McEvoy/Wareham Wanted Down Under


McEvoy/Wareham

British families sample life down under. Stephen McEvoy dreams of playing tennis in the Australian sunshine, but can partner Fred Wareham leave his large family behind?


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Transcript


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Moving to the other side of the world is never an easy decision to make.

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Ten thousand miles is a long way to go to start a new life,

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especially if you've never lived outside your home town before.

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Today, it's a battle of wills.

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Steven and Fred have to choose whether to stay in the UK or move to Australia.

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Steven doesn't care. And he just throws caution to the wind and just does it.

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A move to Australia could potentially put a massive strain on me and Fred.

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This is a life-changing decision that only one person wants to make.

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It's you who wants to move, not me.

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When it comes to experiencing a taste of life in Australia, the cracks really begin to show.

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It's been a stressful week. It's not been easy.

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Will making this decision bring them together or tear them apart?

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Get used to it. Get over it.

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Will they stay at home or make the tough decision to move where they're Wanted Down Under?

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With its British connections and sunny climate,

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Australia is the perfect place to consider

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for Brits leaving the UK in search of a new life.

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But the grass isn't always greener, and leaving everything you know ten thousand miles away

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can be a lot harder than many expect.

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Port Sunlight is an historic village on the Wirral, Merseyside.

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It's home to 44-year-old Steven McEvoy and Fred Wareham, who's 32.

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Steven's job as a science teacher will help get them a visa for Australia,

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but outside school, his real passion is playing tennis.

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This has fuelled his desire for a move down under.

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I would like to have somewhere which was hot all year round to play tennis.

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I love tennis and being outdoors, so I would like the opportunity to do that.

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But first he has to get Fred on board, who's from a very large family and has a lot to lose.

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It will be difficult for me to make the move

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for the simple reason that I'd miss my friends and my family.

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Cos I've got 13 brothers and sisters. If anything goes wrong, they're just there,

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whereas halfway across the world, they're not going to be.

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And there's one family member he will miss in particular - his brother Jay.

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I consider my brother to be my best friend. We socialize together, we go out shopping together.

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We go and have a gay day.

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Although he's still into going out into town and not getting in till the next day.

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I know there's always the internet and the phone,

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it's not seeing them face-to-face, is it really?

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He's my best mate and I'll miss him to death.

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Steven hopes Australia might offer him and Fred a tolerant atmosphere where they can really be themselves.

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One of the reasons I want to try Australia is to see whether or not they accept people who are gay.

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What the lifestyle is like there for that.

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Are they more accepting to people or is it better than here?

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And time isn't on their side.

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Steven is approaching the age limit for emigrating to Australia on a skilled visa.

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It's a massive move, but if I don't try now, I'll never do it.

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This is really my last chance to do this at my age.

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Steven and Fred have been together for 13 years,

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but this is the toughest decision they've had to make.

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For Steven and Fred, opportunities for work in Australia are good

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and British teachers are definitely sought-after.

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But their new life in Australia could be very different depending on where they settle.

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They could go to Sydney.

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With 4.5 million inhabitants and lots of teaching opportunities,

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both Fred and Steven should be able to find work here.

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But Sydney is also the most expensive Australian city in which to live,

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with average three-bedroom houses priced around £300,000.

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But it could offer the lifestyle they desire.

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Steven and Fred could try Melbourne,

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a city with a diverse population and history of tolerance for immigrants from all backgrounds.

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The city also hosts the Australian Open Tennis Championships,

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which will no doubt appeal to Steven.

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There's another good reason Melbourne might be suitable.

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Steven's elder brother Brian moved here five years ago, so he could help them settle in.

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Or there's the west coast of Australia.

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The city of Fremantle is just 12 miles south of Perth

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and is a quiet alternative to Australia's larger hubs.

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House prices are much more affordable here than the east coast,

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but they may have to commute into Perth for work.

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So three possible lifestyle choices for Steven and Fred to try out there.

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Which one would suit them best?

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We decided that Melbourne had the edge over the other two for their week's trial down under.

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With its cosmopolitan and accepting background, they should feel comfortable

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and Steven's brother would be able to offer valuable support.

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Over the course of a week, both of them will sample all aspects of Aussie life.

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They'll look at properties to buy...

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It's clean, it's modern...

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-And it's a no.

-And it's a no.

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And be put to work.

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I'll ask Steve to take over. Maybe he can test you to see how much you know already.

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Finally, they'll come to a decision on whether to stay in the UK or move to Australia.

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They have a long week ahead of them, but will they come out it unscathed?

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-No way. Never in a million years.

-STEVEN SIGHS: Drama queen.

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Steven and Fred's journey to Australia covers almost 10,000 miles,

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and they spend over 21 hours in the air.

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Plenty of time to think about the huge change they could be making to their lives.

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They finally touch down in Melbourne at 8.45 AM local time.

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They've barely set foot on Australian soil, and already Fred's missing family back home

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and is worried whether or not he'll fit in.

