Dermot Bannon has batted off suggestions that Room to Improve has widened his appeal among RTE’s female fan base and revealed that he’s “too old to be a heart-throb”.
The architect said that although more people approach him since he took up the role as host of Room to Improve, he laughed off the suggestion that he’s become RTE eye-candy.
“Heart-throb? You put a lot into that! I’m too old to be a heart-throb. At 43 they must be hard up for a heart-throb,” he said.
“You do get more people coming up to you but they’re more asking about your buildings it’s not really about you.
“Some people might think that people coming up to you would be annoying but it isn’t really. It means people are engaged and that people are watching the show. When they come up to me I think it’s brilliant,” he said speaking at the launch of RTE’s Autumn/Winter schedule in Dublin’s Smock Alley.
The RTE star revealed that Room to Improve has opened Irish people’s minds when it comes to architecture and has encouraged them to improve their homes without the neighbours in mind.
“In Ireland we tend to try and be as good as our neighbours. Our mindset is as long as it looks as good as the one next door or slightly better!
"Up until ten years ago nobody really knew what an architect did. For me the fact that people have been engaging and that they’re talking about it that means that the role of an architect is becoming more central in people’s minds when they’re building their house.
Although Dermot and the crew of Room to Improve work on builds throughout the country and in rural Ireland, the architect revealed that city life in Dublin is much more attractive to his family.
“I’m a big advocate of city living. I think you have more fascilities. There’s a lot to be said for rural life but I’m a city dweller.
"We have this thing in Ireland that we feel we need to live in the middle of a field miles away from anywhere but I often wonder what it’s going to be like when you’re 80 years of age and you can’t drive anymore and you can’t get to the shops.
“I do believe as a society we’re better off living close to each other but it’s a bit bolder to push up the hill in Ireland.
“I do get that rural living is amazing but I think I could do it for about a month and that’s just my thing,” Dermot said.
Before we had Dermot Bannon, Weekend magazine's new home columnist, could anyone outside of the profession name a living Irish architect? There had certainly never been one fronting a popular television series until he appeared on our screens in Room To Improve, now in its ninth season, and bringing architects into the mainstream.