Iconic Republic of Doyle house up for sale
No decision yet on whether Doyle clan will move, too
It's the house at the centre of the hit CBC-TV show Republic of Doyle, and the fictitious home of Jake and the rest of the Doyle clan.
But the real house at 28 Gower St. in downtown St. John's has been put up for sale, leaving some to wonder whether the Doyles will have to move, too.
"We'll miss it, in that regard," said the show's executive producer John Vatcher, referring to the above-and-beyond hospitality and co-operation they've received from homeowner Paul Follow.
"I'm hoping (the new owners) will be as good, and welcome us as family as we would them," he said. "So we'll see. Fingers crossed."
Follow bought the house 11 years ago, but said it's become too big for just him and his two small cats. He recalled the day he was asked if his home could be the face of a new T.V. show.
"My reaction was, 'Well yes, but you're not going to film inside!"
Follow was told the outside of the house was all they were interested in, so he gave the go-ahead. And his reaction after watching the first episode?
"At first it was kind of strange. It was like, 'I live in that house!' But you get used to it," he said, adding the crew and actors were nothing short of "marvellous" when they were on site.
Vatcher, meanwhile, was equally gushing about the relationship with Follow.
"I mean, how many people can we knock on your door and say, 'Hey, we like your house, can we use it in a TV show?' And he said, 'Sure, b'y.' I don't know that that happens in Toronto. But that's what we did here."
Vatcher said for the most part it was a perfect fit, although he pointed out the pitfalls of working with property that's owned by someone else.
For example, the inside scenes are shot in a re-created set elsewhere, and had light coming through windows in the front door, something Follow's doors don't have.
"So we had to change the doors a little with light coming in, because light is very important in television. And if you go back and look as season one, you'll see that there's light coming in.
"We had to do that every time, and sometimes we didn't tell Paul. We just came down, we're just doin' the house, like ya would."
No notice of paint job
Then there was the time Follow decided to paint his house during season four.
"He had the nerve to go and change the colour. And he didn't even talk to us. He didn't say anything," Vatcher said tongue-in-cheek. "We weren't in charge of that. Paul just changed the colour and we were like, 'Oh. What are we gonna do about that? So we gave it to Des ... that he was just taking it on to get some money, so he painted the house. So yeah, we had to make an adjustment for that. But that was just fun. It was real, so why not?"
Vatcher also continues to be amused by the reaction of fans to the house and the show itself.
"It's funny because when you do something really well, and people buy into it, they just assume we shoot (the scenes) in the house. But when they get on the set they say, 'Oh that's cool. Now can you take us to the real house? When are we going there?' "
He said cab drivers also report that the house and aspects of the show are second only to Signal Hill and Cape Spear as tourist draws.
"So it's really become iconic."
The three-storey Victorian residence was put on the market last week for $659,000.
But Vatcher said whether the Doyles "move out" will depend on the new owners, and will only be revealed as next season unfolds.