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It was sad leaving family and friends and things,

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but my biggest concerns are whether I can relate to new people here, whether I can make a connection.

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Steven's already thinking practically.

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I don't know whether we could afford to live in Australia, to be honest with you.

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And that's a major concern for me. I'm just hoping that we can afford to live here.

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He needs to reassure himself about the money, not to mention

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convincing Fred about the lifestyle they could have. It's going to take a lot of persuading.

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Steven and Fred will be staying in a two-bedroom apartment in Elsternwick,

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just 15 minutes' drive from the city centre.

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With a history dating back to a gold rush in the mid-19th century,

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Melbourne has its share of Victorian architecture.

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This rental property with its high ceilings and unique details is a classic example.

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So let's hope they like it.

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Look at the huge staircase. I love it.

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It's lovely. I think it's really grand. What do you think, Fred?

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Hm... A deathly silence from Fred isn't too promising.

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Let's hope the inside changes his mind.

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Oh my God... It's big and dramatic, Fred, isn't it?

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-So spacious!

-Already, Steven is on the offensive.

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But Fred just isn't convinced.

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Well, I don't think I'll be fitting all my clothes in there.

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They've driven through the local suburb of Elsternwick, but it just hasn't impressed Fred.

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I don't think it was what I expected it to be.

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-It seemed very...

-Dated.

-Scruffy. A lot of graffiti around.

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It's a different culture, you know.

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I mean, graffiti is a form of art over here,

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so it's not like a gang of scallies or ruffians run round causing trouble.

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This could just be a cultural thing on our first day, that we don't understand

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and we haven't seen before, that's all.

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Steven desperately wants to make this move, but persuading Fred could be an uphill struggle.

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There is going to be a time where we're going to have to adjust.

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You know... Get used to it. Get over it.

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Fred's high expectations could be difficult to fulfil.

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This week could prove harder than either Fred or Steven ever imagined.

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Back in the UK, Steven and Fred live in a two-bedroom house

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in the quiet and peaceful village of Port Sunlight.

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They've put a lot of love into their home already,

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but they'll be looking for something bigger and more luxurious in Australia.

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All houses in Britain seem to be compacted together. It's sort of small

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and there's not a lot of space, whereas in Australia, it's a house with a garden you can walk around

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and a lot of space.

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They've almost paid this mortgage off so estimate their budget will be around £300,000.

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And if possible, Steven wants to live mortgage-free in Australia.

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My dream is somewhere by the beach, possibly in Melbourne or Sydney,

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with a view of the ocean and possibly a tennis club just around the corner within walking distance.

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-I'll have a pool.

-So I can get up in the morning, go and play tennis,

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do a bit of teaching in a local school

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and round they day off with a lovely meal in an outdoor fresh fish restaurant.

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It sounds like they've got it all worked out, but will the reality live up to their dream?

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Steven and Fred have a property budget of around £300,000,

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depending on what they can get for their UK home.

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But not even this amount of money can make the heart-wrenching move any easier.

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Melbourne city centre is alive with shops, cafés and bars,

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but property prices are high.

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This single-bedroom apartment is valued at around £500,000.

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If they want to live centrally,

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they could try an up-and-coming suburb like Yarraville,

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a 15-minute drive to the city centre,

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where this small two-bedroom house is selling for £310,000.

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If you're prepared to move out of town,

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you could pick up more of a bargain.

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The area of Werribee is a 30-minute drive to town,

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and four-bedroom houses like this are on the market for £230,000.

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But Steven may have to commute

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into the city as there aren't many schools out here.

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With its miles of beaches sweeping southeast on Port Phillip Bay,

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there are many places in Melbourne within a short drive of the sea.

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But you do pay a bit more for the privilege.

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This four-bedroom house is 40 minutes from Melbourne city centre

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and is priced at £320,000.

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But Steven wouldn't have to commute too far,

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as schools are dotted all along the coast.

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If Steven's going to persuade Fred to leave his close-knit family, having a good home will be the key.

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Property one is in the suburb of Mornington,

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about 45 minutes' drive from the city and only 20 minutes from the beach.

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It's a two-bedroom house with a back yard and garage

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and is on the market for 440,000,

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about £250,000, so well within budget.

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But will it be impressive enough for the boys?

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-I'd want that one as well.

-There's another one next door.

-We can get that for your parents.

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Finding the right property is crucial to Steven and Fred.

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They are house-proud and wouldn't be happy with a step down the property ladder.

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-Quite modern, but not my decor.

-It's very modern. I like the decor, myself.

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The downstairs is checked within a glance, so it's upstairs to explore the rest of the house.

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The main bedroom has a good-size window, but there isn't much privacy.

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-You could watch everything from here, couldn't you?

-Even our house isn't as overlooked as that.

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It's looking like this house isn't going to be enough to persuade Fred that Australia is for him.

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-It's tidy, but...

-I want a separate shower.

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I want a his and his sink.

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I'm more concerned with a separate shower like we've got a home.

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The bathroom doesn't meet their high standards, and the owners' taste is putting Fred right off.

