What's your problem?

This is embarrassing. Our house is desperately in need of renovation, but I don't have the money. My wife has signed us up to one of those reality TV house makeover shows, which would mean we'd get much of the renovation done for free.

by Jeremy Bullmore
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

It would be a huge relief, but I doubt I could live it down at work. I'm a junior board member, on a board full of sober-minded suits. I don't think they'd ever take me seriously again if I appeared on such a show. But my wife will be furious if we pull out. What can I do?

A: You should relax. Or at the very least, you should appear to relax. My guess is that you take yourself much too seriously and under-estimate (or perhaps, over-estimate) those sober-suited seniors on your board.

They'll tease you unmercifully, of course. But it's in your response to that teasing that your test will come. If you look thoroughly sheepish and discomfited, if you mutter that it was all your wife's idea and that you were dead against it from the beginning, they'll tease you all the more and see you as an insignificant figure of little personal authority.

Instead, you should remember that - inexplicably, I agree - nobody is immune to the transient fame that television bestows on things and people.

Your sober-suited seniors will not, of course, admit to this; but they'll be affected by it, too, and will want to tell their wives about the programme. So you should take the teasing good-naturedly, and gleefully let them into the secrets of the makeover, of the well-known presenter's idiosyncrasies, of the effect it will all have on the value of your property.

They'll never let you hear the end of it, of course, but secretly they'll think it's a pretty smart move on your part - which, as far as I can see, it probably is.


- Jeremy Bullmore has been creative director and chairman of J Walter Thompson London and a non-executive director of the Guardian Media Group; he is a non-executive director of WPP. Address your problems to Jeremy Bullmore at: editorial@mtmagazine.co.uk. Regrettably, no correspondence can be entered into.

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