Nick Knowles

Nick Knowles is presenter of the BBC1 television programme, DIY SOS, a popular factual entertainment show featuring a team of experts who recruit family, friends and trades people to improve the homes of families across Britain.

Nick Knowles

The programme's success relies on people turning up for each project to volunteer their time and skills free of charge -Nick always stresses that the show wouldn't be possible without them. Prior to presenting DIY SOS, he hosted BBC1's popular Saturday night quiz shows Secret Fortune, Break the Safe and Who Dares Wins.

Early life and career

Born in Southall in 1962, Nick thanks his large family - including his parents, one brother and three sisters - for their love and support during his youth, when he couldn't decide which career to pursue. In fact, he tried his hand at music, acting and even rugby before realising his talent for writing, directing and presenting on television.

He started his TV career in production as a runner, before making his breakthrough as a presenter in the early 1990s with ITV's Ridge Riders series. It featured a celebrity and guests riding classic motorbikes off the beaten track around the UK, soaking up the local heritage and history en route - he still has a passion for motorbikes.


His most well-known show, DIY SOS, was launched on BBC1 in 1999 and quickly became a big hit with viewers. In 2010, it evolved into DIY SOS: The Big Build. Nick is actually the only member of the team who isn’t a builder - but he's not afraid to roll up his sleeves and get stuck in with the manual work that is required to transform the properties.

He leads the team of professionals in his own unique style, making the programme fun and factual, jokingly describing his role as "DIY avoider and tea boy" on his website. The team members include build manager Mark Millar, electrician Billy Byrne and two plasterers/builders, Chris Frediani and Julian Perryman.

Notable renovations

Among the most popular shows in the series were The Big Build - Welwyn Garden City, in which Nick and the team helped mum-of-four, Sascha, to transform her family home by installing a dedicated home-dialysis room after she suffered kidney failure. This meant she no longer had to endure daily trips to the hospital five days a week for intensive dialysis.

Another episode, The Big Build - Isle of Sheppey, saw Nick and his experts help a couple who had fostered and adopted four vulnerable children, three of whom had complex special needs. However, they had quickly outgrown their cramped three-bedroom bungalow. In the show's most ambitious episode to date, the DIY SOS team had just nine days to demolish the bungalow and build a brand new bespoke five-bedroom house.

Nick is a father-of-four himself - daughter Tuesday and three sons, Charles, Tyrian (known as TJ) and Eddie.

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