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-Oh my God... No, no, no...

-How much space do you need?

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-Don't forget this is the second bedroom.

-You can live here on your own.

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This two-bedroom house has a simple design and is well finished,

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but is that enough to interest Steven and Fred?

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I like it, but to me, it's too close to the other houses.

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And Fred really isn't convinced.

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I think it's a lovely house, but it's just not for us.

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You know, you're living literally on top of each other.

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Steven will have to work harder if he's going to persuade Fred that this is the right move.

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I think you can be too idealistic.

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-Myself, I just want somewhere simple, somewhere where you can relax.

-You can move here on your own.

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No, I like it. I think this is an ideal bachelor pad.

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-OK, bye.

-FRED LAUGHS

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Fred leaves property one a disappointed man. For him to even think about making the move,

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we'll have to find something really special, or he could be heading home on the next available flight.

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Property two is up the coast in the popular suburb of Elwood,

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just 15 minutes' drive to the city centre and across the road from a popular beach.

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But you have to pay for this location. This two-bedroom apartment

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is finished to a high spec and on the market for 600,000,

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around £340,000.

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But will Fred appreciate the bohemian area?

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Already, there's a problem. Fred's done a runner.

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He took one look at the exterior and decided it wasn't even worth looking inside.

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And Steven is not happy.

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I haven't got a clue where he's gone. He's just gone walkabout.

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Gone AWOL.

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Is that him there?

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Ten minutes later, Fred finally returns.

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He's giving up a life surrounded by friends and family

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to follow Steven and his dream to Australia.

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-Nice of you to show up!

-Sorry.

-I can't believe that.

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It's a big ask, and unless he feels comfortable in his surroundings, he won't make the move down under.

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He doesn't like the look of this property and is not even willing to go inside.

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You're having a laugh, aren't you? Look at the state of if. No way. Never in a million years.

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After a stern telling-off from Steven, he's persuaded to take a look.

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The main living area is open-plan with a small yard out the back.

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Nice and big, isn't it?

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-Outside space... What do you think, Fred?

-Very small.

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This is a bad start. Maybe things will improve in the bedrooms.

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-It smells.

-"It smells?"

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Fred just isn't letting up. Steven is trying his best to convince him.

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It's clean, it's modern...

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-And it's a no.

-And it's a no.

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But it's another rejection from Fred.

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Well, at least it's easy to clean. It's only small.

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Nice... Lovely location.

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Steven's positive attitude is still not getting through to Fred, and there's another problem.

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The noise.

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Elwood is a desirable area,

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but the apartment is just too small and not the detached property Fred had in mind.

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Well, I wandered off because it just wasn't appealing to the eye

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and then the noise and... It's just not what I was looking for in an Australian property.

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Well, that's two steps backwards so far. At least we know what they don't like.

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So let's hope property number three is a step forward.

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This house is a detached four-bedroom property down the coast in the suburb of Aspendale,

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about 45 minutes' drive to the city and 10 minutes to the sea.

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It's on the market for 650,000, around £370,000.

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To be able to afford this,

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they would need to get a good price for their UK home and good jobs.

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But will Steven and Fred like it?

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-STEVEN LAUGHS: You're joking me, aren't you?

-Is that good or bad?

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It is incredible. There's a pool!

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I love it straight away. I'm getting an emotional feeling.

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Finally! That sounds a lot more positive.

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-Oh wow...

-It's very showroom, isn't it?

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I don't know what to say, I'm speechless. I love it. I'm moving in.

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Fred is clearly reserving his judgment, but Steven is hooked.

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This is it. I'm taken aback a little bit.

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Fred's supposed to be the emotional one, and I'm the level-headed one, but no.

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To me, now, I feel a bit emotional.

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Steven just can't get enough of this house.

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Is that yours as well?

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Outdoors has a dedicated barbecue area and a pool.

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-Is the pool cold?

-I don't know, do you want to...

-No, it's warm.

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Have a little swim.

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-This property has everything Steven wanted.

-Oh wow...

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Fred has been unusually quiet. He finally has something to say.

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-There's that pylon there. I don't like that.

-You just grow a few trees up that.

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He even tries to convince Steven that this is not the property for them.

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I think you're going with your heart and not with your head,

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cos if you think about it, you know,

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-you can hear the traffic coming up and down this road.

-I love it.

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This is my dream home for Australia.

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And if we could afford this, I would definitely seriously consider it.

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This is something that I expected, but there's certain aspects I like and certain aspects I don't.

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So I wouldn't rush in with my cheque book. Not at all.

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Steven and Fred have seen three very different properties.

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Property one was too small to impress either of them.

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Fred couldn't stand property two even from the outside.

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It was disappointing in terms of size and price.

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Property tree was more on target.

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With a pool and four bedrooms, it was Steven's dream home.

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But it was right at the top of their budget, and Fred still wasn't convinced.

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It's time to make a decision. Will they choose to vote for properties in the UK or in Australia?

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On properties, I'm going to vote...

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..um...

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-Australia.

