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DIY SOS: The Big Build — airdate, locations and everything we know so far

Nick Knowles hosts DIY SOS
(Image credit: BBC)

It’s hard to believe BBC One’s DIY SOS has been running for 23 years. The show that originally offered a solution to people’s DIY disasters, has turned into a heartwarming and inspirational series in which Nick Knowles and the DIY SOS team take on mammoth building projects to transform people’s homes, communities and lives. 

This week, Nick and the gang are back, as DIY SOS: The Big Build returns for a new series. Here’s everything you need to know…

DIY SOS: The Big Build: When does it start?

The new six-part series of DIY SOS: The Big Build starts on Tuesday, May 10 at 8 pm on BBC One, as Nick Knowles and the team travel across the UK tackling more gigantic building projects that change people’s lives.

DIY SOS: The Big Build: Where are they for the first episode?

DIY SOS The Big Build Kettering

Volunteers turn out in their droves to give Lindsey and her family a home. (Image credit: BBC)

In the first episode, Nick and his team head to Kettering to help midwife Lindsey and her four children after the sudden death of her husband Shaun left them with an uninhabitable home.

“In the summer of 2021, ex-military man Shaun and wife Lindsay began renovating their home but, just months after starting the build — which Shaun had planned to finish himself — he was diagnosed with aggressive cancer and tragically died last November,” reveals host Nick Knowles. 

“With their house now a building site, Lindsay and their four children had to move in with her mum. So they’re going through bereavement but they can’t grieve properly because they don’t have anywhere to live. So DIY SOS came to finish the job. We wanted to give the family a home that allowed them to find their ‘new normal’.” 

Shaun and Lindsey McAulay DIY SOS

Happy Families: Lindsey with Shaun and their four children, prior to his death. (Image credit: The McAulay Family)

DIY SOS: The Big Build: Does it get very emotional?

Away from the bricks and mortar, Nick talks to Lindsey about her tough situation.

“It’s hugely emotional not least because I’m talking to someone about dealing with bereavement,” says Nick. “Lindsey’s story was particularly heartfelt for Gaby, our designer on the project, who bravely talked about the loss of her own child. People often say to me: ‘How come you don’t ever get emotional?’ The truth is, I do, I just try and hold it together until I’m off-camera — but I don’t always succeed.”

Nick Knowles and designer Gaby

Lindsey's story brings back painful memories for designer Gaby (pictured, right) about her own loss. (Image credit: BBC)

DIY SOS: The Big Build: Where else does Nick and the team visit this series?

After Kettering, Nick and the gang head to Corby to meet an inspirational teen with cerebral palsy, then they’re in Southmead in Bristol, to revamp a playground so it’s full of adventure. Later in the series, the team travel to Stoke to build an outdoor community centre, which turns into a battle against the elements as the build is hit by three storms… and even snow!

“We were trying to build an outdoor community centre in Stoke around the time that the UK was hit with those three massive storms,” says Nick. “It was a big outdoor build and we were erecting Portakabins and an amphitheatre all in this ridiculous weather. But the spirit of everybody that came to help was unbelievable — we had wedding photographers wheeling wheelbarrows around the garden up to their armpits in mud. It was epic!”

Has DIY SOS really been going for 23 years?

Nick Knowles DIY SOS

'I love what this show says about us as a nation,' says Nick. (Image credit: BBC)

Yep! And host Nick has enjoyed every minute.

“When we started doing the show 23 years ago, we used to build ourselves, I became like the plasterer’s mate, doing various bits and pieces,” he recalls. “Now, it’s on such a massive scale, pretty much 300 people come to every build and they’re skilled and I usually get the Mickey taken out of me for getting in the way!

“The truth is, many of our volunteers leave with a real sense of self-worth that their skills are valued and they’ve made a difference to people’s lives. I love what this show says about our country and the generosity of us as a nation. I feel lucky to have been involved with this show for the past 23 years. I have the best job in the world."

Victoria Wilson
Victoria Wilson

With over 20 years’ experience writing about TV and film, Vicky currently writes features for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week magazines plus news and watching guides for WhatToWatch.com, a job which involves chatting to a whole host of famous faces. Our Vicky LOVES light entertainment, with Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice UK among her fave shows. Basically, if it’s got a shiny floor, she’s all over it! When she’s not watching TV, you might find Vicky in therapy… retail therapy that is!