Discuss

Cowboy Trap - who pays?

  • Bethgem on Saturday, 5th June 2010

    Who pays the bills at the end of the programmes?

    I have watched only two of these programmes and have been left to wonder who is actually paying for all that expensive work. Is it us, the licence fee payers?

    There is no doubt that the homeowners need help after Cowboy Builders have left their homes in such bad condition. They have the work done by the team in the programme and nothing is said about the cost and who pays. I think that we should be told, in the programme.

  • Message 2. Posted by bootjangler on Saturday, 5th June 2010 permalink

    I think it's reasonable to screen programs about cowboy builders.

    How would you pay for it?

  • Message 3. Posted by hollyberry on Saturday, 5th June 2010 permalink

    I think the OP has a point.Who does pay for it and who the hell says who get's the help?

  • Message 4. Posted by Bethgem on Saturday, 5th June 2010 permalink

    Thanks, both. I too wonder how the homeowners are chosen. A worthy topic for a programme, I do not doubt. Just who pays? That's all.

  • Message 5. Posted by Stan Still on Sunday, 6th June 2010 permalink

    I have often wondered what the programme would be like if we heard the other side of the story. At the moment the odds are heavily stacked (and probably deservedly so) against the builder. It would make a change if one day a 'cowboy' sued the BBC for slander, defamation of character, etc....what a programme that would make.

    On second thoughts, perhaps one already has but we wouldn't hear about that, would we?? smiley - whistle

  • Message 6. Posted by SE3177345 on Sunday, 6th June 2010 permalink

    Oh I think the Daily Mail or some other respected organ would be more than happy to let us know about it in minute detail, don't you?

  • Message 7. Posted by RosebudXanadu on Sunday, 6th June 2010 permalink

    ‘Cowboy Builders’ isn't any different to ‘DIY SOS’ for example, or indeed any quiz show where the contestants win cash prizes, or a drama where the actors are paid a fee.

    All paid for by the licence payer in the name of entertainment.

    Who decides who the contestants will be on a quiz show?

    Who decides which singer, dancer, actor etc etc on any programme?

    Presumably it’s the producers.



  • Message 8. Posted by Guv-nor on Sunday, 6th June 2010 permalink

    And the producers in this case are Mentorn Media http://www.mentorn.tv/ . The BBC buys the programmes from them for a sum of money which is considered by the BBC to be reasonable for the value (measured by audience numbers I presume) and that is all the Original Poster needs to know.

  • Message 9. Posted by st3ph3n on Sunday, 6th June 2010 permalink



    I think the OP has a point.Who does pay for it and who the hell says who get's the help?



    On Melinda Messenger's prog (on C4 or C5) on Cowboy Builders, she phones DIY stores / builders etc. or just goes in and blatantly asks if they can "donate" (aka 'give') supplies to her cause.
    What cheek ! !
    Of course they will only show the consenting suppliers. She would geta flea in her ear if she approached me for her "charity" which repairs the damage done to people that employ shady builders.

  • Message 10. Posted by Bethgem on Sunday, 6th June 2010 permalink

    And the producers in this case are Mentorn Media www.mentorn.tv/ . The BBC buys the programmes from them for a sum of money which is considered by the BBC to be reasonable for the value (measured by audience numbers I presume) and that is all the Original Poster needs to know.

    Yes. The producers are mentioned in the end credits. What you say means that they make the programme and then sell it to the BBC. That is quite a gamble for any producer to make; getting the programmes made with all the costs involved.

    Let me know if this is what happens. The producer asks the BBC to pay them to make the programme? Err, no. Ok, then the BBC asks them to make the programme and they offer to pay them for it? Err, no. Ok, then the producer makes the programme anyway (gamble) and then offers it for sale to any tv broadcaster? Err... You tell me how it happens and who pays.

    As far as I can deduce it IS the licence payer. I would like the BBC to come round to our house and see if they would like to ... oh dam, I've got nothing for them to fix! But, you get my drift! smiley - winkeye

  • Message 11. Posted by RosebudXanadu on Sunday, 6th June 2010 permalink

    There's nothing to deduce! Of course it's the licence payer. Who else?

    We pay for everything on the BBC. Drama, Reality la la la la la.......

    What's your point?

  • Message 12. Posted by oldmanriver on Sunday, 6th June 2010 permalink

    I've often wondered how the people are chosen to have their homes " made over" or put right. I've always assumed that the were related to personnel either at the BBC or at the production company as a way of getting their homes updated at other people's expense.

  • Message 13. Posted by Seasick Stevie on Sunday, 6th June 2010 permalink

    If it's 'Cowboy Builders' you're talking about, it's on Channel 5.

    Nothing to do with your license fee.

