Rhod Gilbert says DIY SOS Hull special without Nick Knowles is ‘chaos’

Comedian Rhod Gilbert has spoken out about replacing Nick Knowles as presenter of DIY SOS.

He is stepping in to the popular presenter’s role for a BBC Children in Need special programme assisting a Hull-based charity.

Read more: DIY SOS issue urgent plea to the people of Hull ahead of ‘big build’ project

The BBC programme will see an empty field transformed into a children’s adventure playground in Orchard Park as part of this year’s Big Build.

Rhod spent Wednesday morning filming for the project, saying the first day was “chaos” and “unlike any DIY SOS segment we have seen in the past”.

Rhod Gilbert with the DIY SOS team in Hull
Rhod Gilbert with the DIY SOS team in Hull

Rhod, 52, told Hull Live he was honoured to cover for Nick who is missing the special due to his appearance in a cereal advert: “I like to say I’ve stepped into his massive steel cap shoes.

“I am sure everyone will miss him [Nick], but he will be coming back. I was just honoured to be asked to be part of such an iconic show.”

Nick came under fire with BBC executives for playing a builder in a Shreddies campaign.

Writing on Twitter, Nick said Rhod is a “top bloke” who would do a “great job” until his return.

Rhod is joining the programme’s team which consists of Mark Millar, Chris Freidiani, Jules Perryman and Billy Byrne, alongside playground engineer John O’Driscoll in Hull.

The DIY SOS team, with the help of trade volunteers, have big plans to transform an empty two-and-a-half acre field into a purpose built “adventure camping site” for St Michael’s Youth Project.

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Rhod said: “It is unlike any DIY SOS we have seen before. There’s lots of different stuff going on, and I guess my job is to show how it all comes together.

“My job is to get the message across about how each of the various things that are going on piece together.

“I’m loving it. It’s similar to the work experience series I did. Life is hard at the moment but this is bringing people together. I think the best moment is when we see the look on the St Michael’s workers’ faces at the end.”

DIY SOS team hard at work to construct a children's adventure playground in Orchard Park
DIY SOS team hard at work to construct a children’s adventure playground in Orchard Park

He added: “St Michael’s have been active in the area for years and this project will give people independence in Hull.

“The problem is that people are having to travel miles so the aim is to bring these kind of spaces closure to home for those in Hull.

“We will be turning the camp into a facility with a pizza oven, mountain bike course, bird watcher, and much more. It aims to bring people together.”

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