A RICH House Poor House millionaire and warehouse worker who swapped lives have forged an unlikely friendship, after appearing on the first ever episode of the show.
Dad-of-six Antony Williams, 30, of Weston-Super-Mare, swapped his three-bed council flat and £107 weekly kitty with dad-of-five James Caddy, 52, who lives in a seven-bed mansion with a £1,741 budget in Clifton, Bristol.
channel 5 Warehouse worker Antony Williams and millionaire James Caddy have forged an unlikely friendship after appearing on Rich House Poor House
After watching the show, which aired in March last year, the pair decided to meet up and, after spending a week living in each other’s homes, it was easy to know where to go.
Speaking exclusively to Sun Online, James, who is retired after selling his software company in 2004, said: “Watching the show made me really interested in meeting Antony.
“Given that you’ve swapped houses, you can just turn up. So we keep in touch quite regularly now. We see each other every few weeks and talk in between.
“I have been known to just turn up in Weston-Super-Mare and say ‘you fancy going to McDonald’s for lunch?’
channel 5 The pair bonded over a shared love of physics – and McDonald’s
“Because my annoying, vegan, healthy eating family won’t allow McDonald’s, so I use Anthony as an excuse.”
Antony, who’s in a blended family and dad to AJ, 10, Chay, eight, Demetia, eight, Leyla, six, Kayden, six, and Lana, two, added: “I like his sense of humour, I think it compliments mine.
“He’ll come to mine, sneak out and we’ll go to McDonald’s and have a chat about the world.
“He’s just got the same morals and values as I have, which I’ve tried to pass onto my kids, the only difference is he’s got a different budget.
“I’ve been to his house once or twice, had a game of basketball with his kids, and he’s met my kids.
“He’s been at my house but I’d rather go to his house, wow, it’s much better. But usually we just hang around at McDonald’s.”
Hat Trick Productions They return to our screens tonight for Rich House Poor House Changed My Life
Hat Trick Productions The pair will go to University of Bristol, where Antony hopes to study a degree in physics after getting on to an Access course
The pair bonded over a shared interest in physics – and now James is mentoring Antony, who had his first child AJ at 19, as he pursues his dream of studying at uni.
They’re returning to our TV screens tonight, for a special episode called Rich House Poor House Changed My Life.
It will show them visiting University of Bristol – as Antony makes the first steps towards an Access to higher education course, with the aim of getting a degree in Physics afterwards.
Antony, who got nine As and Bs at GCSE, and once played basketball for England, said: “The best part of the show was putting me in touch with James. Because James has been a godsend, he’s so helpful.
“I don’t mean money-wise, there’s been nothing like that, but just moral support and putting me in touch with the right people, and he’s going to tutor me.
“Anything I need help with, he’s going to be there for me.”
Hat Trick Productions Antony, from Weston-Super-Mare, is a dad-of-six in a blended family with partner Kayleigh
James, who’s dad to George, 22, Iszzy, 21, Letty, 19, Charlie, 17, and Flo, 15, added: “Because I have rather a lot of children and I’ve got lots of spare textbooks, so he’s been given a big pile.
“And we’re going to do some Skype lessons to get him up to speed.
“It’s obviously a long time since he’s been in formal education, so I’m hopefully going to help him get started again. It’s quite fun really.”
Hat Trick Productions While James has five kids and lives in a seven-bed mansion in Bristol
channel 5 Antony believes the degree will completely change his life
Of the degree, Antony said: “It could make a dream come true, change my whole family’s lives.
“I wouldn’t have to apply for the kind of jobs I have now. I wouldn’t be the guy stuck in the factory.
“I would be able to do stuff where you have to use your brain. The jobs I do now are so simple and you just have to do the same things over and over again.
“They’re just repetitive I cannot stand it. I’m only there because I know I have to pay the bills.
“I want something where I have to work it out myself, and think ‘my job was actually worth my time’.
“I’d love to work in an observatory. For the last 10 years I’ve had a lot of trouble sleeping, so I always go to sleep with YouTube on my phone.
“I listen to lectures and videos and all sorts, about the stars, the galaxies, the universe, everything.”
Antony, who plans to get a student grant and work alongside his studies, added: “I’m just so determined.
“It doesn’t matter what’s in my way, I’m going to do it, I’m going to stick it out.
“In three years’ time I’m going to change my family’s life, not just my own life. I’d like to own my own place, that’s the goal.
“I’d like to be able to take my family places, I’d like to be able to wake up in the morning and go shopping and not worry about the prices of stuff I’m putting in my trolley.”
Rich House, Poor House sees tender moment as poor dad treats son to new football boots
Antony’s episode won TV Moment of the Year, for a touching scene when he was finally able to buy AJ, then nine, his first ever pair of football boots with his boosted budget.
He said: “It just felt good because when I became a single dad at a young age, I disconnected myself from the world.
“To me it was an acceptance off everyone, like ‘wow there’s people out there that think I’m doing a good job, think I’m a nice guy’ and all that.
“When AJ’s older I’ll say to him, ‘when you were little, for a short time, almost everyone in the country adored you’.
“He’s turned out really well, I’m making a nice little man out of him. He’s alright at football, still not as good as his dad though.”
Hat Trick Productions They swapped lives for a week in Rich House Poor House’s first ever episode – with James & co moving into Antony’s two-bed council flat
Speaking about Antony’s degree, James said: “He very much wants to succeed, and you can get a long way with real motivation, he’s definitely got that.
“He’s not going to jump straight into being able to do a degree, but I’m going to do a bit of pre-Access course work with him.
“He’s a very bright lad, he’s funnier than me for goodness sake.
“I’m very confident he’ll be able to do it. We’ve just got to make sure the difficulties of everyday life which come with having little kids don’t get in the way too much, and detract from him doing that.
“I think it’s exciting to see someone whose life you’ve spent living, which was difficult, to see something which represents such a lot of hope for him potentially coming to fruition.