How the Property Expert Became a Major UK TV Star
Homes Under the Hammer’s Martin Roberts has presented the popular BBC show since it launched in 2003. He and original co-host, Lucy Alexander, introduced viewers to the fascinating world of property auctions — and the programme is still going strong after more than 23 series. Roberts still presents, alongside Martel Maxwell, Dion Dublin, Tommy Walsh, and Jacqui Joseph.
Homes Under the Hammer has been a massive part of Martin Roberts’ life and career, but he’s known for various other projects too. In this post, we’ll take a look at Roberts’ impressive body of work across television, radio, and books.
Martin Roberts and the Incredible Success of BBC One’s Homes Under the Hammer
Homes Under the Hammer has been on the air for more than 18 years, and is as popular as ever. Fans were in uproar in May 2019 when the BBC bumped an episode of the property show from BBC One to BBC Two to present coverage of Theresa May’s resignation instead.
The show is ranked as the 140th most popular all-time TV programme by YouGov, and even movie legend, Meryl Streep, is a fan.
What’s the secret to its success? Martin Roberts believes a key part is that the programme “shows normal people doing normal sort of properties”. He said: “There’s the Grand Designs of this world [...] and everyone loves watching those kind of aspirational things. But translating that into an average person’s abilities is not going to happen.”
Roberts told EG Radius that the show has “done a lot to demystify auctions” and “encourage a lot of ordinary people to come into the auction rooms.” Roberts’ passion for buying and developing properties is genuine: he has extensive experience in the industry, and this shines through in each episode.
Martin is also something of an entrepreneur, having built a large portfolio since he purchased his first house in his twenties.
As well as presenting Homes Under the Hammer, Martin penned two books on properties: The Property Auction Guide and Making Money from Property. Both contain practical advice on buying and developing properties. Definitely worth adding that to your wish list...
Martin Roberts’ Time on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!
The Homes Under the Hammer host was one of several well-known celebrities who braved the Australian jungle in series 16 of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! He joined the campmates on day 5 and left on day 20, just two days before Scarlett Moffatt was crowned Queen of the Jungle.
Roberts joined other seasoned television presenters like Carol Vorderman, Danny Baker, and Lisa Snowden on the show. He participated in several Bushtucker Trials during his stay — and admitted beforehand that the prospect of doing them was “freaking [him] out”.
He has also taken part in many other shows before and after I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! Fans may have seen him on Celebrity MasterChef, Pointless Celebrities, Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, and Celebrity Mastermind.
How Many Children’s Books Has Martin Written?
So far, Martin Roberts has written 10 entries in The Villes series of children’s novels. The books are set in magical lands affected by specific problems, including Tiredsville (where people are always exhausted) or Coldsville (where low temperatures reign supreme). The books encourage children to try to solve the mystery of each land’s problem.
Every primary school in the UK received free The Villes books at the height of the pandemic, accompanied by a lesson plan to help teachers work with children who may have been struggling emotionally.
Why was Martin in A&E?
Martin was forced to seek medical attention after he developed a painful infection at the start of a weekend camping trip early last Summer. It was supposed to be the first night of a relaxing camping holiday, but his serious condition forced Roberts to spend six hours in A&E instead.
The presenter needed treatment for cellulitis: a skin infection caused by bacteria penetrating deeper layers of skin, which can become dangerous if it's not treated quickly. Martin said that his chemist was unable to give him his prescribed antibiotics due to a system error, which led to painful complications.
The property expert developed a potentially serious swollen leg after the cellulitis spread; the cellulitis had been confined to the skin on one leg, but soon spread to the other leg.
Martin shared regular Twitter updates during his six hours at Poole Hospital, uploading pictures of his swollen foot and telling users that he was in massive amounts of pain. He received plenty of support from his followers: messages wished him a speedy recovery and helped keep his spirits up.
Roberts chronicled his experience from his hospital bed through multiple videos, and he revealed in the final video that he was ending what should have been the first night of his holiday with a trip to McDonald’s.
While talking to his followers, the presenter also discussed the treatment he received for the swollen area at the hospital, which included having antibiotics administered through an IV drip, and thanked followers for their support. He warned others of the dangers that this skin infection can create, and his advice could help prevent others from experiencing the same problems.
What Content Does Martin Produce for YouTube?
Martin Roberts’ Property Titbits on YouTube features dozens of short videos offering insights into investments and developments. The property expert covers such topics as ‘Respect Building Regulations’ and ‘Research What Makes An Up And Coming Area’.
Whether you want to get into development or just can’t get enough of Roberts, his YouTube channel is a must-watch.
What is Martin Doing Today?
Martin is still hosting Homes Under the Hammer with fellow presenters Martel Maxwell, Dion Dublin, Tommy Walsh, and Jacqui Joseph. Homes Under the Hammer continues weekdays on BBC One, and you can catch up with Roberts on his YouTube channel. He’s active on social media, particularly Twitter — a platform that helped him stay upbeat during a trip to A&E in July 2021.