Judges head north in bid to home in on winner

House-proud property owners from Shetland will go head-to-head in the latest episode of Scotland’s Home of the Year on BBC Scotland this Wednesday.

Self-build Da Hen Run in Burra, owned by Wendy and Maurice Inkster, and Julie Talbot and Gary Mainland’s renovated croft house at Evrabister in Kergord will be showcased in the popular BBC series.

Mrs Inkster, who created and runs Burra Bears from a workshop in her home, said she decided to apply for the programme in “a bit of a mad moment”.

She said: “I watched the first series and part of the way through it I decided to apply. I never thought they would even get back to me.”

Her application in 2019 came too late for the second series of the programme but the producers promised to keep her in mind for any subsequent series.

Mrs Inkster said she was “quite flattered” to be asked last year if Da Hen Run could feature, adding: “Loads of folk apply obviously, so I was a bit surprised.”

The film crew arrived last September, under strict Covid guidance, and Mrs Inkster said she and her husband had to “disappear for a few hours” while the judges, interior designer Anna Campbell-Jones, architect Michael Angus and lifestyle blogger Kate Spiers, rummaged around their house.

“I didn’t mind them being there, but I was a bit worried about every bit of my house being on national TV,” she said.

“I was a bit worried that we were going to leave something lying around.”

She joked that the programme was a “great incentive” to get some early spring cleaning done.

Asked if she had left any Burra Bears lying around the sitting-room for the judges to eye, she replied: “I don’t think I hid any in the actual living room, I thought they might think that was advertising.”

She said she was not sure if the judges had looked around the workshop that she uses to design and create the bears.

Similarly, Ms Talbot said she had decided to apply “on a whim” after enjoying last year’s series of the show, which featured Iain and Suzanne Malcolmson’s home in South Nesting.

She said: “I loved the peerie fisherman’s cottage in Orkney and thought, ‘why not enter my peerie house?’

“Also, it prompted Gary to very kindly undertake some DIY to the cottage before filming commenced.”

Full story in today’s Shetland Times.


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