Michael Burton likes to put a positive spin on everything he does – he’s that sort of character.
He’s a boxing promoter, for his son. He has had a business as a gas technician.
A character in the pilot of ITV’s Golden Balls daytime gameshow, hosted by Jasper Carrot, was based on him – and was called Miki B as a result.
And he appeared on our screens in another show, Building the Dream – which at the time was the highest prize on on TV in the UK, £500,000 – where his participation came to a sudden and dramatic end on day 50. This show has lasted even longer, though.
“I still reckon I will get my big break one day,” said the 54-year-old. “I’m a genuine South London Z-lister. But I’m still building the dream.”
For the last six months he has been doing up his house in Waddington Way, Upper Norwood – and had the Channel 4 cameras watching.
“That really is building the dream,” joked the 54-year-old, brought up in Commercial Way, Peckham.. “I still think if I am in the right time and the right place things will happen.”
The programme was due to go out tomorrow – but was delayed because Channel 4 won the rights to screen Formula 1 races. “It’s all part of the suspense,” he laughed. “Work started on May 31 2016 and we did the last filming only a few months ago, so it has been a long time coming.
“I have had my brother-in-law, brothers and friends helping out with the building work – I haul in everyone I can get. Even people who have not got anywhere to live – I sort them out, too.
“I have lived here 20 years, but my wife wanted to put her stamp on it.
“You don’t get any of the work done for free in those programmes – I had to finance it, but I did strike deals with people like kitchen companies, flooring firms. They all hope it will be interesting to watch and will help them get customers.”
He has had new flooring throughout, a new bathroom, boiler, new bi-fold and his living room now extends outwards into decking.
The budget he set was £25,000 but he overspent to a total of £38,000. “We wanted to get more done because we were striking good deals as the job went along,” he said.
The format gets two families to revamp their house and see how much it increases in value. The winner is the one with the highest percentage increase in price.
“It will have been worth it whatever happens,” he said.
The programme goes out at 4.35pm on Saturday July 15.