DIY SOS host Nick Knowles on tonight's 20th anniversary special: ‘I’m really excited!’

DIY SOS team including Nick Knowles for 20th anniversary

Nick recalls the show’s hilarious early days as DIY SOS celebrates 20 years this evening on BBC1 at 8pm

DIY SOS host Nick Knowles has spoken about his excitement that the long-running series is getting a special show tonight to mark its 20th anniversary later this year.

The first ever episode of DIY SOS aired on the 7th October 1999 and it has now run for more than 200 episodes, with audiences peaking at over seven million viewers.

Now, the 20th anniversary special will this evening see Nick return to some of the show’s biggest and most challenging builds, including the construction of the Grenfell Community Centre and Dale Youth Boxing Gym.

Talking about why the show is such a hit, Nick says: “Because it makes you laugh and it makes you cry. We’re living in times of such extremes and lots of negativity, but most people are good and empathetic. DIY SOS proves this and reinforces that community very much still exists.”

He adds: “I'm really excited for people to see the anniversary show. So many of the people we have built for have taken what we’ve built and passed on the love and work ethic that the thousands of volunteers have shown over 20 years to improve people’s lives across the country. It’s a tribute to every supplier and volunteer and it’s full of emotion.”

And Nick recalls that the early days of DIY SOS were an absolute riot.

“The early years were hilarious and manic and like being on tour with a band - that and thinking we won’t get commissioned for any more after these first six shows.”

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He goes on to say that that he reckons he could build Windsor castle now with all his DIY experience.

“I’ve had a 20 year apprenticeship - I reckon I could build Windsor castle now… Well, with the help of the purple shirts of course.”

DIY SOS has completed over £16 million worth of builds!!

Yep, over its 20 years, DIY SOS has featured more than 20,000 volunteers, who’ve completed over £16 million worth of builds! That's a lot of building!!

The DIY SOS 20th anniversary special is on BBC1 tonight at 8pm.

David Hollingsworth

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years on TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 

David started out as a writer on TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!