Alf Onnie

Image for Alf OnnieNot currently available on BBC iPlayer

Duration: 1 hour

The show sees third generation hotelier of the internationally-renowned Forte family dynasty and successful businesswomen, Alex Polizzi, turn her attention to family firms that have reached breaking point. She tackles both their financial failures and domestic dramas and tries to guide them back on to the path to success.

Alex uses her unique expertise to help a wide range of family run businesses across Britain. From a hair and beauty salon in Essex, to a 100 year old fabric shop in London's East End, and a traditional undertakers in Hampshire.

As the UK tries to pull itself out of recession, home-grown family businesses make a significant contribution to rebuilding the country's economy: family firms are estimated to generate revenues of one trillion pounds annually, providing nine million jobs and 40 per cent of private sector employment.

But with just three per cent of family businesses operating into the fourth generation, it's time for Alex to help families innovate, evolve, and most importantly, present a united front to ensure the business survives the climate and thrives through generations to come.

The methods Alex uses vary across the series, but always have a clear business message at their heart. She also unlocks the emotion behind family relationships, to get to the heart of the business problems.

Alf Onnie's interiors shop, specialising in fabric and curtains, has been going in East London since it was set up in 1920. It's approaching its centenary but the recession and house market slump have hit curtain sales hard.

Run by three brothers, both they and the shop are stuck in a time warp, almost as far back as the shop's beginning. And what's more they are paralysed by indecision about how to move the business forward.

Alex tries to drag them into the 21st century with lessons in modern window dressing, a contemporary photo shoot and with a trip to the exclusive Brown's hotel in London, where they get the chance to meet her mum who runs it as part of their family owned hotel chain.

But disaster strikes when they discover they are plagued by London's biggest and vilest pest, rats! As they rip the shop apart to deal with them, it provides the perfect opportunity to launch a makeover but youngest brother Jeremy seems bent on derailing the plans as his quest for perfection drives everyone to distraction.

Credits

Presenter
Alex Polizzi
Series Producer
Chloe Court
Series Editor
David Vallance
Executive Producer
Dan Adamson
Executive Producer
Melanie Leach

Broadcasts

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.