Hello and welcome to our brand new, interactive website! We’re thrilled to be launching this user-friendly arena and hope it’ll grow, over the coming months, to become a clear insight into our wee world. But we couldn’t be doing any of this without you. You, after all, are the loyal viewers and dedicated readers who keep us busy, and for that blessing we’ll be eternally grateful. We’ve had an exciting and crazy career thus far, yet we still feel we haven’t even scratched the surface of what’s still to come! We hope, after scanning our site, that you’ll feel empowered to use it as an inspirational tool for your next domestic or commercial project. And we hope to guide you though your plans by answering as many questions as possible, or at least by steering you in the right direction via our various pages. Whether your objectives are modest or ambitious, and whether you have a large or small budget, we’re here to help!
What’s more we’ll have gossip, showbiz’ scoops and all manner of top tips relating to design, travel and general lifestyle. We’ll be adding pictures and news updates on a regular basis and, wherever possible, taking your direction! So feel free to write to us via our contact page and we’ll do our best to assist.
For those who’ve only recently discovered us, we thought it might be helpful to provide a little peek into our past. And for those who’ve been with us over the last decade? Sit tight us as we recount our story, much of which you’ll probably already know!
So here goes with a potted C ‘n’ J history! On April 28th 2010 we’ll have been a couple for 25 glorious years and got engaged two years past in Muskoka, Canada. In February 2008 we tied the knot at Chelsea Registry Office and are now blissfully married! As partners in life and business, we’re excited to straddle a blossoming career on both sides of The Pond, enjoying, as we do, the best that Canada and the UK have to offer.
One of us, Colin, hails from Glasgow and studied Local Government at the College of Commerce, while the other, Justin, read psychology at Glasgow University. We both enjoyed our stint in further education but realised we’d need to change professional direction to feel fully satisfied. Justin worked, for a time, in estate agency and insurance while Colin worked for the local council. Each of us enjoyed a short dalliance as film and TV extra's and spent weekends taking on modelling jobs via a local talent agency. Hey, anything to pay the rent! It would be these frothier career diversions, however, that eventually provided fresh and more appealing opportunity...
We always shared a huge affection for home design and, whenever there was a chance, we’d willingly help friends add the glamour factor at home. Sure, money was in short supply but ideas and inspiration were wildly abundant. As our experience grew, word spread and professional opportunities began to beckon...
We got our first major break on a Scottish lifestyle TV programme called Summer Discovery some fourteen years past. After that we featured on various Scottish shows before being asked to screen test for an exciting new BBC show called Trading Up which we would go on to host for seven series – some 200 episodes in total! The premise was simple; spend £500 over a weekend and make difficult to sell homes more appealing. At the same time we became resident interior designers on Housecall, another BBC daytime show that garnered wonderful ratings for the channel.
Shortly after this, we were invited to front what would ultimately become a BBC monolith; the hugely successful ‘Million Pound Property Experiment’ which saw us buy, renovate and sell seven properties across Britain, ranging from £100,000 to £1.25 million. Together with The BBC we gifted the profits of each ‘flip’ (nearly £300K in total) to Children In Need, a major UK charity.
Following this, a two-year exclusive deal with Five saw us host four series of ‘How Not To Decorate’ as well as the second series of The Farm, a reality show which saw us presiding over a dozen celebrities in rural Wiltshire. Other shows on Five included 'Twenty Ways To Make Money On Your Home', ‘Wedding Belles’, 'Makeover Madness' and 'Fashion Frock Ups'. Our most recent Five outing was 'The Estate' and in this groundbreaking format we were sent into a local housing scheme that needed serious help to rebuild its once high levels of community pride.
Next, we were offered a golden handcuffs deal with HGTV, a North American network, and filmed four thirteen episode seasons of the now notorious 'Colin and Justin's Home Heist'.
At present we’re working on new ideas in Canada where we recently bought a downtown Toronto penthouse. We’re also getting used to being back in Britain after our exploits on ITV's 'I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here' and have just completed 24 episodes of ‘The Sixty Minute Makeover’, also for ITV. The premise? Three rooms transformed in precisely one hour. Sounds crazy, perhaps, but it’s all in the choreography and of course careful pre planning! It’s a wonderful show with which we’re proud to be associated.
We’re currently working on several new British TV formats and anticipate exciting output in 2010 and beyond. So watch this space! ‘Colin and Justin's Home Heist’ continues to run on HGTV and BBC Canada and, while initially created for North America, it has now sold all around the world. Which means if you're in Spain, France, Poland, Germany, Australia, America, Hungary or South Africa - not to mention a host of other destinations such as Dubai and New Zealand - there’s NO excuse to miss out as our global mission of decorative beautification gathers momentum!
All of our shows, when in production either side of The Pond, provide work for a team of thirty or so people and help pump money into the TV industry and into the economy beyond. Regularly featured in North America on Entertainment Tonight Canada, City Line and BT - as well as UK chat shows such as Loose Women, This Morning and Jonathan Ross – we’re always dashing somewhere to get to our next appointment!
Our first book, ’The Million Pound Property Experiment’, which accompanied their UK series on BBC2, was voted winner in the Lifestyle category at WH Smith's "People's Choice" Book Awards. Our second book, ‘Colin and Justin's How Not To Decorate’, was published by Time Warner. Our third book ‘Colin & Justin's Home Heist Style Guide’, published by Penguin Canada, is in store now! Penguin.ca said of the book; "HGTV's smash hit ‘Colin and Justin's Home Heist’ launched in 2007, unleashing the outrageous wit of the sassy designers on an unsuspecting and style-deprived Canadian public. Now the hilarious hosts use their expertise (and sharp tongues) to teach us how to renovate our own needy dwellings, room by room. ‘Colin and Justin's Home Heist Style Guide’ takes the reader through every stage of home planning, covering everything from colour schemes to shopping on a budget, giving even the most hopeless homeowner an indispensable list of do's and, even more importantly, don'ts of home design."
In The UK, drawing on our journalistic background, we write weekly columns in The Sunday Mail Right At Home Magazine and in Closer where we’re the resident 'agony uncles'! In Canada we contribute weekly musings to the Toronto Star, and monthly to Rona Magazine.
As regular guests in various North American and UK ‘live event’ travelling home shows we appear in person to dispense homes and interiors advice to the gathered masses. We’ve had a wide and varied career to date, yet as we said earlier, we’ve only just started. To quote ourselves; "We're more about ‘A life in the day of Colin and Justin’ rather than ‘a day in the life of Colin and Justin’!" Aye, there is SO much more to come…