GRAND Designs star Kevin McCloud has given a rare update of the show’s infamous ‘saddest ever’ home after the owner was left millions in debt.
Edward Short and his wife Hazel appeared on Grand Designs in 2019 with plans to refurbish an almost derelict clifftop mansion, situated between Saunton Sands and Croyde Beach in North Devon.
However, the property has since been dubbed Grand Designs’ “saddest ever” home.
Kevin, 64, caught up with Edward last year. The homeowner had completed the renovations on the property which he purchased in 2010, but the decade of work took a toll on his family.
Not only did the expansive renovation and building project set Edward back £7 million, he lost his relationship with then-wife Hazel, too.
“My ambition and vanity collapsed the marriage,” he admitted to Kevin last year.
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Edward was left with the only option, which was to sell the property and he was asking for £10 million for it, which would be enough to clear his debts and purchase a new family home.
Recently Kevin spoke to Metro.co.uk, sharing an update on the sale.
‘Ed and I still communicate by email now and again,’ he said.
‘It’s not always the case you keep in contact with people, but in his case, it was such a special project and we had a lot of shared interests in common and we share a mutual friend.”
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He revealed that the property has now been split into two listings earlier this year as no buyers were offering close to its £10 million price tag.
This might make the property more appealing to buyers.
“He is still battling along with it,” Kevin continued.
“We went back for the revisit, which was great and rather redemptive, and now I think it is still on the market,” he said of his visit last year.
He added: “I haven’t checked in with him recently, but he is hoping for a bite on the line as it were,” the presenter stated.
Kevin previously said he was impressed by the way Edward handled the difficult situation.
“I’ve always been utterly in admiration of somebody who is prepared to admit, with such humility, their failings, in front of three and a half million strangers. It’s almost a public self-castigation of human foibles and failings.”
“I’ve become very emotionally bound up with it. You can’t not, can you? I’ve known these guys for that long. Their girls were young teenagers when I first met them. They’re now young women.”
Despite his long-standing acquaintance with Edward and his family, the TV host said it’s his job not to get too friendly with the people who appear on the show.
“If I’m too pally with the guys who are building, then, in a way, I think I’ve betrayed my relationship with the viewer.”
Additionally, he can’t take on the guilt or responsibility for their failed projects or marriage breakdowns.
“I see my role as like that of a therapist. I’m not complicit with these people. I’m not egging them on. I’m not involved in their design,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Kevin continues to host a new season of Grand Designs, almost a quarter of a century after it began.
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‘I am amazed that I am still alive, that the show is still being commissioned, and that we get the diversity of projects we still do,’ he gushed.
Grand Designs continues on Wednesday at 9pm on Channel 4.
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