Tuesday 21 May 2019

Baz the builder to present RTE's own version of DIY SOS

Baz Ashmawy Photo: Gerry Mooney
Baz Ashmawy Photo: Gerry Mooney
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

RTE is making its own version of BBC hit show DIY SOS with Baz Ashmawy at the helm as he continues building up his portfolio of hit programmes.

The Emmy-winning presenter has been chosen to front the first Irish run of the series, which is fronted in the UK by Nick Knowles.

Called DIY SOS Ireland: The Big Build, it will centre on a deserving family getting their home renovated by a team of experts working around the clock.

Made by Motive Television, a casting call for applicants has just gone out.

Making a drama: Jimmy Byrne and Baz Ashmawy in Wingman
Making a drama: Jimmy Byrne and Baz Ashmawy in Wingman

The producers are especially looking to hear from families who are coping with an illness or life-limiting condition and desperately need their houses significantly refurbished within the show's nine-day time frame.

Confirming the news, Baz said: "DIY SOS is coming to Ireland, so I think I'm presenting that.

"I'm excited about it. I think it's going to be brilliant, and the show has a real feel-good factor which fits perfectly into where I'm into right now.

"I'm really happy doing simple things. So much of it can be nonsense and not really doing any good for people.

"Ive always got my eyes on loads of different things and I'm always looking at show ideas."

Baz has scored another big hit with his feel-good reality-based show Wingman, which sees him encouraging ordinary people to fulfil their life-long ambitions.

Airing on Sunday nights for a three-episode run, he said it was one programme that was very close to his heart.

"When it came to the idea for it, it was basically me looking at what did I enjoy doing," he said.

"I don't mean this in an insulting way, but I was a little bored of the celebrity stuff and then I'd meet all these amazing people all the time.

"They were people who lived through some really, really tough stuff and they would just get on with it and their stories were so interesting.

"That's what I want to do. I love hanging out with people, so it wasn't a pain for me. I enjoyed it and I wanted to do something in a Sunday night slot that would make people feel good."

He was bowled over by the reaction to it from Irish viewers, and couldn't believe it was trending several times over the course of its three-week run.

"I didn't get one nasty Tweet, which is amazing. That's unheard of as we all know what Twitter can be like, but I didn't get one negative Tweet," said Baz.

"It was all just positivity and love and lots of nice feedback."

Read more: 'I was tired of doing serious stuff - it got me down' - Baz Ashmawy

Declan Lynch: 'The 'Wingman' will soon be flying over many lands' 

Wingman review: 'It's me, myself and I with Baz in self-indulgent and interminable nonsense' 

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