  • Message 14. Posted by RosebudXanadu on Monday, 7th June 2010 permalink

    It's called 'The Cowboy Trap' and it's on BBC1.

    Good value for money imo. Most of the work done wouldn't cost that much and it's informative, unlike 'DIY SOS' which is all about the team larking about.

  • Message 15. Posted by Phil-ap on Monday, 7th June 2010 permalink

    You tell me how it happens and who pays
    The independent producer will pitch a progamme idea to the BBC and if it goes ahead the BBC will buy it for an agreed sum. The independent producer will make the progamme and pick up all the costs whatever they may be.

  • Message 16. Posted by Andrew Bowden on Monday, 7th June 2010 permalink

    I've often wondered how the people are chosen to have their homes " made over" or put right. I've always assumed that the were related to personnel either at the BBC or at the production company as a way of getting their homes updated at other people's expense.


    Depends on the programme but sometimes you'll see small adverts in newspapers. The BBC also has a website:
    www.bbc.co.uk/showsa...

    You can even take part in Series 2 of Cowboy Trap
    www.bbc.co.uk/showsa...

  • Message 17. Posted by Bethgem on Monday, 7th June 2010 permalink

    Thanks to Philap and Andrew Bowden, I am now informed.

    Andrew, a question to you: do you work for the BBC in any way connected with the procurement of BBC tv programmes? I feel sure I have heard your name before, maybe even being interviewed on the tv version of Points of View! Am I right?

    smiley - erm

  • Message 18. Posted by Radioactiveoldduffer on Monday, 7th June 2010 permalink

    Instead of showing poor souls rescued by professionals why not show us poor amateurs how to do diy in the first place. If there are audiences for countless how to cook programmes why not ones on laying wood flooring or improving insulation or even basics like changing a plug. The more we know the more we can spot a cowboy builder and their short-cuts.

  • Message 19. Posted by JanH on Monday, 7th June 2010 permalink

    Instead of showing poor souls rescued by professionals why not show us poor amateurs how to do diy in the first place.


    There always used to be shows as you describe. I used to tape them as a result my husband, son and daughters learnt a lot from them.

    With so many having to watch their money because of the financial crisis I am sure there is still a place for this type of programme.

  • Message 20. Posted by Andrew Bowden on Tuesday, 8th June 2010 permalink

    Andrew, a question to you: do you work for the BBC in any way connected with the procurement of BBC tv programmes? I feel sure I have heard your name before, maybe even being interviewed on the tv version of Points of View! Am I right?


    Afraid it wasn't me. I work for BBC Red Button and the closest I've ever got to being on Points of View was walking past Jeremy Vine outside the office smiley - smiley

  • Message 21. Posted by alex_host on Tuesday, 8th June 2010 permalink

    Apologies for the delay with this one, I am making enquiries and will hopefully have some feedback for you soon. Alex

  • Message 22. Posted by Bethgem on Tuesday, 8th June 2010 permalink

    Ok Alex. I await with patience and not quite bated breath, as I'm sure that posters have already answered the question that I posed. I remain interested in what you find out though, of course, so see you back soon. smiley - smiley

  • Message 23. Posted by Bethgem on Tuesday, 8th June 2010 permalink

    With so many having to watch their money because of the financial crisis I am sure there is still a place for this type of programme.


    Quite so.

    It is a pity though that such rogues are out there. What happens when the Trading Standards get to know about the particular ones featured in the programmes? Can we see the rogues caught and prosecuted and brought to book in some way?

    Just what do the Trading Standards people do with these cases that get referred to them from this programme? These things are not followed through on the programme.

    I find the hype raised to be too much as the presenter is Soooo agitated by the stories. And the times he says "cowboy builders" is to be noted and maybe curtailed somewhat, please producers, (Mentorn) if you read this! Says me, hopefully!

  • Message 24. Posted by Prophet Tenebrae on Friday, 11th June 2010 permalink

    I've always failed to see the point of these programmes if they don't result in successful criminal prosecutions.

  • Message 25. Posted by G-IcestationZebra on Friday, 11th June 2010 permalink

    Any action taken as a result of a home owner being provided with shoddy work from an unqualified tradesman is much more likely to end up in a court of civil litigation that criminal.

    Many of these homeowners probably to file law civil suits for damages against the contractors.

    I dont know the laws in the UK, but in many countries the outcomes of criminal trials are a matter of public record.

    The outcome of civial trials are often not as part of the settlement agreement includes a gag order which disallows the specifics of the financial agreement to be discussed publicly.

  • Message 26. Posted by xandar on Friday, 11th June 2010 permalink

    The whole programme seems a damp squib!

    For some reason the programme makers are too scared to name and shame the perpetrators - SO WHAT IS THE POINT?