-And I'm going to vote...

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-..undecided.

-Ah...

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Little Jack or big Jack? I thought you were going to go for little Jack.

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-Well, based on property two and one, I'm still undecided.

-Just get property three

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and stop arguing. Drama queen.

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Steven knows Fred will never move to Australia without that dream home.

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But it doesn't come cheap. To make it happen, both of them will need to secure good jobs.

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Back in the UK, Steven teaches biology at secondary schools around Liverpool.

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Currently, he works on supply and earns around £37,000.

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He'll want to find a similar job in Australia with an equivalent salary.

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'Working 39 weeks of the year in the UK is quite difficult with planning and things like this.

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'Both of us need a good and a better work-life balance.'

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If it's harder and the work-life balance is worse,

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'then I would actually want to work part-time.

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'Whether that's a possibility or not is a major issue for us in the decision'

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whether we stay in the UK or Australia.

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Steven's work is crucial to their visa application,

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so we've set him up with a trial day at Glen Eira College in Melbourne,

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a secondary school with students from many nationalities.

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But when it comes to the Australian syllabus, has he done his homework?

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Um... Little bit apprehensive going into a new school with a completely new syllabus,

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but I'm open to new things and learning new ways.

0:21:050:21:10

It's vital Steven can fit in and interact with Australian pupils.

0:21:100:21:16

Today, he's working with teacher Elizabeth Tasiopolous

0:21:160:21:19

to see if he can transfer his skills to the Aussie classroom.

0:21:190:21:23

We've got a visitor in our room today. He's over from England.

0:21:230:21:26

His name is mr McEvoy. We'll be team-teaching a little bit today,

0:21:260:21:31

so I'm hoping that you will ask him lots of questions and he'll be able to help you out.

0:21:310:21:35

As Steven gets stuck in, Fred's out and about as well.

0:21:350:21:39

It's vital he also finds work to help afford the lifestyle that they long for in Australia.

0:21:390:21:46

Back home, Fred started his own business arranging artificial flowers.

0:21:460:21:51

He's come to meet Brian McKelvey who may be able to give him some work.

0:21:510:21:55

-Hello. I'm Fred.

-How are you?

-Nice to meet you.

0:21:550:21:59

-I heard you're interested in flowers.

-Yes.

-OK.

0:21:590:22:02

And you've worked with artificials or...?

0:22:020:22:05

In the garden centre, that's what I did. I did artificial designs.

0:22:050:22:09

-Considering that, I've got some work that I can ask you to do if you'd like to have a go.

-Right, OK.

0:22:090:22:14

-OK? We'll see what you can get up to.

-OK.

0:22:140:22:18

I will judge you at the end. BRIAN SNIGGERS

0:22:180:22:21

As Fred tries to impress his new boss with his creation, Steven's being tested himself.

0:22:210:22:26

This lesson is brand-new to him, so how will he cope?

0:22:260:22:31

I'll ask Steve to take over. Maybe he can test you to see how much you know already.

0:22:310:22:37

-What's important about plants?

-They're an energy transformer. They transform energies.

-Excellent.

0:22:370:22:42

-Why is it important for us to have plants?

-We wouldn't be able to breath.

0:22:420:22:47

We wouldn't be able to breath because... Excellent.

0:22:470:22:51

-Thank you very much, Year 8. I really enjoyed that. Thank you.

-Thank you very much.

0:22:510:22:55

Steven survived his first Australian class,

0:22:570:23:00

but he needs to ensure that he can earn enough money

0:23:000:23:03

to afford the lifestyle that he and Fred currently have back in the UK.

0:23:030:23:07

So he's been summoned to see the principal Lesley Lamb.

0:23:070:23:10

Will he be quids in or out of pocket?

0:23:100:23:13

After six years' experience, that would put you in "accomplished" in our categorization,

0:23:130:23:19

and you'd be looking at 60,000 per annum. But after ten years,

0:23:190:23:23

the scale increases quite rapidly and you'd be up to about 80,000.

0:23:230:23:27

Good. So it's equivalent to UK money, really. Yeah, good.

0:23:270:23:32

With over six years' experience, Steven could earn at least £35,000 a year.

0:23:320:23:36

So his prospects are looking good. But as ever, he's concerned about Fred.

0:23:360:23:41

Fred needs to work. He's a workaholic. He meets friends through work.

0:23:410:23:46

He won't have any problem meeting friends.

0:23:460:23:49

Once he's got a job, he will be secure.

0:23:490:23:51

And I think that it's a massive thing for Fred to get working.

0:23:510:23:55

So far, Fred has been feeling unsettled. So will this opportunity help change his mind?

0:23:550:24:01

I'm surprisingly enjoying it, more than I thought.

0:24:010:24:05

It's nice to get your fingers back into it again.

0:24:050:24:08

This morning, I was walking around feeling a little bit low.

0:24:080:24:12

But I'm feeling a little bit better today.

0:24:120:24:15

You know, doing something, getting my hands... Getting stuck into something, basically.

