I thought we’d seen the last of the infamous F***ing Fulfords but tuning in to Country House Rescue to see new presenter, Simon Davis in action, there they were again, still in their beautiful, crumbling ancestral pile but this time asking for help. Apparently.
Still struggling to make ends meet and still in constant danger of losing Grade 1 listed manor Great Fulford , Francis and Kishanda Fulford want Simon to find a way to make enough money from their Devon home for them to remain living there comfortably. As it is, the ‘pot is empty’ (I suspect long since sold), a large portion of the house is falling into disrepair and they can scarcely afford to heat the small area they live in.
And yet, right from the start this couple are absolutely impossible, refusing to co-operate with anything Simon suggests.
To be fair, I say ‘couple’- I mean Kishanda. Whilst Francis seems an ineffectual and daft old eccentric who reminds me uncannily of a ventriloquist’s dummy, he at least has the grace to give Simon the time of day. Kishanda on the other hand is thoroughly obnoxious from their first meeting, refusing to talk money, accept facts, do anything that isn’t ‘fun’ or to come and see any of Simon’s examples of the type of thing they could do with Great Fulford.
The idea of making it into a successful B&B by reducing the ludicrous £275 a night room prices, is shot down in flames by Kishanda, who walks out when forced to face the fact that at this sum they haven’t had a single paying guest. Similarly the idea of reducing the £4,500 currently charged for weddings in their painfully tired hallway (resulting in no takers) is equally preposterous to her.
Simon’s suggestion of a monthly film club held there is given at least some consideration before being rejected, although it seems like there could be progress when Kishanda develops an enthusiasm instead to set up a jazz club. Simon, swallowing his irritation, manfully encourages her to put her dream into practice.
On his return the signs look good – a pianist, singer and saxophonist are in place and tables are laid out nicely for a meal. However, when he congratulates Kishanda and asks how much she is charging for the evening she is stand-offish and cagey, refusing to divulge any details of costings and walking off (again). It quickly transpires she’s merely holding a party for friends so the whole point of the exercise has been entirely wasted, as has poor Simon’s time (though Kishanda has the nerve to suggest he has wasted hers!)
I wasn’t sure about posh-boy Simon at first, being quite a fan of Ruth Watson. I wonder if she may have had more success with Kishanda, being both a woman and a direct one at that, but it seems unlikely. Still, Simon’s steely politeness and gentlemanly behaviour in the face of it all really made me warm to him, as a lesser person would have lost their temper.
It’s a pretty annoying episode overall, but if you fancy watching open-mouthed at their bare-faced rudeness, or (more pleasurably) Simon fuming and ranting in his 4×4 (I rather like him when he’s angry) then why not catch up on 4OD.