Farr, who announced she's departing the series after 19 seasons exclusively with PEOPLE, reveals she and her on-screen rival are extremely close off-camera
Hilary Farr and David Visentin frequently butt heads on Love It or List It, when competing to persuade families to choose between remodeling or selling their home.
The design expert, who announced Friday that she’s leaving the HGTV series after 19 seasons, tells PEOPLE their relationship in real life is “pretty much the same” as it is on TV, but it's all love underneath the bickering.
“We are who we are on that show,” she says. “Think of your brother as his most obnoxious and annoying, that's David.”
As further evidence, Farr shared a funny anecdote from a trip to Los Angeles she took with Visentin, whom she’s worked with on the hit show since 2008.
“We were on a flight once,” she says. “We were just talking and semi arguing. I mean, the way we do. Also making each other laugh. We noticed something going on across the aisle and it was somebody actually begging the stewardess to find him a new seat because we were so obnoxious and annoying. ... We're oblivious to how it is, but that's just how we are. A thing happens when we're together.”
When Farr broke the news to Visentin that she was leaving the show, she says, “He didn't believe me. He said, ‘Oh, you say that.’”
Farr says she’ll miss “everything” about working with Visentin, recalling how he supported her when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014, and underwent three lumpectomies and radiation. She’s now in remission.
“I was working all the way through cancer and he was always there,” she says. “He had his little rough patches too here and there, and we were there for each other. Yeah, that's a biggie. I don't know that that's going to change."
She adds that the longtime friendship "is not going to just disappear because we're not working together.”
Farr, who has also hosted two seasons of HGTV's Tough Love with Hilary Farr, reflected on Love It or List It's influence on the genre of home design and real estate television.
“One of the gratifying things is that I'm very involved with every aspect of the design on that show,” she says. “That isn't the way it normally works, but I'm a bit of a control freak and it has to be the way I like it. That has actually been a bonus, because I have such a loyal group of followers and they have been watching the show for so many years that they really do follow what has become a relatively signature design style.”
Farr particularly loves that her longtime fans are sharing Love It or List It with their children.
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“I meet 18-year-old young women and the occasional young man who's been watching this show with his parents since the age of 10, and they've grown up with the show and they want to be designers, and that is incredible to me,” she adds. “That is extraordinary. You can have two or even three generations who've been watching the show and been influenced by it. That means a lot.”
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