WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME AN ARCHITECT?
I used to love drawing, my dad used to sketch and draw an awful lot. He wasn’t trained, but he enjoyed it. My granddad was a builder and when I was 9, 10, 11 years old, I would spend a lot of my school holidays on building sites when he was there. I love the building game, I love seeing things being constructed and standing there for many years.
HOW DID THE TV WORK COME ABOUT?
I had no ambition to be on TV at all. I was lecturing at the time at a number of universities, I had my practice and I was asked to write a book on architecture so I got a literary agent. She called me up a few days later and asked me if I’d be interested in telly. It took her a couple of days to persuade me. Even after I got offered the job, I didn’t know if I wanted to do it. But I took the plunge and the rest is history really.
YOU MUST HAVE MET SOME AMAZING PEOPLE AND BEEN INVOLVED WITH SOME INCREDIBLE PROJECTS BECAUSE OF IT
For me, architecture and building isn’t a job, it’s like a hobby, a genuine, real passion. You just have to look at people like Jamie Oliver, he’s a brilliant TV presenter, but first and foremost he just loves being a chef. If his media empire ended tomorrow, he would still just love his job being a chef, and I’m the same really. To be able to travel all over the country - in fact all over the world with Amazing Spaces, I’ve been to Texas, Italy and we’re just about to go to Germany this year - and travel and see buildings and talk about them and be paid for it is just ridiculous really. I love it.
WHAT ELSE HAVE YOU GOT COMING UP?
I’m making series six and seven of Restoration Man; series six will be out later this year. Amazing Spaces series five this year, which will be out maybe in September. Shed Of The Year was a national competition, that’s coming back. It was an incredible success last year. We did that as a bit of fun, just three one-hour programmes, and it went mad. I’m also making another series with a working title of Ugly House To Lovely House, and the idea is that I take quite ugly post-war houses and make them look lovely again. We do have some beautiful houses in Britain, but we do have some pretty ugly ones as well, and I always think that every house has the potential to be amazing. So I’m very busy.
IF YOUR JOB IS YOUR HOBBY THOUGH, BEING BUSY ISN’T A PROBLEM
Absolutely - I’d be bored senseless otherwise! I’m happy to keep making lots of programmes as long as people keep watching them.