0:24:150:24:20

Has he been able to impress Brian with his skills?

0:24:200:24:23

Let's have a look. It's something different to what I would do.

0:24:230:24:28

No, but I think it's good. I like it.

0:24:280:24:30

Probably deserves a beer. FRED LAUGHS

0:24:300:24:35

It's been a good day for both Fred and Steven, but will this be enough to sway Fred's vote?

0:24:350:24:40

Between work in the UK and work in Australia, I'm going to vote...

0:24:400:24:46

-..Australia.

-And I'm going to vote, because of opportunities...

0:24:490:24:56

..Australia.

0:24:570:25:00

It will be a difficult decision to make, leaving a lot of friends and family behind,

0:25:000:25:04

but I feel a lot more positive today.

0:25:040:25:07

It's Fred's first vote for Australia. Could Steven finally be winning him over?

0:25:070:25:13

Steven McEvoy and Fred Wareham are considering

0:25:190:25:23

whether to make the move from Liverpool in the UK to Melbourne, Australia.

0:25:230:25:27

I would like somewhere which was hot all year round to play tennis.

0:25:270:25:31

Steven has had an uphill struggle trying to persuade Fred.

0:25:310:25:35

-Get used to it. Get over it.

-I think you're going with your heart and not with your head.

0:25:350:25:41

When it comes to seeing messages from friends and family back home, emotions run sky-high.

0:25:410:25:48

And they still have to make one of the biggest decisions of their lives.

0:25:490:25:53

I'm yet to be convinced by Australia.

0:25:530:25:55

He knows I want to be here so much.

0:25:550:25:58

It looks like Fred is finding his feet at last.

0:26:010:26:05

But whether they can actually afford their dream house and the lifestyle down under

0:26:050:26:10

depends on the value of their UK home.

0:26:100:26:14

Steven bought their two-bedroom house in 1985 for just £47,000.

0:26:150:26:20

In 2008, they had it valued for £175,000.

0:26:200:26:25

But will it still fetch that price in the harsh economic climate?

0:26:250:26:30

We sent two estate agents in to give it a current valuation.

0:26:300:26:34

Steven and Fred have worked hard to make this house their ideal home.

0:26:340:26:39

But what will the experts say?

0:26:390:26:41

Ooh... Nice fireplace. Decor is quite dark.

0:26:410:26:45

STEVEN GASPS

0:26:450:26:48

Oh, lovely. Very nice.

0:26:500:26:54

At least he wiped his feet.

0:26:560:26:58

Beautiful kitchen. Granite work surfaces, tiled flooring...

0:26:580:27:03

"Beautiful kitchen."

0:27:030:27:06

-Oh...

-It looks clean.

-Of course it does.

-What can I say?

0:27:070:27:11

Absolutely gorgeous.

0:27:110:27:13

-That's what we want to hear.

-Beautiful. Lovely.

0:27:130:27:16

Decor is a little bit OTT for me personally.

0:27:160:27:20

But hey-ho, someone might just like it.

0:27:200:27:24

-Look at your two-piece suit, love.

-STEVEN GASPS

0:27:240:27:29

Stunning bathroom. Unusual bath.

0:27:310:27:34

-Of course.

-Marble, actually.

-Very nice.

-Solid marble tiles.

0:27:340:27:38

Excellent main bedroom, fully fitted wardrobes.

0:27:380:27:42

So mixed reactions to their home,

0:27:420:27:44

but will it make anything near the £175,000 it's previously been valued at?

0:27:440:27:50

Two-bedroom mid-terrace, Port Sunlight. Absolutely lovely. Won't appeal to everybody in decor.

0:27:500:27:56

I actually liked it.

0:27:560:27:57

Probably value it in the region of £169,950.

0:27:570:28:01

Just because it is different.

0:28:010:28:03

This is a very attractive Port Sunlight property.

0:28:030:28:06

Grade II-listed, full of character but with a contemporary twist, some very nice appointments.

0:28:060:28:12

We would recommend marketing around £165,000

0:28:120:28:15

although, if a quicker sale was to be achieved, probably £160,000.

0:28:150:28:19

-Too cheap.

-Well, we don't want a quick sale, so we're not bothered.

0:28:190:28:23

-I wouldn't sell at £160,000. Would you?

-No.

0:28:230:28:27

The annoying part is, we can't sell our house now and go and get somewhere.

0:28:270:28:31

So it forces us into waiting and playing the long game.

0:28:310:28:35

What they get for their house is only the start of their financial considerations.

0:28:350:28:39

So we prepared a breakdown of their cost of living in Australia and the UK

0:28:390:28:44

to see if the sums will add up.

0:28:440:28:46

Well, the UK mortgage... What's our mortgage? £170 in the UK per month.

0:28:460:28:54

-Property three.

-We should base it off that one, because that house...

0:28:540:28:58

That's something we'd like, but somewhere else.

0:28:580:29:01

We're talking a difference of £630. For salary for me, £36,000 in the UK.

0:29:010:29:09

In Australia, it's just over £30,000, say £32,000.

