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Viewers slam first episode of Sarah Beeny’s New Life in the Country, branding her family ‘spoilt’

Viewers tuning into the first episode of the new series of Sarah Beeny’s New Life in the Country have criticised the couple’s extravagant house-building project – which last night saw Sarah and husband Graham Swift commissioning busts of themselves – calling it ‘really bad taste’.  

The programme, which aired on Channel 4 at 8pm on Tuesday, is the second in the series documenting the couple as they transform a semi-derelict former dairy farm on 220 acres of Somerset countryside into their luxury dream house – dubbed a ‘contemporary take on the classical English stately home’.

The first episode saw the family, including husband Graham Swift and their four boys Laurie, Charlie, Rafferty and Billy, helping out as builders continued to bring their dream to a reality; including helping to plant 20,000 trees in the extensive farmland surrounding their home and installing a bee farm. 

The grandiose mock Baroque house, when finished will boast a grand entrance hall, music room and sitting room as well as five bathrooms and five bedrooms. 

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Property entrepreneur Sarah Beeny’s second series of New Life in the Country sparked criticism after the first episode of the second series for Channel 4 aired on Tuesday; Beeny and her husband Graham Swift have built a modern stately home on a 220-acre former dairy farm in Somerset

The family, including Sarah and her husband Graham Swift (pictured centre), and their four sons are seen strolling the grounds of their estate - but the family's obvious wealth jarred with many watching the show

The family, including Sarah and her husband Graham Swift (pictured centre), and their four sons are seen strolling the grounds of their estate – but the family’s obvious wealth jarred with many watching the show

'A middle-class monster' is how one viewer described the five-bed, five bathroom home, inspired by Baroque architecture, that the couple have built from scratch

‘A middle-class monster’ is how one viewer described the five-bed, five bathroom home, inspired by Baroque architecture, that the couple have built from scratch

However, while many viewers said they liked the Beeny family, others found watching such a regal project – which saw the couple speculating about details such as cornices – jarring when so many people are facing poverty in the UK.  

The programme saw the family of six helping out builders at the rural site as they worked to complete works within a tight time frame – but they also focus on some of the interior touches.

At one point in the show, the couple pose for a 3-D scanner to create busts of their own heads. 

Swift is heard saying ‘I think I’ll go for an empirical look’ while Beeny reveals she thinks her husband secretly loves the idea of being a ‘lord of the manor’. 

Discussing the bust-making afterwards, Swift is heard adding: ‘Hopefully we’re still going to look posh enough!’ 

'Hopefully we're still going to look posh enough!' Beeny's husband Graham Swift ponders what the busts they've commissioned might look like

‘Hopefully we’re still going to look posh enough!’ Beeny’s husband Graham Swift ponders what the busts they’ve commissioned might look like

A fine artist arrives at the property to scan the couple's heads ahead of the commission

A fine artist arrives at the property to scan the couple’s heads ahead of the commission

Beeny the bust: the scanner reveals what the property entrepreneur's bust will look like

Beeny the bust: the scanner reveals what the property entrepreneur’s bust will look like

Ta da! It arrives but the family aren't entirely happy with the way it looks, suggesting Beeny looks 'more attractive in real life'

Ta da! It arrives but the family aren’t entirely happy with the way it looks, suggesting Beeny looks ‘more attractive in real life’

'I think I'll go for an empirical look': Swift poses up a storm for his bust

‘I think I’ll go for an empirical look’: Swift poses up a storm for his bust

And he's pleased with the results after one of the couple's sons tells him it makes him look 'much younger'

And he’s pleased with the results after one of the couple’s sons tells him it makes him look ‘much younger’

One viewer, @brianorbistc, wrote: ‘I’m really struggling to relate here – can they finish this absurd middle class monster on budget and can they get the cornice level Oh no!! I’m starting to hope the local peasants revolt and take it from them.’

@NG_Bookkeeping wrote: ‘I can’t watch it. When so many families can’t afford to feed themselves it’d all too much. Nice family but really bad taste.’ 

Others said they loved the programme, with one calling it ‘escapism’.  

@Comeondover66 wrote: ‘Interesting the amount of people criticising this program but still watching it Thinking face I love it and I think Sarah has a wonderful family.’

@FloodDj agreed, writing: ‘Well the whole show has obvious faults. But all forgiven cos of the puppies and the bees checking out their new hive!’

That's our home: the family take some time to admire the five bedroom stately home they will soon call their own

That’s our home: the family take some time to admire the five bedroom stately home they will soon call their own

The house will sit on a sprawling 220 acres in the middle of Somerset's countryside

The house will sit on a sprawling 220 acres in the middle of Somerset’s countryside

The project has taken years to go from plans to fruition, with the first series documenting how the couple intended to build their dream home

The project has taken years to go from plans to fruition, with the first series documenting how the couple intended to build their dream home

The couple took the inspiration for the home from Baroque architecture and hope they’ll end up with a ‘contemporary take on the classical English stately home’; the programme will follow the ups and downs of their build until they can finally move in. 

Graham is a professional artist, who spent months drawing up plans for the house, saying at the planning stage: ‘I’ve always wanted to build my own house. It’s going to be hard work but I hope it’s going to be rewarding.’


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