Around the world in sixteen Extraordinary Homes

I’ve been catching up with BBC Two’s The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes – a programme hosted by Caroline Quentin and Piers Taylor that is kind of like Grand Designs, but the houses are already built and no one gets pregnant before the end of each episode.

My dad first highlighted the show to me, because there was an entire programme dedicated to underground houses. The dynamic duo visit four locations in each episode, sometimes staying overnight to get a really good feel of the dramatic, the exotic, the downright crazy of each domicile. Piers gives the insight of the architect, whilst Caroline gives a wonderfully optimistic more down-to-earth opinion.

And it’s in the relationship between these two that the show really shines. Yes, the houses are incredible and it’s always brilliant to look at grand designs and see what you like, what you’d have done differently, and of course, start planning your own incredible build for a very long time in the future.

But Piers and Caroline give the show its human edge: they get on together like a long-married couple, not quite bickering, but certainly knowing enough about each other’s flaws to make comfortable jokes at their own expense. And with Piers “banging on” about architecture in a knowledgeable fashion, whilst Caroline bounces around with less insightful but more useful notes (“so pretty”, “can’t open the door!”), it reminded me of something.

I realised what it reminded me of was Sidepodcast. Mr C’s carefully thought out opinions, research into topics and general stubbornness blend perfectly with my slightly air-headed but passionate three-part rages and driver crushes. The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes is like us but in a parallel universe.

Anyway, the show has been repeated and is on iPlayer at the moment, so watch if you can. The underground episode in particular was fascinating, and I’ve made lots of notes for our future bunker.