A MUM who’s life was transformed after appearing on Rich House Poor House has described her experience on the show, and says there was plenty that you didn’t see.
Ocean Chapman, 28, and her nine-year-old daughter Oziana, appeared on Sunday night’s instalment of the Channel 5 show where she swapped her two-bedroom flat in Braintree, Essex for Barrie Drewitt-Barlow’s mega holiday home in Chelmsford.
While the single mum got to experience Barrie’s life of luxury, staying in his six-bedroom mansion with a private chef, a chauffeured Rolls Royce, and even an aquarium the wealthy businessman lived off Ocean’s strict weekly budget of £59 for five days.
At the end of their journey, Ocean was left overwhelmed when Barrie gave her an extraordinary gift of £250,000 to help her follow her dream of setting up her own baby food business.
Speaking exclusively to Fabulous, barmaid Ocean says, “I hadn’t been expecting anything at all, I was just in pure shock.
“I had watched the show before and I had never seen anything like that level of generosity, I was completely overwhelmed and overjoyed.
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“This wasn’t just a wad of cash for me to fritter away, this was an opportunity to completely change my future and I couldn’t be more grateful.”
Viewers were left in tears over the dad-of-eight’s extraordinary generosity and Barrie didn’t stop at the £250k.
As well as decorating her home and getting her a new bed, he also offered to pay for Ocean Oziana and her friend to fly out to Florida, which was a bucket list trip destination for her.
But according to Ocean that wasn’t all he did for her with the mum-of-one explaining that her new friend had showered her with treats and presents worth thousands. throughout the experience.
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She explains: “They didn't actually show this in the clip in the TV show but it was one of my biggest highlights.
“After I arrived at his mansion I was told that Barrie had booked me a series of driving lessons.
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“I immediately broke down in tears, it might not have meant much to someone else but it was life changing for me.
“I think my manager at the pub must have explained that I was having to walk my daughter to school and then walk to work and then back to school and home again and just what it would mean to me to be able to drive.
“It’s something I just couldn’t budget for, since COVID they have gone from £20 an hour up to £45 which is almost my whole week’s budget.”
And it wasn;t just the driving lessons that Ocean was treated to.
“We were completely and utterly spoiled when we went to Florida, it really was the trip of a lifetime,” Ocean says.
“The furthest place I had probably been was Europe so when he offered to pay for us all to go to Florida it was just a dream come true.
“Flying us out there was more than enough but Barrie insisted on treating us the entire time.
“From the moment we left the house we were in pure luxury as he had arranged for his personal driver to get us to Gatwick and then when we landed in Orlando we were taken straight to our private apartment that he had booked for us.
“He took us on shopping sprees at Disney Springs where Barrie splashed out on designer trainers, sunglasses and a pair of Crocs for me.
“He handed my daughter a $100 bill which brought tears to my eyes.
Barrie is no posh snob, he completely changed my life and there’s still more to come from it.''
“Barrie whisked us away on posh meals out and helped me take the first steps in my business plan, he wouldn’t even think of making me pay for a thing.”
The pair have remained firm friends with Barrie flying to the UK this week to develop their business plans further.
“We speak all the time, practically every day,” says Ocean.
“He’s so down to earth and so easy to talk to, you can just grab a drink and be yourself around him.
“He’s even coming to my bar this weekend for a good old knees-up for a party we’re hosting.
“Make no mistake, Barrie is no posh snob, he completely changed my life and there’s still more to come from it. That's the craziest thing.
“He’s more than just a business partner, during our Florida trip he told me I was part of his family now and I feel exactly the same.”
Barrie was joined by fiance Scott, 28, and their two-year-old daughter Valentina – and his other daughter Saffron, who previously said she’d cry if she had less than $1m in the bank, visited during the week.
A few years ago, Barrie confirmed he had fallen for daughter Saffron’s ex Scott, and they are now engaged, and also share baby Romeo.
“I think they did the best with what they had and they were obviously very proud of what they had, however little it actually was,” Barrie said of Ocean’s home on the show.
“This is most people's reality after all.”
He continued: “I know half the country is struggling right now and I feel for them, I wanted to maybe help at least one family have a better future and taking part in this show, it has helped me to do that.”
And it seems that Barrie’s generosity hasn’t gone unnoticed.
According to a source close to Barrie he could soon be on the hunt for more potential business partners.
The close family friend told Fabulous: “The episode was such a hit with the public that two channels are in talks with the guys about a possible reality show similar to Dragon's Den.
“Featuring Barrie and Scott helping budding entrepreneurs get their business ideas into reality."
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Fabulous has contacted Channel 5 for a comment.
Rich House Poor House is on Sunday nights at 9pm on Channel 5, catch up on old episodes now at My5.
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