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Construction Squad: Operation Homefront

Construction Squad: Operation Homefront

Fri Aug 30, 8-9pm, C5

By Yolanda Zappaterra
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Series one, episode one
Old folk, like my dad, used to have a saying: ‘If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.’ TV producers of makeover shows have tweaked it thus: ‘If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing in a ridiculously short space of time with lots of impediments, problems and unexpected hitches.’ It might create tension, but not when it’s laboured over to the point of tedium, as it is in this makeover of a derelict Tyneside hospital into a centre for children with special needs. By former armed forces personnel. In four days.

Surely they – and we – deserve something that’s taken a bit more care, time and love, rather than a breakneck-speed project hampered by bad weather, lack of volunteers and contractors, plumbing issues, delivery problems, no power, damp conditions and a mad dash for the finish line. It leaves precious little room for real insight into the children’s and families’ needs, instead offering bare brushstrokes. Will they meet their deadline? Will it all have been worth it? Will there be tears? Of course there will, and my dad would doubtless be choked up. But he’d be very worried about the finishing.
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