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Hollywood Me? No thanks...

Who can forget Changing Rooms? Presenter Carol Smillie and interior designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen would invade rooms in adjoining houses and refurbish/ruin them (delete as applicable), seemingly on a budget of about £7.25.

The results were often disastrous, not least when Llewelyn-Bowen – luxuriant-haired, ruffle-shirted, frilly-cuffed – covered a bedroom belonging to a couple who hated animal prints with nothing but, you've guessed it, animal prints at the behest of neighbours who'd meant it as a joke.

Now we have a Changing Rooms for the 21st century that's bigger, longer and even more ghastly than the original. It's called Hollywood Me, and instead of LLB we get MLB: Martyn Lawrence Bullard, in his own modest words, "the most famous interior designer in America".


Bullard's clients include Elton John, Sharon Osbourne, Cher, La Toya Jackson and other famous people with money to burn and taste to spurn. Due to a hitch I couldn't watch last night's opening episode, but I've seen next week's. It makes no difference anyway, since Hollywood Me sticks to a predictable formula.

Bullard, a cravat-wearing Briton with a transatlantic drawl that stretches sentences out to the width of the ocean itself, sashays into a British town and pounces on one "lucky" person with the news that they're being whisked off to Hollywood for a few days' pampering.

The participant/victim in programme two is a lovely woman called Jenny, who hasn't allowed her MS to get in the way of her work as a nurse to disabled children. "I'm paaahsionate about every aspect of design and I'm going to bring some of that paaahsion to the Bridish public," drawls Bullard, who's wearing designer shades despite it being about 8am on a grey, foggy morning in Leicester.

A snickering sub-Come Dine With Me voiceover toots: "He waits, like a Prada-wearing bird of prey, for his quarry." Indeed. Wearing designer shades. In the fog. In Leicester. What Jenny doesn't know is that while she's in La La Land, Bullard and his team will be vandalising, I mean remodelling, the interior of the semi-D she shares with her husband according to whatever whim grips the maestro.

Noticing that Jenny seems to like butterflies, he decides a whole room should be covered in butterfly wallpaper. Spotting a lava lamp in another room, he declares that what's needed here is a muddled 1960s look: "It's Andy Warhol goes to Hollywood, comes to Leicester and brings Audrey Hepburn with him."

Inside real people's heads, what this breaks down into is pasting an enormous image of Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's on the living room wall, sticking a big mirror on the fireplace, painting the spare bedroom with retina-scorching orange stripes, and putting up a platinum ceiling (really just shiny paper) like the one in Elton John and David Furnish's bedroom (probably actual platinum).


While Bullard is fond of inscribing patterns in the air with his hands and theatrically raising his eyebrows at the camera, he rarely lifts a finger. The donkey work is left to harassed sidekick Ed, whose main job is exasperatedly reminding Bullard that they're on a tight budget, and Di, a diminutive painter and decorator who makes a retching noise whenever Bullard pulls out his iPad to show her another crazy idea.

Meanwhile, Jenny, dropped into Hollywood like a panicked goldfish on a tiled floor, gets to meet her celebrity VBF for the trip. A black limo rolls up. There's tense music as the tinted window slowly rolls down to reveal . . . omigod . . . Tori Spelling!

Tori relates to Jenny the only way the star of Beverly Hills 90210 can with a woman who works with disabled children and has MS, then presents her with a tacky tiara that would insult a three-year-old.

After that, it's off for a caviar massage and a trip to a store on Melrose Avenue, where Jenny tries on some silly outfits and Tori models a pearl-encrusted neck brace.

You'll need one of those when you're watching Hollywood Me and laughing your head off.