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OU on the BBC: A Mile in their Shoes - Nick Knowles

Updated Thursday 17th June 2004

Find out more about our presenters: Nick Knowles, Victoria Beckham, and Patrick Kielty.

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Nick Knowles Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Greg Day

Instantly recognised as the host of the BBC’s long-running, prime-time series DIY SOS, Nick Knowles is acknowledged as one of the countries most popular and versatile TV presenters. He has injected his infectious, hands-on presenting style to some of Britain’s highest rated lifestyle shows including the RTS award-winning City Hospital (BBC), Bafta-nominated Straight Up (ITV), which he also directed, Wish You Were Here, (ITV), UK’s Worst TV Revealed (BBC), Judgemental and Holiday Makers (ITV). He's worked with the Open University before, on A Land Worth Loving.

Nick was born in Hillingdon, Middlesex and lived on a council estate in Southall in London until he was 11 years old. The fourth of five siblings, Nick played football in his teens for West Suffolk before continuing his education in Kent, when he switched his allegiance to rugby.

After leaving school he tried a variety of jobs, including landscape gardening, building, selling photocopiers, selling shoes and being in a touring band with his brother. He also appeared in front of the camera for the first time – as an extra in Room with a View.

His television break came when he blagged the use of a BBC crew for three days and wrote and directed a home town video for a programme called No Limits. Encouraged by Peter Bazalgette he wrote to all the TV companies and finally got a job as an accounts clerk at the BBC. He was then made a researcher on a programme called Full Frontal, before moving on to work on Crimewatch.

The offer of playing rugby in Australia proved too strong a temptation, but he was able to combine both passions when he joined a regional TV station in Wollongong called Win 4. He became part of the newsroom, working first as a reporter, before directing his own documentaries. After two years he did a short stint in America for Channel 10 before returning to England and joining the TVS newsroom in Maidstone. Since then he has not looked back.

2004 promises to be his busiest year yet, in which he will be one of BBC1’s busiest presenters. He kicked off the New Year with the 9th series of DIY SOS, now as the main presenter. The major BBC1 series which Nick has written and devised himself, Historyonics, sees Nick meet up with six infamous historical characters such as Mary Queen of Scots, Robin Hood and Dick Turpin. He is also hosting another Secrets of Magic special, again for BBC1, and then there is Beckham Back In Time, in which Nick examines how iconic celebrity David Beckham would have coped at key historical periods.

When he finds the time Nick likes to let off steam on his motorbike, cook food for friends and whiz off to his favourite destinations – Venice, Australia and Cornwall.

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