyn Grint, Emma Bustamante, Dean Mason, Randa Kort and Kuldip

The Best House in Town judges: (l-r) Olwyn Grint, Emma Bustamante, Dean Mason, Randa Kort and Kuldip Chohan. Picture: BBC - Credit: Archant

St Albans’ most outstanding home is set to be revealed in a new BBC TV series.

St Albans' 'best house' will be revealed on Friday, February 22

St Albans' 'best house' will be revealed on Friday, February 22 - Credit: Archant

The Best House in Town, which made its debut this week in York, sees five local judges touring a range of properties before voting on their favourite.

Gallery Rouge managing director Kuldip Chohan, Emma Bustamante, the owner of Cositas interiors shop on Holywell Hill, and Olwyn Grint, who runs St Albans-based colour consultancy Tickled Pink Interiors, are among the group of nosy neighbours tasked with handing out this amazing accolade.

St Albans-based interior designer Randa Kort and builder Dean Mason from Creative Construction complete the expert panel.

Each episode sees a different type of home coming under the microscope, with owners of terraces, semis, detached houses and flats and – interestingly – wildcards, all having their moment to shine.

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Having a group of strangers critiquing your house on national TV isn’t for the faint-hearted, and Marshalswick-based Kuldip acknowledges that it can’t have been easy for the home owners.

“It must have been incredibly nerve wracking for them to have us five complete strangers suddenly wandering in their property and potentially providing some pointed commentary,” he says.

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Emma, who lives in Fleetville, agrees: “I think they’ve been very brave. All credit to them that they took part and let everyone see their homes – but they were right to do that because really the houses were so lovely.”

Emma adds that she was wary of being too critical when sharing her thoughts about the competing properties, saying she was “very conscious of the fact that it’s somebody’s home.

“But in order to create a programme that would be engaging and interesting to watch we did have to be objective. Sometimes we really did struggle to find a negative, though.”

Both judges agree that their seven days spent filming the show made for an excellent experience.

“We had an absolutely fantastic team,” says Kuldip. “We had a real mix of characters and it was an immense amount of fun being together.

“As we got more familiar with the approach we did loosen up a bit and more jokes and laughs were had. We did get a little bit silly now and again, jumping on beds and stuff like that, we let loose a little bit.”

Choosing a winner was the toughest challenge of all, and Emma admits she struggled to make her choice.

“Each house had qualities in itself that were really strong,” she says. “It did make the final judgement really hard. I did struggle. But I think we chose well.”

The St Albans episodes of The Best House in Town will be on BBC1 at 3.45pm from Monday, February 18.

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