Location, location, location viewers left devastated by death of house buyer

Location, Location, Location viewers were left in tears as a man who appeared on the show in 2012 with his husband and their Welsh terrier revealed they had both died during a ‘very tough couple of years’. 

Architectural historian Colin Amery and property renovation manager Robin Ballance appeared on the Channel 4 show in February 2012 as they looked to settle down in their first home in Sussex, having been together for eight years living separately in London

The couple, and their dog Bruno, didn’t end up finding their dream property on the programme, but fell in love with the area of Steyning where they decided to rent a home. 

However when Phil returned to revisit Steyning in 2021, Robin revealed he had lost Bruno and Colin months apart, adding: ‘It’s been a very tough couple of years, it’s actually worse when you’re watching someone deteriorate after such an academic and full life.’

Many of those watching were left in floods of tears, with one confessing: ‘A really emotional programme tonight…sat here in tears with happiness and sadness.’

Location, Location, Location viewers were left in floods of tears as Phil Spencer revisited Robin Ballance, who appeared on the show in 2012 alongside his husband Colin Amery and their dog Bruno, and revealed they had both died

Location, Location, Location viewers were left in floods of tears as Phil Spencer revisited Robin Ballance, who appeared on the show in 2012 alongside his husband Colin Amery and their dog Bruno, and revealed they had both died 

However when Phil returned to revisit Steyning in 2021, Robin revealed he had lost Bruno and Colin months apart

However when Phil returned to revisit Steyning in 2021, Robin revealed he had lost Bruno and Colin months apart 

Another wrote: ‘Oh god, something has happened to Colin/Robin since 2014 hasn’t it? I can’t it. I’ll bawl.’ 

In 2012, Kirstie and Phil were mining Sussex for an architectual gem for Robin and Colin’s first home together.

Robin said: ‘The first time we’ve actually had the chance to live together. It might be an absolute disaster, but we don’t know until we’ve tried.’

They had very specific views about how to spend their £400,000 budget, with £100,00 for renovations.

Many of those watching the show were left devastated by the update during the 2021 revisit from Phil and expressed their sympathy for Robin

Many of those watching the show were left devastated by the update during the 2021 revisit from Phil and expressed their sympathy for Robin 

They were looking for somewhere with architectural merit in it’s original state, with three bedrooms and a secure garden for Bruno.

Meanwhile they were also interested in a rural or semi-rural location. 

Robin said: ‘What we’d like to do is perhaps turn a cocoon into a butterfly.’

Colin added: ‘Perhaps a historical building, something that has a real hand of the designer.’

They were looking for somewhere with architectural merit in it's original state, with three bedrooms and a secure garden for Bruno - and were unimpressed by the first building in Sussex

They were looking for somewhere with architectural merit in it’s original state, with three bedrooms and a secure garden for Bruno – and were unimpressed by the first building in Sussex

It was arranged over four floors, with four bedrooms, a cellar and a kitchen which could be extended (pictured)

It was arranged over four floors, with four bedrooms, a cellar and a kitchen which could be extended (pictured) 

At just under £400,000, there was room in the budget for renovations - but the couple were not convinced by the garden

At just under £400,000, there was room in the budget for renovations – but the couple were not convinced by the garden  

Meanwhile Robin joked: ‘I think we’re going to be exceptionally hard to please and very picky.’

And they said their pooch Bruno was equally important to the search, adding: ‘There are three of us in this marriage but hopefully he’ll be very much an integral part of this search.’ 

Phil said he felt daunted ahead of the  property search, Colin said: ‘What I really like is the 18th century.’

Robin added: ‘If it’s got three bedrooms great, if it’s got the ability to add another bathroom, great.’

The second property the couple saw was a listed Georgian property which was 15 miles outside of Brighton (pictured)

The second property the couple saw was a listed Georgian property which was 15 miles outside of Brighton (pictured) 

The building was a commercial property which had been used as a dentist surgery for a number of years

The building was a commercial property which had been used as a dentist surgery for a number of years 

There were plenty of updates the couple would have to complete to make the property their dream forever home, including a dated kitchen

There were plenty of updates the couple would have to complete to make the property their dream forever home, including a dated kitchen

The first property was in Lewes,  which they thought was ‘a bit urban.’

