House Swap Item on STV Show, The Hour

by Julie Gibbons on January 28, 2010

It’s funny how these things happens, is it not? Flush from the success of our appearance in the Guardian as ‘modern-day nomads‘ … :

… We were asked to appear on a Scottish television programme, The Hour, to talk about house swapping. It is so easy to be bashed for your chosen lifestyle, that I was wary about putting us on live television, but after speaking to programme researcher, Vanda, my concerns vanished. The package they had in mind was simply to promote the idea of house-swapping as a viable alternative holiday.

Of course, we don’t just house swap for a 2 week vacation – we go away for months at a time. We work and school from whichever location we’re in – and in the end it was this aspect the team were interested in.

The whole thing really was a breeze. We arrived at the STV studios about an hour and a half before the show was on air, and were met by the lovely Vanda and her equally lovely colleague, Fiona. Ruaridh asked for some ‘nibbles’ – preferably cashew nuts – and was furnished with a range of goodies (which distracted him nicely from the lack of cashews).

Martin and I were ushered into the make up room to have some powder (and a bit of lippy for me) applied, and we hung out for the rest of the time in the waiting room, and met the show’s resident doctor, Dr Deb, who kindly took our photo:

Team Fundergibbons at STV

Team Fundergibbons at STV

Then 15 minutes before kick off, Fiona ushered us into the studio where we met presenters Michelle McManus and Stephen Jardine, got hooked up to microphones and ran through a very quick rehearsal. The studio really is quite small, and shares the same space as the STV news. Lights and cameras abound, but there is a surprising lack of people. In addition to us, the show presenters, floor manager and sound engineer, there are probably only one or two more. All in all, the team for the show comprises only 17 people. It’s certainly a slick operation.

The titles started  (you can see it all live on a playback monitor) and for a second, I thought “OMG, we’re on live telly”, but then we were on, and there was no time to think. Here we are (only for UK residents, due to copyright law) Just click on the pic below to visit the show’s playback website:

team Fundergibbons On The Hour

Team Fundergibbons On The Hour

Our most exciting moment? After we’d finished our piece and were ushered out of the studio. We were on a high, and quite thrilled with the whole thing. Fiona was brill, and took time to explain some more about her own role, and that of others in the show. Ruaridh got a quick peek into the production suite, with all the gadgets and such, and was very thrilled with the idea of the headset comms. Here he is with the gorgeous Fiona, just outside the studio :

Ruaridh and Fiona

Ruaridh and Fiona

Exciting, and fast-paced, with lots of variety, Ruaridh has decided he wants to find out more about television production. He didn’t mention the video games industry once all day! If every home ed day was like this, he’d be in heaven!

The guys were generous enough to sneak us back in to the studio on the break, for another photo opp with Stephen and Michelle . Apparently, Michelle has a wee crush on Ruaridh ;-) :

Ruaridh with The Hour presenters

Ruaridh with The Hour presenters

If someone asks you to go appear on TV, you must do it! It was such fun. I do hope we can visit again.

Here we are in a wee feature all to ourselves in The Hour’s News & Gossip

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Lois, Home Base Holidays February 22, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Hi Julie

I’ve finally got around to publishing a post on our blog about your appearance on STV, etc. Have a look and let me know if anything should be changed:

If you were interested in a follow-up to this (or had time for), perhaps elaborating on the advantages of home exchange over other types of accommodation when running a business from abroad, we always welcome guest bloggers.



Ans Lammers March 5, 2010 at 10:26 am

Julie – member of our website – and her family are true ‘ambassadors’ for home exchange and we appreciate this very much. It proves that many people are still unaware of ‘home exchange’.
If you are interested in reading more news about home exchange, follow this link:

Kind regards,
Ans Lammers
(owner of


Julie Gibbons April 9, 2010 at 8:43 am

Thanks Ans – we’re thrilled to be part of such a great community – and have used exclusively for this summer’s swaps!


Jill singer October 14, 2010 at 7:18 am

I have found a gr8 Vacation Exchange Network site ( A unique home exchange program. This is only site offering both mutual and non-mutual home swaps. No need to find someone to use your vacation home.


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