During the past few weeks of lockdown, a number of celebrities have been going about their business as usual but broadcasting from home, meaning we haven’t had to miss out on some of our favourite shows.
It’s also meant we’ve been able to have a good nose around famous people’s living rooms, which we have done with absolutely no shame.
Lockdown has also meant we’re enjoying a lot more TV than normal, with our minds often wandering to some of the fictional homes on screen and pondering how well-suited they’d be for self-isolating in.
With those thoughts swirling round in our heads, we decided to investigate...
Monica and Chandler’s apartment (Friends)
Pros: Well for starters, it’d be clean, and those pastel walls would be nice and calming. Plus, we’ve all seen how pretty Monica’s guest bedroom is, so at least you’d have somewhere serene to go and be alone when things got “a bit much”.
Cons: In The One Where Ross Dates A Student, Rachel and Phoebe end up fighting over who gets to stay across the hall – despite it being the far inferior apartment – because Monica is such an overbearing host (“no crumbiiiies!”). And let’s be real, over the 10 years Friends was on the air, writers gave us no reason to believe Joey would follow any social-distancing guidelines, and you just know he’d be dropping by unannounced whenever the mood took him.
The Simpsons’ family home (The Simpsons)
Pros: You’d be well cared for with Marge and would get to have some cerebral conversations with Lisa. And we suppose there’d never be any dull moments.
Cons: So… you know that episode, Homer’s Enemy? No one wants to end up like Frank Grimes, do they? And that house would really start to hurt your eyes after a couple of hours, let alone weeks at a time.
Pam and Mick’s gaff (Gavin & Stacey)
Pros: The major, major pro is having the thought of having the always-cool-and level-headed Mick around during one of the most stressful times we’ve ever lived through. Imagine a daily pep talk from the Shipman patriarch if you were having a wobble? Plus, the house itself is fabulous and massive – and it has a garden! Surely the ideal self-isolation environment.
Cons: We’ve spoken at length about our love for Pam Shipman in the past, and there’s no question she’d bring the laughs. But living with her would also probably bring a little bit of anxiety with it too, namely due to her shouting “OH MY CHRIST!” at the daily briefing every afternoon.
The Rovers Return (Coronation Street)
Pros: OK, so we’re talking specifically about the flat above the Rovers rather than the pub itself… although such close proximity to a bar wouldn’t exactly be a minus while we’re all on lockdown, either. Also, with past tenants including Liz McDonald, Bet Lynch and Vera Duckworth, who knows what they might have left behind to play dress-up with.
Cons: It’s not exactly the most spacious of residences (have we ever actually seen the upstairs?), and with the only outdoor space being the Rovers smoking area we can probably think of a few more Soapland houses we’d rather self-isolate in.
The Byers’ family home (Stranger Things)
Pros: Well, it’d be a dream for anyone who loves a bit of 80s nostalgia. From Joyce’s wardrobe to Jonathan’s record collection, there’d be plenty of entertainment. And if Dungeons & Dragons wasn’t your thing when you entered lockdown, it would be by the end.
Cons: Where do we start, really? For one thing, they’ve got the Christmas lights up all year round, which isn’t going to help us when we’re trying to envisage being outside in the summer to get us through. Meanwhile, Winona Ryder’s character isn’t exactly known for being calm and collected, is she? And… what’s that other thing again? Oh yes, the constant threat of Will summoning some class of monster from another dimension is hardly what anyone needs on top of everything else going on in the world right now.
Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment (Sex And The City)
Pros: If nothing else, Carrie would undoubtedly have some great gossip, and know how to whip up a strong Cosmopolitan.
Cons: Again, we don’t think this is one that would be near the top of our wishlist. Not only is there not a great deal of space, Carrie famously never cooked or even had any food in her flat, so watching her deal with suddenly being at home 24/7 probably wouldn’t be a pretty sight. And if that doesn’t put you off, perhaps the thought of her musing to herself “I couldn’t help but wonder, with the country on lockdown, is it time we unlocked our hearts” as she works from home, definitely would.