0:29:090:29:13

What do you expect to earn in Australia?

0:29:130:29:16

I'd have to go into retail management. I wouldn't do with less than £20,000.

0:29:160:29:19

32 and 22 is 54.

0:29:190:29:22

So we're £4,000 worse off in Australia.

0:29:220:29:26

£17 tennis club in the UK and it's £30 a month tennis in Australia.

0:29:260:29:33

-You'll have to pack that in.

-OK, so the Australian total is

0:29:330:29:37

£2,327. The UK is...

0:29:370:29:43

..£1,282.

0:29:450:29:48

So that's how much better off we are in the UK compared to Australia.

0:29:480:29:51

-£1,045.

-It's more expensive, but we can do it.

0:29:510:29:56

By choosing their dream home their mortgage increases dramatically, which is making Steven think twice.

0:29:560:30:02

Yeah, it's doable but from a practical point of view, it's a lot of outgoings to sustain.

0:30:030:30:11

It's you who wants to move here, not me.

0:30:110:30:13

Steven is starting to realize this move might be less realistic than he thought.

0:30:130:30:18

But is it a price worth paying? It's time to vote.

0:30:180:30:22

On the costs of living in Australia or the UK...

0:30:220:30:26

..I'm going to choose Australia.

0:30:280:30:31

UK.

0:30:310:30:34

-Why are you voting UK?

-I'm just focusing on one factor.

0:30:350:30:38

Cost of living is cheaper in the UK. Why did you vote Australia?

0:30:380:30:45

Because we can afford it.

0:30:450:30:47

OK.

0:30:480:30:51

Against all odds, the roles have been reversed. Could this change everything?

0:30:510:30:56

In trying to live up to Fred's high expectations,

0:31:010:31:06

Steven is beginning to realize his dream of living mortgage-free could be impossible.

0:31:060:31:12

But this move has always been more than just about money.

0:31:120:31:16

It's been about living the outdoor life in a tolerant atmosphere.

0:31:160:31:22

Steven's Australian dream has always been motivated by his passion for tennis.

0:31:220:31:28

Our relationship starts when Steven isn't playing tennis.

0:31:280:31:32

Though Steven plays four times a week all year round, Fred has never seen him play.

0:31:320:31:37

The simple reason is the stigma around...you know, being gay.

0:31:370:31:43

He plays with a lot of teachers. I wouldn't want it flying around and affecting his career.

0:31:430:31:48

We've always kept our lives separate where that concerns.

0:31:480:31:51

It's quite sad that I've never seen him play.

0:31:510:31:54

Steven and Fred are hoping that in Australia,

0:31:540:31:57

they may find more relaxed attitudes towards their sexuality and a place to meet new people.

0:31:570:32:03

We found them a special surprise in Melbourne to help them out.

0:32:030:32:07

They've come to a tennis club with a twist that should suit them down to the ground.

0:32:070:32:11

I'm Peter Wells, president of the Vic Tennis gay and lesbian tennis group.

0:32:110:32:15

We hire out this venue every Sunday and Monday night.

0:32:150:32:18

We provide a safe environment, an environment where we can speak our mind.

0:32:180:32:23

It's sport, but it's also very social.

0:32:230:32:26

This club caters exclusively for gay and lesbian players, so Steven and Fred should be able to relax.

0:32:260:32:33

But they can't quite believe it.

0:32:330:32:35

-Is it a gay tennis club, then?

-No... It's not. Don't be silly.

0:32:350:32:41

-I don't think it is.

-It's not. There's no such thing. Is there?

-I don't know.

0:32:410:32:46

Yes, there is. In Melbourne, there's something for everyone.

0:32:470:32:52

But one thing Steven isn't used to is the heat.

0:32:540:32:57

It's over 30 degrees on the court.

0:32:570:32:59

It's a bit different from playing in the UK, I'll tell you.

0:32:590:33:03

It's the first time Fred's seen Steven play.

0:33:030:33:06

I'm quite shocked, really, at the level he's at. He's very good.

0:33:060:33:11

It's just nice to watch him, really.

0:33:110:33:14

And though Fred might rather be shopping, he's taking the opportunity to meet new people.

0:33:140:33:19

I moved here from Sydney a year and a half ago. Joining a social club like tennis helped me find friends

0:33:190:33:26

-and, in the end, helped me find my current flatmates.

-Yeah.

0:33:260:33:31

For both of them, this has been a unique and very welcoming experience.

0:33:310:33:35

Well, I didn't think you could play that well.

0:33:350:33:38

So it was a surprise. And it was nice to come to a group where everyone is so friendly.

0:33:380:33:44

It's so friendly, isn't it? I think you surprised yourself coming.

0:33:440:33:48

But Fred can't help thinking of his friends and family back home.

0:33:480:33:51

I'm missing my friends. But that's what this is about.

0:33:510:33:56

I think we've got to embrace that.

0:33:560:33:58

Because it could be the difference between us not staying here and settling in

0:33:580:34:04

or settling in. I think it could be as drastic as that.

