Neale Whitaker and Andrew Winter host the new TV series Love It or List It Australia.
Neale Whitaker and Andrew Winter host the new TV series Love It or List It Australia. Nick Wilson

Will they stay or will they go now?

MAROONS v Blues, Coke v Pepsi, Leno v Letterman, Holden v Ford. Andrew Winter v Neale Whitaker?

The duo's rivalry is real on new series Love It or List It Australia but viewers can rest assured it's friendly fire.

The local version of a global franchise pits Selling Houses favourite Andrew against The Block judge Neale as they attempt to sway the home owners' final decision to stay or go.

"It's a friendly competition between Mr Winter and myself ... and the home owners," Neale says.

"Andrew, of course, is Team List It, I'm Team Love It.

"We filmed in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne and each episode is a real Australian family, a real Australian home and a real Australian budget.

"The houses are too large or small for their needs, too dated or just not functioning properly and in each scenario one member of the couple wants to stay and one wants to move.

"My job is to try to fix it through a renovation - using their money - and persuade them that the home of their dreams is actually right under their noses.

"Andrew's job is to lure them away. He's very competitive."

Love It or List It Australia hosts Andrew Winter and Neale Whitaker pictured on the Gold Coast.
Love It or List It Australia hosts Andrew Winter and Neale Whitaker pictured on the Gold Coast. Michael Batterham



While Team List It rarely triumphs in global offshoots of the show, Andrew suggests the Australian scoreboard is in for a shake-up.

"Neale says he's not competitive but he's let my car tyres down, he's put in offers on properties to stop us inspecting," Andrew says.

"There's a genuine rivalry there ... you just can't help it.

"We don't need any fake drama, we don't need producers making anything up."

Andrew relished filming the fresh format and hopes audiences appreciate the authenticity of the drama.

"I would never claim to be a Top Gear but Top Gear was so successful because of the natural rivalry of the people involved in it," he says.

To further raise the stakes, the hosts aren't playing with hypotheticals and "TV money" - their decisions hit the home owners' hip pockets.

"The smallest budget was $75,000 and the largest was $250,000," Neale says.

"There was one particular house where we literally gutted the whole house and started again."

The series was filmed over six months earlier this year, with each episode following a single story line to its conclusion.

"This isn't normal makeover TV where things are done in three days or a week - it's over two to three months but still managed very efficiently for TV purposes," Andrew says.

"We actually follow through and do it - it's serious. Neale does full home extensions. He'll do anything to beat me."

Love It or List It Australia premieres tonight at 8.30pm on The LifeStyle Channel.


 



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