Nick Knowles and the team issue a call to arms and recruit friends, family and local trades to help transform the homes of families across Britain.




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Series cast summary:
Nick Knowles ...  Self - Presenter 44 episodes, 1999-2018
Billy Byrne Billy Byrne ...  Self 20 episodes, 2010-2018
Chris Frediani Chris Frediani ...  Self 20 episodes, 2010-2018
Julian Perryman Julian Perryman ...  Self 20 episodes, 2010-2018
Mark Millar Mark Millar ...  Self 18 episodes, 2010-2018


Nick Knowles and the team issue a call to arms and recruit friends, family and local trades to help transform the homes of families across Britain.

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lifestyle | diy | See All (2) »




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Did You Know?


Nick: [about Debbie] When she joined, they said we'd like her, she's really hands on. They were right! Hands on the walls, hands on the ceiling!
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Featured in Harry Hill's World of TV: Home Improvement Shows (2020) See more »

User Reviews

How to improve your programme - make it real.
6 December 2020 | by adrianmattSee all my reviews

Ten years ago DIY SOS was a 'me too' programme about a group of builders trying a bit too hard to be funny while sorting out the minor disasters of incompetent home improvers. Then someone at the BBC must have been watching Extreme Makeover Home Edition and decided they had the perfect vehicle for an improved version stripped of corporate self glorification, mawkishness, product placement and over-engineered palaces which look as if they are going to cost a fortune to run and maintain.

The programme makers, of course, will always be looking for 'good television', but the usual focus is on practical and often beautiful changes to life-limiting or even life-threatening home situations for people in desperate need. The changes are frequently total rebuilds within the old shell, but never just for show. BBC budgets ensure that.

There are also larger community projects such as a street of homes for veterans which attracted the participation of two princes, and a huge boxing gym for kids affected by the terrible Grenfell Tower for in London.

The presenter and builders are the same but the programme has changed beyond all recognition, becoming much more significant and dealing in real, often heartbreaking family situations. The emotions are sometimes raw but for the most part the programme makers avoid sentimentality.

Nick Knowles is not to everybody's taste, but his contributions and interviews of family and friends have become much more perceptive and empathetic. A lot of time is given to tradespeople who come from all over the UK free of charge and to companies who often donate materials or staff free of charge, most importantly without advertising their names. The part of Extreme Makeover I really disliked was donors' corporate logos sprawled all over the screen and the inevitable words, "Our friends at CVS Pharmacy know how difficult life has been..." or similar.

One reviewer identified a problem with diversity. Perhaps there is something to look into there, but I have seen several featuring what the contributor might describe as non-white families (including in the two veterans episodes).

There is still some of the old 'banter' between the showbiz builders, but the regular builders' selfless enthusiasm and obvious enjoyment of the experience keeps the new version of the programme grounded. Nick Knowles' little sermon at the end of every programme can still sometimes be awkward, even cringeworthy, but in fairness he has got better. He can be annoying, but I don't think it's fair to see his light hearted insults as evidence of bullying.

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Release Date:

7 April 1999 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Bristol, England, UK See more »

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Production Co:

BBC Bristol See more »
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