How Selling Houses Australia lured Wendy Moore back on camera

"I didn't really think that I would go back on air again," says Lifestyle general manager and Selling Houses designer, Wendy Moore.

When Wendy Moore finished work on House Rules in 2019 and became General Manager of Lifestyle channels for Foxtel, she thought her presenting days were over.

But after Shaynna Blaze decided to conclude her Selling Houses Australia duties, Foxtel’s Brian Walsh had other ideas.

“I didn’t really think that I would go back on air again. I thought that was probably it,” she tells TV Tonight.

“But it was actually Brian’s idea, and he talked to Patrick Delaney, Amanda Laing about it.

“Brian asked me if I would screen test and his words were, ‘I just would like to keep you in my back pocket’ and then everything kind of went quiet. On those shows many people get involved in the casting.

“I’d already put forward a whole heap of people”

“When they asked me to screen test, I’d already put forward a whole heap of people. So I just stepped out of the casting process and then it went quiet for a while and nobody spoke to me about it a while. I thought, ‘Oh, no. Am I really terrible?’

“Then Brian came back and said, ‘We’d really like you to do this show. We just have to work out how to make it work so you can continue to do your current role.’

“They’ve been great, so supportive the whole time. It is a juggle, we all know that, but it’s working so far.”

In addition to House Rules, Moore had a 12 year tenure with Pacific Magazines and for her duties managing Lifestyle shows she acknowledges the support of her team, Heidi Clemmensen, Howard Myers and Frances Sheen.

She also sought advice from outgoing interior designer Shaynna Blaze.

“Shaynna was not sure that she wanted to come back and obviously she loved the show. But it was a really big decision. She really had to think about it.

“We had a really good chat and she told me about the work behind the scenes, and how demanding it is.

“It was good to have that background because it set me up with the right expectations.”

Joining her for Season 14 is new landscaper Dennis Scott, after the departure of Charlie Albone to Better Homes & Gardens.

“Dennis is a very different person from Charlie. He’s really lovely, really knock about. He spent so much time with Andrew Winter during COVID lockdown, they’ve just became really good friends. It’s like The Odd Couple. Dennis is kind of big rough and tumble…and Andrew’s very specific … not anal, but he’s getting close to that!” she laughs.

“Andrew… is so popular and so synonymous with Selling Houses”

Indeed having ASTRA winning and Gold Logie nominated Andrew Winter back for hosting duties was pivotal, especially after the show had a year off air due to the pandemic.

“Having Andrew continue on the show has been key, because he is so popular and so synonymous with Selling Houses. That’s why he’s front and centre in the ad, just to remind our audiences that it’s still the Selling Houses that they know and love.”

Season 14 includes a home on the market for 12 years, and at an incredible 708m², a massive 1980s house in Mount Gambier, South Australia. A project so daunting, in size and period style, Moore was left reeling.

“It was very creepy!”

“It was very creepy! I felt like I’d walked into A Nightmare on Elm Street or those mid to late 80s horror films from America! It was super overdone and chintzy … kind of freaky at the same time,” she admits.

“We had actually a couple of houses in Victoria, and Queensland but the borders shut. So we ended up spending a lot of time in New South Wales, because we literally couldn’t leave it.

“But we went down as far as Jindabyne, and did a great little house here with a great history, and then went up to Coffs Harbour, a couple in the outer suburbs of Sydney, up past Newcastle in the Maitland area as well.

“If you can’t sell a house in this market, it’s gotta be bad.”

“So we’ve tried to split it out as much as possible. But it’s quite hard to find houses that aren’t selling at the moment, because the market’s been so hot.

Selling Houses is really about people that can’t sell their house, and are desperate to. So that meant that the pool of houses that can’t be sold is both smaller and also way more desperate. If you can’t sell a house in this market, it’s gotta be bad.”

Foxtel today announced the commission of Season 15, produced by Warner Bros International Television Productions. Filming of the 15th season commences this week and will hit screens in 2023.

Marshall Heald, Foxtel’s Executive Director of Entertainment said: “We’re delighted to commission a new season of Selling Houses Australia, our most successful Foxtel Original Lifestyle series which our audiences continue to love given our nations’ healthy obsession with property and its distinctive creative format.

“With its unique mix of ‘making the impossible, possible’ coupled with real estate guru Andrew Winter at the helm, we know the show will continue going from strength to strength with audiences about to also fall in love with Andrew’s new co-hosts Wendy and Dennis,” he said.

Caroline Swift, WBITVP Head of Entertainment said: “What an achievement to get to S15 of this brilliant format.  Andrew, Wendy, and Dennis will continue to deliver the best property and design advice in the business with their signature humour and warmth. We start production this week tackling everything from a resort on Magnetic Island to an investment cottage in the hills of Tasmania – but we’re on the search for more homeowners who just can’t sell. With all borders now open we are looking around Australia for unsellable houses our team can renovate.”

Casting is underway for the team to sell the unsellable sellinghousescasting.com.au

Wednesday, March 30 at 8.30pm on LifeStyle.

3 Responses

  1. More of the reno and less of the comedy would be better. Not overly impressed with the new chums but love the show so much I’ll keep on watching and hope they grow on me.

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