Nick Knowles at the Ideal Home Show

Posted on: April 5th, 2019

I recently visited the Ideal home show and was delighted to see on the programme Nick Knowles was being interviewed. I have long admired his work. His involvement with DIY SOS for 20 years and the Invictus games to name but a couple of elements of his work.

By his own admission he cannot put up a flat pack, but he can build a house! Many members of his family were in the building trade. He has a building background, he was a hod carrier while playing rugby in Australia. He marvelled at the way he used to carry a hod full of 22 bricks up and down ladders all day long. He recently tried to lift one and couldn’t manage it!

He also talked about his early tv days being an extra in “A room with a view”. As he had long hair at the time, it needed to be cut off for him to be suitable for the part. The hairdresser offered him £50 for his hair and they used it as extensions for Helena Bonham-Carter! He therefore had a starring role!

He, very movingly, talked about a friend of his who had a stroke. He found it difficult to talk to him about the way he felt and everything going on. Within one year his friend passed away and he regretted the time he had wasted with his friend. The opportunities to talk that he had let pass by. From then he vowed he would make programmes that made a difference, that gave people opportunities for them to open up. He said he was often asked ‘Why do you do what you do? Should the government not be doing this work?’ He said his usual reply was, if you see someone drowning do you discuss whose job it is to help? Or do you jump in and save them?

Nick spoke about many other things, but these aspects really resonated with me. I endeavour to make a difference in peoples lives in my work. I try to listen really carefully to their needs  and respond as honestly and helpfully as I can. The stardom of his role does not appeal to me at all, being recognised in the street and stopped for autographs. However, trying to make the world a better place, by listening to others and responding to their needs, now there is something I aspire to.