Geraldine’s vicarage (The Vicar Of Dibley)
Pros: We know this might seem like a curveball, but stay with us, as this would actually be one of our top picks. Dawn French’s character would be brilliant company, the place itself is cosy and you know if nothing else there’d be a decent supply of chocolate if you felt like an impromptu treat. And then there’s the surroundings – who wouldn’t love doing their one hour government-approved walk in all of that beautiful nature?
Cons: The puddles, obv.
Nigella Lawson’s house (Nigella’s various cooking shows)
Pros: If there’s anything we’ve learned from watching Nigella cooking in her home over the years it’s that she’s got beautiful interiors, she’s great company and has a lovely garden. Plus, think of all the gorgeous food.
Cons: No one needs to be woken up at 1am by the sound of your housemate creeping to the fridge for a late-night snack, even if said housemate is the fabulous Nigella Lawson.
Kim and Kanye’s Calabasas home (Keeping Up With The Kardashians)
Pros: Of course, all of the properties on Keeping Up With The Kardashians are completely over-the-top and lavish, so would be pretty near the top of TV homes we’d want to self-isolate in. The most distinctive of the lot is probably the home Kim Kardashian and Kanye West currently share in Calabasas, California, which is totally minimalistic and spacious, meaning you’d have plenty of room and, in theory, a calming location.
Cons: Still, when you’re living with Kanye West, how calming can a location ever truly be?
Simon Cowell’s house (The X Factor)
Pros: And while we’re on the subject of lavish TV homes, they don’t come much more fabulous than Simon Cowell’s gaff, which we’re treated to whenever he has the contestants over for the Judges’ Houses stage of The X Factor. Given Simon’s taste, you just know everything in there would be state-of-the-art, and he could regale you with plenty of insider gossip.
Cons: You’d never really be able to look at a potted plant without fearing that Sinitta was going to emerge from it sporting its leaves as a bikini.
Jenny and Lee’s caravan (Gogglebox)
Pros: What it lacks in space, this home would make up for in fun. We already know that Jenny and Lee are self-isolating together so they can continue to film Gogglebox, and given what we’ve seen of them over the last few series, the laughs would be guaranteed.
Cons: You’d never be able to prepare yourself a nice face-pack without Lee potentially dipping his nachos into it...
The Spellman residence (Sabrina, The Teenage Witch)
Pros: On a more practical level, this house on its own is already the stuff of dreams. Sabrina’s room is frankly 90s teenage #goals, and how is anyone supposed to get bored with Salem the cat and Aunt Hilda for company? And then there’s the fact there’s all that magic flying around.
Cons: Well, a closet leading to another realm is hardly the best thing to have in your house when you’re trying to stick to social distancing rules, and that’s without getting into the thought of Aunt Zelda brandishing a jigsaw and suggesting some “quality time” together.
Babe and Bondi’s beachside apartment (Instant Hotel)
Pros: What’s not to love really? An unfortunate oven-related incident may have meant that Babe and Bondi’s place only made it to second place in the Instant Hotel finale, but it still has a lot going for it. For one thing, imagine taking a stroll around Bondi for your hour of exercise, and we all got to see how the garden can be put to good use on the show. Not only that, but Babe and Bondi would be an absolute scream – and did we mention (you guessed it) the margaritas?!
Cons: There is probably a limit to how many margaritas a person can drink while on lockdown, if we’re being honest.
Downton Abbey (Downton Abbey)
Pros: Well, for obvious starters it’s absolutely massive, with huge grounds, so you wouldn’t have to worry about bumping into anyone when you were taking your daily walk.
Cons: In such a grand place, we’re not sure how comfortable we’d feel slobbing around in our pyjamas all day, and we don’t fancy having to spend two hours throwing our gladrags on for a day of staring at the wall and listening to Lady Mary’s latest petty drama, even if it did mean we had a front-row seat for Maggie Smith’s putdowns. Besides that – one word: draught.