0:34:040:34:08

They've had a good time, but it looks like Steven has more convincing to do.

0:34:090:34:14

It's time to bring in the reinforcements.

0:34:160:34:19

Steven's taking Fred to see someone who may be able to 'suade Fred of everything Australia has to offer.

0:34:190:34:26

Steven's brother Brian moved to Melbourne five years ago and is on hand to give some advice.

0:34:260:34:32

Brian brought his family here for a better lifestyle, and he's never looked back.

0:34:320:34:37

So what does he think they should do?

0:34:370:34:40

Look at the positives. Otherwise, you'll start to hate it and start to...

0:34:400:34:45

You can start to find problems, you know...

0:34:450:34:50

My view is... Just do it, it's great.

0:34:500:34:54

If Brian can't convince Fred, his daughter Anna has a go.

0:34:540:34:58

She was 12 when the family emigrated.

0:34:580:35:00

Here, you find that you miss your family and stuff.

0:35:000:35:04

But then when you go back after like a year or something,

0:35:040:35:07

everything seems so small, and it's just like, "Oh my God, I can't believe I lived here."

0:35:070:35:11

Australia is so different, in a better way.

0:35:110:35:14

Yeah. And I know Fred's sort of sitting on the fence, in a way.

0:35:140:35:19

He doesn't know which way he's going to go. But you've got to make that decision and go for it 100%.

0:35:190:35:24

I think it's important that you... If one says yes and one says no,

0:35:240:35:28

you're really at a bad start.

0:35:280:35:31

So if it's half and half yes and no, I think you should just both say no and go home.

0:35:310:35:35

A sobering thought from Steven's brother, but Fred is remaining as noncommittal as ever.

0:35:350:35:40

Australia is a nice place, but it's sort of not around your home comforts.

0:35:400:35:46

-Like your family?

-Yeah.

0:35:460:35:48

The McEvoys have been piling on the pressure, but it leaves Fred missing his family even more.

0:35:480:35:54

Brian is your brother and they're their children, so...

0:35:540:35:58

I mean, don't get me wrong, they've been very hospitable and...

0:35:580:36:01

-But they're not your family.

-No, they're not my immediate family, are they?

0:36:010:36:05

ALL: Bye!

0:36:050:36:06

Meeting family has given them both food for thought.

0:36:060:36:09

It's time to vote on the social scene in Australia.

0:36:090:36:13

So for the social side, friends here in Australia or friends at home,

0:36:130:36:19

we're going to vote for...

0:36:190:36:22

-..Australia.

-UK.

0:36:250:36:28

-Why?

-Because it takes me a long time to make new friends, so...

0:36:280:36:35

I'm not going to make them within a day.

0:36:350:36:38

Australia is a long way from home.

0:36:440:36:48

And if you have a large, close family like Fred, it's very difficult to say goodbye.

0:36:480:36:54

But if he's serious about making the move,

0:36:540:36:57

he has to face up to the pain of leaving loved ones behind.

0:36:570:37:02

We've prepared some messages from their friends and family back in the UK.

0:37:030:37:08

Hi, Fred and Steven. Hope you're having a good time.

0:37:080:37:11

-Hello, Steven and Fred.

-Steven and Fred...

0:37:110:37:14

They get on very well. Really well.

0:37:140:37:16

-Fred can be a lunatic.

-SHE LAUGHS

0:37:160:37:19

My and Fred's relationship is quite...

0:37:190:37:22

I don't know, we're quite close, with him being gay as well.

0:37:220:37:27

I think we've got a lot more in common.

0:37:270:37:30

We are really proud of him. We're proud of what he's achieved,

0:37:300:37:33

we're proud of how he's grown up to be a young man,

0:37:330:37:36

and...to us, that means everything.

0:37:360:37:40

Steven is a lot calmer than Fred. Steven is more sensible-headed

0:37:400:37:47

and level-headed than Fred.

0:37:470:37:49

Steven is a very caring person.

0:37:490:37:51

He thinks of everybody else sometimes and not himself.

0:37:510:37:56

He thinks about what he says to you. He's always polite in that respect, isn't he?

0:37:560:38:03

He's... He's a lovely man, he really is.

0:38:030:38:07

His dad would have been made up to think he was a...you know, he'd made it as a teacher.

0:38:070:38:11

So I think he's not only like a partner for Fred,

0:38:110:38:15

he's like sort of a role model to look up to.

0:38:150:38:18

He's achieved so much in his life,

0:38:180:38:20

and he's actually where he wants to be in his life. Not many people can actually say that.

0:38:200:38:25

It might be for them, it mightn't be for them.

0:38:250:38:27

But you don't know till you try, do you really?

0:38:270:38:30

I won't last much longer, so they may as well enjoy life while they're young.

0:38:320:38:38

It's not like he's gone forever. There's always going to be holidays and stuff,

0:38:390:38:43

and I can go over to see him and he can come over and see me

0:38:430:38:48

and we'll be talking on the phone and...

