“Cheat” claims directed at Renovators champ

TEN’s 2011 calamity The Renovators is back in the news today with claims the series winner cheated during his time on the show.

27 year old South Australian builder Michael Lynch won the series when his Blacktown fibro cottage sold for $440,000. Lynch attracted the highest profit of $68,012, winning him the total profit from all six houses, rounded up to $100,000 in prizemoney.

But News Limited now claims he broke the rules by using free labour from Sydney plumber Michael Sidaros, allegedly promising on-air plugs in exchange for plumbing work.

“The deal was for the plumber to receive some free promotion on the show and for that he did quite a significant amount of work for free,” said a set insider.

But the on-air plugs failed to materialise and Sidaros confirmed he is seeking compensation for “around $15,000” of plumbing work.

He declined to say any more “for legal reasons”.

The future of the show remains unclear, with Programming Chief David Mott recently telling TV Tonight, “There’s no decision on Renovators at this point in time.”

But the longer it drags its feet on a decision for Renovators, the more likely it is that media will speculate on its future.

Meanwhile TEN has announced a new lifestyle renovation show.


  1. All houses had people come in and work on their houses for free, either professional tradespeople, family or friends.

    I remember Nathan (60s Suburban), getting a friend of his to come in and help do the plastering work, thus saving a packet on expensive work.

    So it was not that uncommon. As we are not fully aware of the arrangement that took place, it is only still speculation.

  2. And also, why would the producers not notice on his invoices that he had spent very little on (some quite considerable) plumbing work?

    Surely all the work had to be accounted for? Over at Nine they have jumped on Block contestants for having people work for free; I seem to recall they are required to pay all tradies at least $60/hour.

  3. brooke is exactly right. Was his winning margin more than $15k? As I recall it was based on the percentage increase for each property, so some maths would be required to work it out.

  4. I think the people who have commented on the editing have missed the point of the article. To me the “cheating” refers to the fact that he got free plumbing work, something which did not form part of his cost of renovating the house so if the compensation being claimed is $15,000.00 one would think this is the amount the plumbing work should have cost so his house should have cost $15,000.00 more to renovate, would he then have still been the winner? I never watched it so I have no idea but this is what I consider to be the cheating part.

  5. How silly of the plumber… as if the contestants get a say on what is finally brought to broadcast.

    It’ll be interesting to know which one of them initiated this suppose deal…

  6. Calling him a cheat is a bit much. Michael seemed like a good guy – I’m betting he did all he could to plug this guy, but if either of them thought the production company wouldn’t edit out these plugs then they obviously don’t understand what television is about.

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