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Co-star Patricia's my worst nightmare -- RTE's Dermot

RTE architect Dermot Bannon said that his new quantity surveyor on Room To Improve is putting him in his place.

The TV man has told the Herald that Patricia Power, who joined the RTE programme in last series, is his "worst nightmare".

Her job is to provide a new practical element to the home improvement show -- which means that she often has to pull the architect back from his most ambitious, and sometimes over budget, plans for a new extension.

"Budgets are the number one priority for people now -- before it was design that was the number one priority," he told the Herald. Dermot said that at the height of the boom he could return to the householder client and if the design didn't match their budget, they could ask the bank to top up their loan by an extra €5,000 or €10,000.

"Now it is a stretch to go over by €80 -- people are squeezed," he said.

This is where Patricia comes in -- she reviews the plans for the home build and cuts out costs that she deems to be excessive.

Patricia was picked by RTE producers and the building team as the best person for the job with her straight-talking, no-nonsense approach.

"Patricia was particularly good on camera. She was really informed -- she could say things in two sentences whereas others would take 10 sentences to say it," said Dermot. "She is very articulate."

And Dermot admitted that the two regularly clash, but that this brings a new element to the show and ensures that the project runs to specification.

"I'm like her worst nightmare -- and she's mine. But we get over it," he laughed.

"There is a lot of tough negotiation. Sometimes you forget you are singing from the same hymn sheet.

"We are the same team, even if we do pull in different directions," he added.

Room To Improve returns to TV screens in the autumn.