The Living Channel's blog

LIVING CHANNEL – Tuesdays from 3 March, 8pm

This series is for anyone who’s been duped during a home renovation. Construction and renovation expert Mike Holmes comes to the rescue.  Each week, Mike visits unlucky families who have been swindled or abandoned during their home improvement projects. Mike uncovers shoddy construction methods, improper techniques, and down right rip-offs. While we watch Mike uncover and fix the problems, he explains how homeowners can safeguard themselves from these unscrupulous builders and dishonest contractors. Throughout the series, viewers learn valuable lessons for their own home renovation projects such as the importance of a good contract, proper payment terms and what good craftsmanship should really look like.

LIVING CHANNEL – Sundays from 1 March, 10.30pm

Best-selling author Peter Ackroyd tells the story of the world’s most famous river, the Thames. In this fascinating series, he travels from the river’s source, in Gloucestershire, to the point where it meets the sea at Southend. Along the way, he meets those who live on the river, those for whom the Thames is a lifeline, and those who have recorded it on canvas – among them rock star Paul Simonon. Peter Ackroyd records how this great waterway was a favourite of artists such as Turner and Whistler and poets like Shelley. He explores the rural riverscape which inspired novels like The Wind in the Willows, tells the poignant story of London’s docks from boom to bust…and travels across the mysterious estuary aboard one of Britain’s sole surviving paddle steamers.

LIVING CHANNEL – Saturdays from 28 February, 10.30pm

We know that Italy and Northern Europe are renowned for their art, but what about Spain? In this absorbing and original series, Spanish art gains centre stage as art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon goes on the road to reveal the fabulous art treasures of the country. Travelling from the south to the north he explores some of Europe’s most important artists from Renaissance to Modernist – including Goya, Picasso, Dali, El Greco and Velasquez. And, going ‘off the beaten track’, he reveals rich insights into the culture and people who live and work with the greatest Spanish art and architecture every day. From Moorish art and the Islamic legacy on Spain and Europe to Modernism, Seville to Barcelona, food and wine, Andrew reveals that Spanish culture is every bit as rich as Italy’s, with a more surprising edge.

SUNDAY 5PM STARTS 15 FEBRUARY

Do you imagine relaxing in your own clean, green paradise, surrounded by the joys of nature and free from harmful toxins?  Organic Gardening brings you inspiration and practical knowledge so you can create your own eco-friendly garden, with chemical free plants and natural fruit and veggies without the damaging pesticides.  You’ll be amazed how easy it is to produce a self-sustaining environment, while caring for Mother Nature and keeping your family healthy.

SATURDAY 10.30PM STARTS 28 FEBRUARY

We know that Italy and Northern Europe are renowned for their art, but what about Spain? In this absorbing and original series, Spanish art gains centre stage as art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon goes on the road to reveal the fabulous art treasures of the country. Travelling from the south to the north he explores some of Europe’s most important artists from Renaissance to Modernist – including Goya, Picasso, Dali, El Greco and Velasquez. And, going ‘off the beaten track’, he reveals rich insights into the culture and people who live and work with the greatest Spanish art and architecture every day. From Moorish art and the Islamic legacy on Spain and Europe to Modernism, Seville to Barcelona, food and wine, Andrew reveals that Spanish culture is every bit as rich as Italy’s, with a more surprising edge.

SATURDAY 9.30PM STARTS 14 FEBRUARY

Four British celebrities are put through their paces as they have to take on a series of extreme challenges set out for them. Comedian Dom Joly tests his stamina and his nerves climbing up and then skiing down some of Nicaragua’s highest volcanoes! Green Wing actor Stephen Mangan heads to the Himalayan enclave of Bhutan on his mountain bike, which is an uphill struggle but he’s rewarded at a Buddhist festival. Olympic Gold Medallist James Cracknell tests his strength and his head for heights in the mountains of Venezuela with a bridge bungee jump and a paraglide, which are tricky enough but are made even trickier when followed by a downstream river wash with a cowboy. Ashley Hames also gets stuck in as he tackles a world first abseil into one of the largest cave systems in South East Asia! All this is coupled with the regular appearances from presenters Toby Amies and Julia Bradbury who travel all over the globe searching for the most adventurous trips, looking at places like Indonesia, Corsica, North America, Zambia and Dubai!

SATURDAY 6PM STARTS 14 FEBRUARY

Travel to the most exotic destinations around the world – from the comfort of your armchair. Each episode, Ernie Dingo and the team take us to the hot spots… you won’t be able to help but feel inspired to leave the living room and get out and experience The Great Outdoors!

http://au.travel.yahoo.com/great-outdoors/latest-show/index.html

FRIDAY 10.30PM STARTS 20 FEBRUARY

Think eco-travel is just for crunchy granola types? This brand new series is out to prove that responsible travel not only helps you sleep well at night, but also delivers adrenaline-pumping thrills and close encounters with lost tribes and exotic wildlife. After years of leading intrepid travellers on expeditions into remote regions in Central and South America, Jayms Ramirez leaves the backpack behind to check out a new generation of green travel that leaves no human or ecological need untended. A resort in the Costa Rican rain forest has a spa but no electricity, in Australia the hotel room is a tree house and in Mozambique the lights and the stove are solar-powered! Not content just to look at nature, Jayms jumps off cliffs into raging waters, scuba dives to help clean up reefs and “captures” dangerous animals — with his camera. But the highlights of his trips are always the people he meets and the experiences he shares with them, whether it be slurping a ‘bloody milkshake’ with Masai Warriors in Tanzania or sipping an intoxicating secret drink with the chief of a Fijian village. Going green never felt so good!

http://www.travelchannel.com/TV_Shows/Ecoluxe

THURSDAY 9.30PM STARTS 5 FEBRUARY

Queen of good taste, Naomi Cleaver (Other People’s Houses) exposes some of the worst design disasters that British homeowners have inflicted on their properties and comes up with some inspirational ideas to put everything right. Naomi is joined by a team of expert builders and decorators who turn her ideas into stunning reality, and restore the right look – and value – to the home.

WEDNESDAY 10.30PM STARTS 4 FEBRUARY

Interior designer Debbie Travis works with twelve 20-something protégés, who she believes could find a future in Canada’s booming building and design trades. The participants are put to the test over five weeks, turning a skeleton of a mansion into a fully decorated home, ready to be sold.  With them every step of the way, Debbie will separate the driven from the divas, and the talented from the traditional. Canadian viewers vote for the most worthy protégé who will win $250,000 of the profits from the sale of the home.