OK, technically it’s a blog, but vlog sounds more like flog so let’s go with that for the sake of a pun. This isn’t a vlog at all, it makes no sense, but it rhymes. Also, if Channel 4 does an online spin off and steals the name, they now owe me royalties.
I should point out at this point, none of this means anything if you don’t know that ‘Find it Fix it Flog It’ is a TV show by Channel 4…Without this information that first paragraph is the ramblings of a deranged man.
2017 was the year of restorations, upcycling and getting downright dirty. If that doesn’t make you want to keep on reading, I don’t know what will. When you spend a year surrounded by paint (if gloss paint wasn’t a thing the world would be a better place), epoxy resin and every other type of DIY substance from wax and wood oil to boat varnish, it tends to end up on you and your clothes. After a few days we basically gave up trying to look half presentable and embraced it. Within weeks we were no longer a TV Production team, we were tradesmen with a disregard for appearances who also picked up cameras and filmed a bit.
Setting up shop round the back of an old Victorian swimming pool in Liverpool, we turned the space into a makeshift workshop and production office. The production office consisted of a second hand IKEA desk, one laptop and a faulty printer but ever the professionals we made it work. So needing things to Fix and Flog we set off around the country to 100 locations. Turns out when you’re on daytime TV they make a LOT of episodes. We had approximately a year to visit 100 places, presenters Henry & Simon find 200 items EACH in those places and fix them up in their workshops. That alone is hard enough, but we have to film it too which triples the time it takes to do it all. If you didn’t film a screw going into a bit of wood, or a layer of paint being applied to a table, it doesn’t exist in TV land, so take that screw out and do it again when the cameras are rolling. Slap more paint on that table. That adds up and the fact we were able to turn every item around in time under, and at times in genuinely harsh conditions. Old Victorian Baths sound lovely, but they don’t come with heating and in the winter months, it gets bloody cold as it turns out – it was so cold at one point that Simon was attempting to paint on wood that had iced over and we had no time or proper means to thaw it out. Ice isn’t a great platform to attempt to paint on to, funnily enough. Even gloss, which will 100% stick to anything and everything within a 7 mile radius. When you’re up against a big dealine, as we often were, things just have to get done by any means necessary.
Those aforementioned 200 items were found in barns, garages, sheds and man caves up and down the country which meant a lot of driving and a lot of hotels. I love being on the road and I love a full english breakfast. But by hotel 27 when you’re in triple figures for sausages consumed that month it starts to take its toll. Mainly on the waistline. It’s at this point I always think to what I could be doing in another life, if TV never worked out. I’ve had many jobs before telly, one of which was spent in a truck container emptying the boxes it was carrying onto a forklift truck. The upside was I had a companion who was also in this container with me. The downside he had the worst flatulence you’ve ever experienced and I was in a confined space with him. So being stuck on the M6 after a shoot, eating Percy Pigs from a service station and listening to Simon Mayo on the way home from Basingstoke is really quite pleasant in the grand scene of things.
In all honesty I love being out and about around the country, especially in the rural areas. We have some stunning countryside. We also have some proper nutters who never throw things away but I love that eccentricity. Throw something away and it ends up in a landfill. We were able to save 400 items from a potential trip to the landfills, restore them or upcycle them into something people would want to use again in their homes. You could say we were saving the world, one item at a time. You’d be massively over egging the impact of what we were doing, but you could say that.