Sunday 22 April 2018

'I thought Daniel O'Donnell would take a back seat on Room to Improve - I was shocked' - Dermot Bannon

Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

RTE architect Dermot Bannon has opened up on dealing with one of his most difficult clients yet - crooner Daniel O'Donnell.

Bannon will be seen starting work on Daniel and wife Majella O'Donnell's home in a celebrity edition of Room To Improve - and revealed that certain "issues" have already cropped up during the project.

Indeed, the singer is taking a very keen interest in the work. "There have been issues and there will be issues because we're here to resolve it and work through it," said Dermot.

"I was shocked. I thought he'd take a back seat. He hasn't taken a back seat at all. If he gets involved in something, he gets involved in it 100pc.

"He was thinking, 'Where am I going to get time to do this? I've a tour in America, a tour in the UK'. He won't let it go.

"I have had conversations with him where he's lying asleep in bed at 5 o'clock in the morning in Canada and he wakes up to do a FaceTime with everybody. He has been all over it."

He said that Majella (57) was more the driving force behind the need to change their coastal home in Kincasslagh, whereas Daniel thought it was fine the way it was.

Dermot said they also had very different tastes in interiors, with Daniel (55) wanting a big, spacious area after spending so much time in hotel rooms.

Dermot Bannon
Dermot Bannon

"For Majella, she would love a tiny little cottage. For her, a big house is a no-no," he said. She doesn't want anywhere too luxurious, too fancy. She'd love to live in a tiny log cabin in the woods, that would be her dream."

Dermot described the property as a "very ordinary house" with spectacular views but lots of dark spaces.

"It's big but it has no light and it's got lots of rooms they don't use. So we're not actually extending the house, we're reconfiguring it to make it work better," he said.

He insisted the couple got no celebrity treatment on the show. "I do projects because there's a genuine need. I was a bit dubious going up. Then I saw the house and thought, 'God this could be so much nicer'," he said.


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