TV viewers broke down in tears as a struggling single mother living on £59 a week received a staggering £250,000 investment from a multi-millionaire.
In Sunday’s episode of Rich House Poor House, Barrie Drewitt-Barlow, who owns nearly £200million, swapped lives with council tenant Ocean.
While the single mother was able to experience Barrie’s life of luxury by staying in his six-bedroom mansion with a private chef and a chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce, the wealthy businessman lived as Ocean for five days.
At the end of the experience, the two met and Barrie decided to change the life of would-be cook Ocean forever by helping her start a baby food business.
He said: “When I spoke to your friend Leah she mentioned about baby food and how you helped her with her children by freezing them, you were always there and made more portions for her.
“That really impressed me because there is definitely a market for baby food.
“I think maybe there’s a chance for both of us.
“I would like to find out how we can build some kind of brand.
“I will support you and I will support you with £250,000 initially.
“You need to find some space and a professional kitchen for that. We can help you with such things, our guys will set up websites with you.
“And then I’ll take you to some supermarkets and we’ll figure out how to get your products on the shelves.”
Breaking down in tears, Ocean said, “I didn’t think this experience would change my life in the long run.”
She later added: “I am so shocked that you want to invest your time and money in me. I’m lost for words.
“I am so looking forward to the future. I’m so happy.”
The heartwarming gesture moved viewers to tears.
One Twitter user said: “Probably late to the party because I’m sure there will probably be a repeat but Barry and Scott at #RichHousePoorHouse are two of the nicest people, their kindness makes me cry!”
Another said: “It’s great that they are helping.”
Speaking to Fabulous, Barrie said: “I absolutely love Ocean and her daughter.
“I want her to get out of the poverty trap and make something of herself and I believe she can do it.
“£250,000 is a lot of money but the truth is a business needs a good injection of cash from the start to get going.
“That initial amount should be the boost she needs to get her grocery business off the ground.
“Ultimately I don’t want to waste any of my money, I want to make more money and I think with Ocean I can do that.”
Barrie admitted producers were shocked when he said he was giving such a generous gift.
He added: “They were literally on the floor.
“There’s no point in fooling around. If we’re going to do that and I’m going to put my name on it, she needs that initial cash boost and a lot more where that’s coming from.”
“We want to create something spectacular for the people of Essex that we can eventually introduce to other parts of the UK.”
And it wasn’t the only treat Barrie had in store.
In addition to decorating their home and getting a new bed, he also offered to pay for Ocean and her friend’s flight to Florida, which was a wish-list destination for them.
He said, “So I noticed you have a lot of Florida things in your house?”
Ocean explained, “Whenever my friends go on vacation, I say bring me a fridge magnet to make it look like I’ve been there.”
Barrie added, “So you haven’t been to Florida?” to which Ocean replied, “No.”
The multi-millionaire continued, “How would you like to get your own fridge magnet and spend a few weeks at my Florida home both of you?”
Ocean gushed up and said, “Oh my god, I’m so excited.”
During Sunday’s episode, Barrie – who made history with her ex-partner Tony for being Britain’s first gay father – was staying in Ocean’s tiny two-bedroom council flat where she lives with her eight-year-old daughter Oziana.
Speaking to Fabulous ahead of Sunday’s episode, the Manchester-born Barrie, who is a father of eight, said: “At first I wasn’t keen on being honest with you.
“I was like, ‘Damn no, I’ve lived this crappy council house life and I don’t ever want to live it again.'”
“But I thought maybe it would be nice to see with my kids how the other half lives and what it was like for me growing up with nothing.”
When he arrived, council housing was a far cry from the homes he lives in, which have at least six bedrooms and 24-hour staff, including a driver and personal barman.
He said: “I had left the Rolls Royce with my driver at home for the other family, so we ended up in an Uber.
“I saw a lot of depressingly boarded up windows and doors and people scurrying through the streets as if they had to accomplish something important.”
The worst part about his driveway on the council estate was that there was no parking and he was forced to walk.
He continued: “When we stopped on a street where there was no road or parking, we passed several buildings with our suitcases.
“I felt overwhelmed, that’s for sure.”
Barrie was joined by her fiancé Scott, 28, and their two-year-old daughter Valentina – and his other daughter Saffron – who previously said she would cry if she had less than $1million in the bank – visited her during the week.
A few years ago, Barrie confirmed he had fallen in love with daughter Saffron’s ex, Scott, and the pair are now engaged and also share baby Romeo.
Speaking of her initial reaction to her council housing, Barrie said: “When we arrived Valentina said, ‘Wow, that’s a huge house’ because she thought the whole block was one house.
“She’s not used to neighbors.
“Saffron was shocked when I showed her the whole apartment as it is the same size as her walk in closet at home.”
But it wasn’t all as terrible as Barrie had thought.
He added: “I expected it to be filthy and dirty, but the family who live in the house kept it spotlessly clean.
“The bed wasn’t that comfortable and the state of the decoration was terrible.
“It was so bad that Scott spent a night peeling it off and painting it.
“I think they made the best of what they had and they were obviously very proud of what they had, no matter how little it actually was.
“That’s the reality of most people, after all.”
Barrie was given some cash to live with his family for five days, and the amount wasn’t well received.
He said: “At home we usually don’t have a budget, we just buy what we want.”
“We got 57 pounds total, it was a struggle.
“How on earth can someone at 57 pounds survive? Especially with a child and household bills.”
At the end of the experience, Barrie said, “I missed my shower and my bed, my coffee maker and my cook.
“In fact I missed it all, I love my bladder!”
But he was pleased he wanted to help Ocean and said he invited her to visit his mansion in the US.
He continued: “I know half the country is struggling right now and I feel for them. I wanted to help maybe at least one family have a better future, and being on this show helped me do that.”