0:38:480:38:50

He is like my best mate. I really don't want to lose him.

0:38:500:38:53

I will never be able to go to see him, because I can't fly.

0:38:530:38:57

So I would have to wait till he came home.

0:38:570:38:59

We wish you all the best. Hope you make a good go of it.

0:38:590:39:03

-And if you're happy, we're happy.

-And best of it all, take care of each other.

0:39:030:39:07

We'll miss you loads. I don't know how you're going to get back, if you decide to stay,

0:39:070:39:11

to do my mother's cleaning. It looks like I've got to take over.

0:39:110:39:15

Whatever decision you make, Steven, whatever decision you make, Fred.

0:39:150:39:19

I think that'd be the hardest thing, not actually seeing them.

0:39:190:39:22

You shouldn't have said that. Are we finished?

0:39:250:39:30

Seeing his loved ones has brought Fred to breaking point.

0:39:350:39:38

Where does this leave Steven's dream?

0:39:380:39:41

He's bound to be upset seeing the family like that, and I think...

0:39:410:39:46

He's been like that for the last few days anyway, but...

0:39:460:39:50

I must admit I was... I was starting to well up myself.

0:39:520:39:58

-I don't get emotional normally.

-No, I'm the whingeing one.

0:39:580:40:03

-You're the cryer, aren't you?

-Yeah.

0:40:030:40:07

It's made me think twice. With having so many brothers and sisters, it's just like...

0:40:070:40:14

Whenever you need someone, someone's always there.

0:40:140:40:18

Cos blood's thicker than water. So they're like your best friends, all of them.

0:40:180:40:23

There's things that we're going to miss in the UK.

0:40:230:40:27

-I think we accepted that when we got on the plane, didn't we?

-Mm.

0:40:270:40:30

We're going to leave things behind. But we can't take them with us.

0:40:300:40:36

It's always difficult leaving loved ones behind.

0:40:410:40:45

And Steven and Fred seem even more divided than ever.

0:40:450:40:49

They've had an intense week, and it's nearly time to make their final decision.

0:40:490:40:55

Steven's always been the one pushing to move.

0:40:550:40:58

His partner Fred has never been sure.

0:40:580:41:01

It's been a stressful week. It's not been easy.

0:41:010:41:04

The properties were expensive and not up to Fred's exacting standards, especially property two.

0:41:040:41:10

You're having a laugh, aren't you? Look at the state of if. No way. Never in a million years.

0:41:100:41:15

Although the job prospects were good, when it came to realizing

0:41:150:41:19

how expensive the dream could be, it was Steven's turn to be doubtful.

0:41:190:41:22

It just goes to show, I mean, I was convinced everything to me would have been Australia.

0:41:220:41:28

So it's not as black and white as I originally thought.

0:41:280:41:32

When it came to seeing loved ones back home, Fred hit rock bottom.

0:41:320:41:37

I felt, you know, at times like as if I was going to crack.

0:41:370:41:42

But no... I think I've held it together quite well.

0:41:420:41:46

And their time has brought out the differences between them.

0:41:460:41:50

Steven's got one of these attitudes where he doesn't care.

0:41:500:41:53

And he just throws caution to the wind and just does it, you know,

0:41:530:41:57

whereas I'm a little bit more reserved.

0:41:570:42:00

I still think that I've got to persuade Fred.

0:42:000:42:02

I still think that he's got reservations deep down,

0:42:020:42:07

that every now and then, he doesn't let out.

0:42:070:42:09

I think part of him is trying to keep me happy.

0:42:090:42:12

I'm yet to be convinced by Australia.

0:42:120:42:15

It'll take me a while to be able to decide on whether I want to come or go.

0:42:150:42:18

He knows I want to be here so much.

0:42:180:42:21

It's finally time to decide and find out, once and for all, whether they're united or divided.

0:42:210:42:26

It's been a long week. We've come to the final decision, and I'm going to vote for...

0:42:260:42:33

-Australia.

-And I'm going to vote for...

0:42:330:42:36

Australia.

0:42:360:42:37

It's a vote for Australia after all. So what changed Fred's mind?

0:42:370:42:43

Coming here is about a new challenge and a new beginning.

0:42:430:42:48

So I've got to give it a go. I can't not.

0:42:480:42:51

It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can't get rid of.

0:42:510:42:54

I'm excited about it. I'm nervous about it, but I'm excited about it.

0:42:540:42:59

And I can't wait to start that journey.

0:42:590:43:02

To Australia.

0:43:030:43:04

Let's hope it works out for both of them.

0:43:060:43:10

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:240:43:26

E-mail [email protected]

0:43:260:43:28

Another British family is given the chance to sample what life would be like if they moved to the other side of the world. Science teacher Stephen McEvoy, from Port Sunlight, Wirral, dreams of playing tennis in the Australian sunshine, but partner Fred Wareham has a large family at home which he would find hard to leave behind. Would life in Melbourne be better for both of them, or just for Stephen? They have a week to see if Australia can provide the lifestyle and opportunities they seek.


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