    We're told these horror stories. But nobody is ever named. So the same cowboy conmen can just carry on with their practices regardless! I don't see the point of this.

    They don't even let us hear both sides of the rather weak "call" to the perpetrator that the victim is encouraged to make. Again pointless.

    The presenter tries to sound tough, repeating "trading standards will catch up with you" into the camera every episode. But far from exposing perpetrators (like watchdog and other programmes) this one just covers it all up!

  • Message 27. Posted by G-IcestationZebra on Friday, 11th June 2010 permalink

    Well the title of this thread is called "Cowboy Trap - Who Pays?"

    I imagine the cost of the show would go up considerably if the BBC/producers had to go to court and defend themselves against libel/slander suits brought forth by any of these contractors if they did name them by name.

  • Message 28. Posted by xandar on Friday, 11th June 2010 permalink

    Naming names doesn't seem to bother Watchdog - nor the ITV programme, whose name I forget, that sets up traps for these people.

    If the people referred to really ARE conmen, the BBc would not lose money by exposing them - unless you're saying that the BBC is slandering these builders?

  • Message 29. Posted by G-IcestationZebra on Saturday, 12th June 2010 permalink



    posted by xandar
    unless you're saying that the BBC is slandering these builders?



    How could I possibly be saying that when its been stated several times in this thread that they have named anyone by name.

    You cant slander or libel someone if you dont mention who that someone is.



    posted by xandar

    Naming names doesn't seem to bother Watchdog - nor the ITV programme, whose name I forget, that sets up traps for these people.

    If the people referred to really ARE conmen, the BBc would not lose money by exposing them -


    That are a lot of variables in all that. It all depends on how far the investigation goes and exactly what you would be accusing someone of.

    If, during the course of an investigative story, the producers become aware of someone committing a felonious crime, then by law they have to advise the police.

    If subsequent charges were brought forth, it would become a matter of public record and the producers could say in show "the authorities were alerted and criminal charges were brought against (insert name)" and not have to worry about libel/slander because it would be a documented truth.

    However, if no actual laws were broken, the police not contacted and the investigation went no further than staging a scene where they have the homeowner place a complaint call to the contractor and then to air only one side of the conversation...

    Well if the producers were to then in their show name the contractor by name and say he was guilty of fraud or bad business practices or anything like that, without the result of any sort of criminal or civil action being determined, then they quite possibly could open themselves up for a libel/slander suit.

  • Message 30. Posted by alex_host on Wednesday, 23rd June 2010 permalink

    Apologies for the delay with this one, I have just received the following response to the query the opening post...

    'The programme 'Cowboy Trap' is made for the BBC by the independent production company Mentorn. The producers have a rigorous process in selecting appropriate contributors for the show. All potential contributors are thoroughly researched and all work is checked by an independent building surveyor to confirm that they have indeed been victims of 'cowboy' builders. The remedial work which features in each programme is paid for by a limited production budget and is subject to the BBC's strict editorial guidelines. Many contributors already have some materials which can be used, but all other goods and services, including the 'good guy' builders' labour is paid for by the production company.'

  • Message 31. Posted by Bethgem on Wednesday, 23rd June 2010 permalink

    Thanks Alex.

    I suppose, then, that the cost of the part which is paid for by the production company is passed on to the BBC, a cost which is called a fee for the whole series? The independent production company, Mentorn, are not making the programme out of dedication alone; they need funds to survive.

    What are the BBC's strict editorial guidelines then, with regard to the limited production budget? Does it mean a fixed amount is given by the BBC before the work starts? It is our money in the end, I believe.

    Anyway Alex, thanks again for your research on my query at the start of this thread. I'm sure that everyone will now know what happens...

  • Message 32. Posted by G-IcestationZebra on Wednesday, 23rd June 2010 permalink


    posted by Bethgem

    Thanks Alex.

    I suppose, then, that the cost of the part which is paid for by the production company is passed on to the BBC, a cost which is called a fee for the whole series?


    Its probably folded into the cost that the BBC pays for the rights to broadcast the show.

    Just the same way as the construction costs for set building is folded into the cost of any other show that the BBC either commissions directly or purchases from outside production companies.

  • Message 33. Posted by Bethgem on Wednesday, 23rd June 2010 permalink

    It is our money in the end, I believe.

  • Message 34. Posted by G-IcestationZebra on Wednesday, 23rd June 2010 permalink


    posted by Bethgem

    It is our money in the end, I believe.


    That applies to any program that appears on the BBC.

    If you are concerned about your licence fee being used in part to fund construction costs, then you may as well fret about every single show that airs on the BBC that has any sort of set or studio.

    Those things dont appear by magic, they had to be built by tradesmen who were paid for their work.

