Q&A with Nick Knowles on DIY SOS Children in Need Special

The programme will broadcast at 9pm, Thursday 16 November, BBC One

PHOTO: Pudsey and Nick Knowles



Q&A with Nick Knowles on DIY SOS Children in Need Special

This build is for Treetops Hospice, what can you tell us about the hospice and it’s work?

Treetops Hospice is a hospice for adults with life-limiting illnesses, but their funding from BBC Children in Need over the last 10 years has meant they have been able to develop as a leading bereavement counselling service for children in Derbyshire – specifically for children who are facing a traumatic bereavement, so they could have lost someone very suddenly or under traumatic circumstances. Treetops did deliver this support in one of their current buildings, but it wasn’t quite fit for purpose and a little bit too clinical for children. So we’ve created something that will be a welcoming place where they will be able to come and feel comfortable and at ease, and in turn Treetops can continue to support children for many more years to come.

What makes this build a special one?

The thing that makes our builds work time after time, is the generosity of the tradespeople and companies that donate their time and resources to get us over the line. We literally couldn’t do it without them volunteering their time. I think with this build especially, everyone has experience of bereavement including people on our team and those volunteering, so it is one that’s really close to people’s hearts and you can see that in the programme. It is very emotional. Everyone pours their heart and soul into this build and wants to make it as special as possible for the children who will be using it for years to come.

After so many years on screen, why do you think that viewers still love DIY SOS?

The UK is full of people who are incredibly kind and generous - you can see that from the hundreds of volunteers we have turning up to give up their valuable time to come and work with us for free for 10 days – and suppliers continue to be generous in challenging times too but also people want to believe that the world is a better place than it often seems on the news.

I think because we have been on screens for so many years, we do have a loyal audience who have grown with us but it’s always lovely when we hear from new viewers who have just discovered it - new families that watch tv together and it’s a unashamedly a family show. They see us as their friends and warmly welcome us into their living rooms on a dark and cold winter’s evening, and there is something so special about watching a transformation - especially when it’s a transformation that will help out a family in need, or a charity – like on this build.

Are there any particularly funny moments that people should watch out for in the show?

Well, we’ve got Billy, Chris and Gaby on the build with us so the entire 10 days of filming is the usual blend of extreme nonsense and emotional bonding. We are on site all day, every day! There’s no time we aren’t having a coffee, working side by side or hearing about volunteer’s families or hugging it out. It’s a wonderfully inclusive environment and the most wonderful workplace - we genuinely feel like we’ve made hundreds of new friends each time we build in a new area and it’s been hundreds over 24 years.

Source BBC One

October 27, 2023 3:00am ET by BBC One  


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