It was arranged over four floors, with four bedrooms, a cellar and a kitchen which could be extended.

At just under £400,000, there was room in the budget for renovations. 

But the couple weren’t impressed, with Robin saying: ‘I’m afraid to say it’s a no from me.’

The second property the couple saw was a listed Georgian property which was 15 miles outside of Brighton. 

The third property they went to see was a stunning Grade-II listed church. Unusually, there was no official price but the diocese recommended £500,000 would be enough

The third property they went to see was a stunning Grade-II listed church. Unusually, there was no official price but the diocese recommended £500,000 would be enough

Despite the building having planning permission to be converted to a two bedroom home, Colin said he was against living in a church

Despite the building having planning permission to be converted to a two bedroom home, Colin said he was against living in a church 

It had been run as a dentist surgery for the last four years, with the remnants of a reception area still visible.

It had three double bedrooms as well as two basement rooms and a decent sized garden.

It was priced at £365,000 which would leave them a whopping £135,000 to do the property up.

From the outside, Colin said: ‘It has slightly more elegant proportions.’

And he was impressed by the interiors, adding: ‘It has a really nice atmosphere.’

The third property they went to see was a stunning Grade-II listed church. Unusually, there was no official price but the diocese recommended £500,000 would be enough.

The next home on the list was a conventional Victorian semi in village Steyning, which was on the market for £325,000 (pictured)

The next home on the list was a conventional Victorian semi in village Steyning, which was on the market for £325,000 (pictured)  

It had three bedrooms and two reception rooms, as well as room to extend (pictured, one of the dated bedrooms)

It had three bedrooms and two reception rooms, as well as room to extend (pictured, one of the dated bedrooms) 

Robin said it was 'quite an easy project' for the couple to take on, and said he could 'see the potential' of the home

Robin said it was ‘quite an easy project’ for the couple to take on, and said he could ‘see the potential’ of the home 

It had planning permission to be converted to a two bedroom home.

But Colin said he was against living in a church, saying: ‘I do not want to live in a church, full stop. Sorry to be difficult, but I wouldn’t go to a step further.

‘it’s one principle I have – I don’t think church buildings should be deconsecrated and turned into secular homes.’ 

The next home on the list was a conventional Victorian semi in village Steyning, which was on the market for £325,000.

It had three bedrooms and two reception rooms, as well as room to extend. 

Robin said it was ‘quite an easy project’ for the couple to take on, adding: ‘I can see the potential, most importantly.’ 

When the Location, Location, Location team returned to visit in 2014, the couple had found a rental property near Steyning which had them written all over it

When the Location, Location, Location team returned to visit in 2014, the couple had found a rental property near Steyning which had them written all over it 

When the Location, Location, Location team returned to visit in 2014, the couple had found a rental property near Steyning which had them written all over it.

The couple were relishing life – but seven years on, and they had had to face some challenges.

Shortly after the visit in 2014, Colin was diagnosed with a degenerative illness, and the couple moved back to London so that he could ‘have a view of the river’ while unwell.

He sadly died in 2018. Their dog Bruno, who was so integral in the first search, passed away in the same year as Colin.

Robin went on to buy a home in the area Steyning and he, and his new welsh terrier pup Rumpus, moved in in 2021. 

He explained: ‘She is adorable. She was born on the same day as Colin’s birthday.’

Robin went on to buy a home in the area Steyning and he, and his new welsh terrier pup Rumpus, moved in in 2021

Robin went on to buy a home in the area Steyning and he, and his new welsh terrier pup Rumpus, moved in in 2021

Meanwhile he said he hoped to make a book of Colin’s articles in tribute to his husband.

He continued: ‘Colin would have loved this. It has every modern convenience but it’s been sympathetically converted.

‘I’ve got everything I need, a library…everything on the high street, a nice coffee shop, wonderful restaurants and superb neighbours.  

‘My whole thing is, I kept saying, I want it to be the salon of Steyning. I wanted people to come and stay and enjoy it.’

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