    So whether it be the construction rehab work carried out on Cowboy Trap or the sets on East Enders, your licence fee still was used in part to pay for construction costs that were tied into the overall production.

  • Message 35. Posted by Andrew Bowden on Wednesday, 23rd June 2010 permalink

    What are the BBC's strict editorial guidelines then, with regard to the limited production budget?


    The BBC's Editorial Guidelines are online at www.bbc.co.uk/guidel...

    There is a section on "Make-Over Programmes, Funding and Selection of Contributors" which I guess covers some of what's needed for Cowboy Trap, however other sections may be relevant.
    www.bbc.co.uk/guidel...

    (Disclosure - I work for the BBC, but not in programme making.)

  • Message 36. Posted by G-IcestationZebra on Wednesday, 23rd June 2010 permalink

    Also, when it comes to make-over programs, many of the tools and materials are often provided by third party vendors in exchange for product placement promotion during the show.

    When a tradesman is using a power saw for example the camera may zoom in to show the brand name.

    Same for a ladder, or a power drill, or a bag of cement, or you may see a breif shot of the brand name of a kitchen faucet on the box as the tradesman opens it or the camera may pan to a shot that shows a truck parked in the street or driveway and you can see the name of large home improvement store on the side as they are delivering materials.

    These things may pass by in the blink of an eye but are carefully thought out.

  • Message 37. Posted by Bethgem on Wednesday, 23rd June 2010 permalink

    Well Alex certainly gave me plenty to consider in the reply he gave. I only wondered who pays, that's all. I was not expecting a kind of inquisition.

    There's no more posts required on this one. I have been given my exclusive and comprehensive answer. I will not need to post on this any more.

    Thank you all for your input. We all now know who pays. It is quite clear now. Thank you.

  • Message 38. Posted by G-IcestationZebra on Wednesday, 23rd June 2010 permalink


    posted by Bethgem

    Well Alex certainly gave me plenty to consider in the reply he gave. I only wondered who pays, that's all. I was not expecting a kind of inquisition.


    After Alex gave you a detailed explanation you asked additional questions.

    People added input as to the probable answers to these questions. One gentleman even posted a link to some more detailed information.

    Isn't that what you wanted?


    posted by Bethgem

    There's no more posts required on this one.
    I have been given my exclusive and comprehensive answer.


    Anything posted in an open thread that everyone can read is not an "exclusive" answer.

    Alex was giving his answer to anyone who wanted to read it or had interest in how the production costs of shows work.

    Thus if anyone wants to continue to discuss it, they should be able to as long as the thread remains open.

  • Message 39. Posted by Bethgem on Wednesday, 23rd June 2010 permalink

    Thank you. I will take that on board. I hope all posters will feel free to post as much as they like and say whatever they like on here.

    I have had my answer, and to me that is exclusive. I do not need to ask any more questions. I am very sorry to have asked so much.

    I have been given all the relevant information and I will take that as the total resolve.

    I do not need to engage in a you said this and I said that kind of discussion.

    I apologise for giving anyone any reason to be upset by my posts. I am very sorry.

    I will not need to ask any more questions about this topic. I have been given my answer, in full.

    Thank you to everyone for being so helpful and informative.
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    .

  • Message 40. Posted by G-IcestationZebra on Wednesday, 23rd June 2010 permalink

    Your "victim" complex is wearing a bit old Beth.

  • Message 41. Posted by Bethgem on Wednesday, 23rd June 2010 permalink

    Thank you for your concern. I will take that on board. I do not intend to get into any alternative discussion. Thank you for your help and advice.

  • Message 42. Posted by G-IcestationZebra on Wednesday, 23rd June 2010 permalink

    You are welcome.

    I am so sorry to have tried to help answer your questions.

    I shall take that on board.

    I am so sorry to have upset you by giving you some basic info that may have answered your question.

    I am so sorry for everything.

    I will take everything you said on board.

    Thank you again.

    I am so sorry again.

    Thank you for allowing me to take things on board and to be sorry for being thankful about beign sorry.

    As you said, there is no need for discussion on a discussion board and I will only say in closing that I once agian thank you for allowing me to be so sorry for trying to help you find anwers for your questions.

    Thank you, and once again, sorry.

  • Message 43. Posted by Bethgem on Wednesday, 23rd June 2010 permalink

    Oh please, don't mention it!

    I am glad to let you know how helpful you have been.

    Really, do not be sorry for giving so much help and advice, after all, that is what this board does, I'm sure.

    Your advice to many others on this whole messageboard has been invaluable. I am sure that you realise this.

    It is a pleasure to have someone on here who has so much knowledge. I am very grateful for your input and advice. It is always right.

    There is no more that can be added. It has been a perfect discussion.
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