As Safe As Houses

Comedian Marcus Brigstocke tears up the laminate flooring to reveal the true history of the British housing market, a centuries old story of greed, double-dealing and estate agency.



Proudhon may have believed that property is theft, but William the Conqueror saw things rather differently. In this first programme, Marcus maps the land beneath our feet and sets out to discover who owns it. Armed with a surveyor's chain and a working knowledge of feudal tenure, he uncovers a history of theft, greed and gardening and wrestles with the philosophy of land ownership. Would Plato have approved of buy-to-let schemes? Did Adam own the freehold on Paradise? And why are we so keen to sign up for a death-pledge?

02Bricks And Mortar2006021120060927

Marcus turns his attention to the home-owners' favourite, the estate agent, to find out if the stereotyped image of board wars, back-handers and fantasy valuations has any truth to it.

03 LASTThere Goes The Neighbourhood2006021820060928

Marcus explores the way the housing market has shaped the streets of modern Britain. Meeting just some of the officials who design and approve everything from a new conservatory to a new town, he uncovers a story of red tape, fortunes made and communities that will never be same again.