Clutter Nutters



Nigel Clarke and Hannah Sandling


Colin the Compactor


Ricochet for BBC Two, 8 to 26 January 2007 (15 episodes in 1 series)


Clever version of BBC Two's The Life Laundry for kids, in the form of a game show.

Two kids who know each other compete to clear their bedrooms of the most rubbish. First, the kids are challenged to find some of their favourite things in a room rummage, in the style of Finders Keepers. If they find them, they can keep them off the clutter pile for free. Likewise, in the Mum and Dad Dash, a parent (or guardian, presumably) gets 20 seconds to pick one item to choose from the rubbish without penalty - either an item that's one of their kid's favourites or, more usefully, something heavy.

However, everything else then gets weighed in on some giant scales (which score extra points for measuring in National Curriculum-friendly kilogrammes). The kids then have to sort out the bumph into "Love It" or "Lose It" piles. After that, a couple of tasks are carried out to dispose of the Lose It pile as effectively as possible - e.g. by selling online, donating to charity or recycling. For both phases, the loser gets a 5kg teddy added to their Love It pile as a forfeit. Anything that's useless and can't be got rid of gets fed into Colin the Compactor. After that, we weigh all the stuff again and whoever's lost the most weight is the winner and gets a treat prize. In between all of this action, there's some pieces of VT about recycling, auction sites, selling tips and what have you.

Image:Clutter nutters hosts.jpgSome nutters. Not pictured: clutter

But, but, but! It still doesn't end there. What our players don't know is that secretly their bedrooms have been undergoing a makeover and so there's a nice Changing Rooms-style surprise for both players at the end.

Only a couple of things stop this from getting top marks. The two kids don't have the same amount of stuff at the start, which seems a little unfair one way or the other. And the whole thing seems just a tad over-formatted, with about nine different sections covered over the 45 minutes in what essentially is moving around one-legged Barbies and dog-eared Thomas the Tank Engine books all the time. It's in danger of outstaying its welcome just like adult lifestyle shows such as Flog It! - the horror, the horror.

Nevertheless, the clever editing and breezy hosts make this great fun, and the mixture of entertainment and education is well thought out.

Web links

BBC programme page


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