The reason why North East couple were given new home worth £260,000 on Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway
The couple were picked from the audience and told they were being given a fully-furnished three-bedroom house in Killingworth – without paying a penny.
Dec said: “We know the family relies on your overtime, Simon, as a delivery driver to make ends meet and as a result you’ve never been able to go on loads of luxurious holidays or own your own home. That is, until tonight.”
Ant added: “You see, Petra and Simon, that brand new house – the house your kids are outside right now – that house now belongs to you. And here are the keys.”
Petra, 31 and Simon, 33 were both emotional and described the news as ‘fantastic’, Petra said: “I’m very rarely speechless, but I am to be fair.”
Dec explained: “Last summer we spoke to Bellway and they said that if you come up and help us build a home, we’ll let you give it away on your show – as long as you can find a family who really deserve it.”
After revealing the surprise, Dec added: “It’s there, you haven’t seen it yet – would you like to have a look around your new Bellway home?”
Petra and Simon watched a video tour of their new Bellway home and garden, as Ant revealed: “You’ve also got a garden for you and the kids to enjoy those really hot Geordie summers!”
Dec ended the segment, saying: “Congratulations – enjoy the rest of your life in your new family home.”
Their new home
The home, built by Bellway, with an interior design package by Q Interiors, is the biggest prize ever to be given away to a single family on the ITV show.
The Saturday Night Takeaway producers and Ant and Dec have worked closely with Bellway for almost a year before Saturday’s broadcast and conceived the idea of giving away a house and approached Bellway’s directors, who generously agreed to take part.
Petra and Simon were nominated by their friend Nikki Pinchen to receive a life-changing prize, although at the time he did not know what the prize would be or that they would be featured on the programme.
The couple suffered the devastating loss of their baby daughter Darcey-Leigh in February 2017 from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Darcey-Leigh had a twin sister, Layla-Grace, and an older sister Emelia-Paige, who at the time was about to turn two-years-old.
In the depths of the family’s grief, Emelia-Paige said: “Mummy, nobody cares about me and I miss Darcey too.” Her words inspired Petra to devote her life to helping others to manage their grief.
The charity ‘Darcey’s Dream – My Family and Siblings Matter’ was founded as Darcey-Leigh’s legacy. It is led by Petra, while delivery driver Simon works full time to support the family.
The charity offers a range of support services and counselling for the siblings within bereaved families, including days out, support groups and a 24-hour helpline. The charity also supplies memory boxes for siblings to preserve their most treasured memories of their brother or sister.
Emelia-Paige has been a prolific fundraiser, swimming ’10 lengths for Darcey’ alongside celebrities including Anthony Costa from Blue and Michelle Heaton from Liberty X.
The couple, who currently rent a home, had their first glimpse of their surprise new house during Saturday night’s broadcast. Inside they saw Nikki, Petra’s mum Maureen and their daughters Emelia-Paige, five, Layla-Grace, three, and son Bailey, two, getting used to their new surroundings.
A video revealed that Ant and Dec had been involved in the build of the home, trying their hand at bricklaying, plastering and plumbing, and getting involved with their own take on interior design.
Such a great cause
Jason Honeyman, CEO for Bellway, said: “The opportunity to work with Saturday Night Takeaway and to help a family who have done so much for others was something we were keen to embrace.
“As a national HBF Five Star Builder, the production team felt we would be an ideal fit to work alongside Ant and Dec. Bellway Moorfields is the closest development to our head office, so allocating the winning home there meant we could keep a close eye on the project. Ant and Dec enjoyed returning to the North East when they visited to help our construction team prepare the Williams family’s new home.
“Significant efforts were required to preserve the mystery until the broadcast and it was rewarding to see the family’s reactions to this life-changing prize.
“We wish them all the best as they settle into the community at Bellway Moorfields. Theirs is a perfect home for a young family. We hope that being able to live mortgage-free will enable them to continue their valued work helping families at the time when they are most in need.”
The Williams family’s new home is a new Bellway three-bedroom semi-detached house called The Cherry. It features an open-plan kitchen diner with integrated appliances, a spacious living area, front and back garden and three bathrooms.
Bellway had worked with Q Interiors to create a family-friendly interior design scheme with each family member’s characteristics and likes factored in.
Julie Watson, Co-Director of Q Interiors, said: “This was a challenging brief because we obviously couldn’t meet the family but with help from Nikki, we have built a picture of what they would like.
“The design scheme includes sparkly lights and plenty of glitz for Petra, a dinosaur-themed bedroom for Bailey, princess beds and customised wardrobes for the girls, and even a personalised bed for their dog, Coco.
“We hope they enjoy living in their new home just as much as we loved designing it”.