https://www.youtube.com/embed/kaHZcB9yPUY Karen Pirie comes from the mind of author Val McDermid, who wrote The Distant Echo, which the ITV drama is loosely based on. DS…
A father broke down in tears over a stranger’s generosity in the latest episode of the life-swap reality show Rich House Poor House.
The Channel 5 show pairs low and high income families and gives them a taste of each others’ lifestyles.
This week the Llewellyn family swapped their Enfield, north London, flat with the Hornings, who live in a five-bedroom mansion in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, which is worth around £1.5million.
Property manager Ed Llewellyn confessed that he had over-extended himself financially as a younger man and now struggled to shift years’ worth of debt.
He and wife Tracey spend £1,500 per month on rent and £200 on council tax, leaving them less than £100 a week for basics such as food, clothing and travel.
Meanwhile Ladisclav and Qi Horning, who both have high-powered finance jobs, have a weekly disposable income of £2,300.
Ed’s debts are a constant millstone for the Llewelyns. "Unfortunately the property market crashed and it left me with sky high debts that I couldn’t pay," he says in the show.
"I can’t afford to provide the things I want to for my family…it breaks my heart."
Former estate agent Ed said that he’s £25,000 in debt and regularly has to contend with bailiffs knocking at the door.
It’s a sharp contrast with the Hornings, who don’t even need to think about the prices of essentials. Qi admits at one point that she has no idea how much potatoes cost.
Ladisclav was shocked after poring over Ed’s finances and realising the Catch-22 situation that he was in so he offered to help Ed to clear his debts and give the hard-pressed Llewelyns a fresh start.
"I will arrange for you, if you want to, for you to have a chat with our people in London, in our office. Specialists," he said.
"I see your predicament and the pressure it puts on you and your family. Tracey, you will get out of it, he will get out of it."
Ed was overcome, and also said that tasting the fruits of the Hornings’ success had rekindled his ambition to do better for his family: "I’m a proud man,” he said, “and it hurts me when I’m not giving them what they need.”
Ladisclav replied out that Ed’s kids have "the biggest treasure, which is two loving parents.”
Once complaint that Ladisclav’s daughter Mischa made during the show was that her parents "don’t really play" with her much because they “never have any time”.
Mischa’s mum Qi echoed the sentiment, saying ”You don’t have much time with your children,”
"I miss her school events, parents evenings. I feel guilty all the time."
"For people with very limited income and some debt, they must be extremely stressed and really do not know what will happen tomorrow, so it’s quite scary.
"I think after this week we should appreciate more what we’ve got, especially Mischa. It’s changed me a lot."
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