FOR hair salon owner Barry Cochrane, home is a luxury apartment in the Albert Dock Colonnades with a white Porsche parked outside. But the owner of Hairlucinations, in Bootle Strand, gave up his riverfront view and glossy magazine decor to take part in a TV swap experiment. And the results of his three days away will be screened on Thursday in BBC1’s daytime series, Home Away From Home. Barry, who has been in the hairdressing business in Liverpool for more than 30 years, admits he was reluctant when the BBC approached him with the idea.
“My apartment had been in a few magazines and I think the programme makers wanted to do something in Liverpool, searched online and found me,” he says. “I wasn’t that keen on the thought of having a stranger being in my home at first but then I thought about it and discussed it, it sounded like fun.” The programme meant Barry exchanging his immaculate city centre apartment for a terraced house in a Bohemian district of Bristol. But he didn’t find out who he was swapping with or where he was going until after the cameras started to roll.
“We started shooting at 2pm and that was the point that I started to think, ‘Oh, God, what have I done?”‘ he laughs. “Up until then, I’d been so busy it hadn’t really registered, but then I thought more about it. I’ve never done any TV work before and this was filming for 12 hours a day. All of a sudden you’ve got a BBC crew in your living room with all their equipment, cameras, lighting and sound and you realise this is going to be your life for the next few days.”
Barry says the least of his worries was the business – his team ran that smoothly in his absence – and he didn’t need to touch the apartment. “The only thing I really had to do was produce a manual saying everything about the apartment, and make suggestions about what they could do when they were in Liverpool;’ he adds. “I made a long list of stuff, and when I got to Bristol they’d done the same:’ As first-timers in the West Country city, their stay in Bristol was an experience, he says. “I’d watched a few of the series so far and ours was a little bit unusual compared to those Barry smiles. “It was all about skateboards and dreadlocks, so there was a bit of a difference:’
As for making his TV debut, Barry says he’s looking forward to it and wouldn’t be averse to a repeat performance. “It did push me, but I’m glad I did it because now if there was anything else that came up that I fancied I’d know what to do and how it works,” he says. Barry’s episode of Home Away From Home is on BBC1, October 22, at 3.45pm.