Tissues ready for DIY SOS: The Big Build

Thursday: DIY SOS: The Big Build; (BBC One, 8pm)

If you’re having a hard time of it and for whatever reason your property is no longer suitable for you and your family, then the sight of Nick Knowles turning up your doorstep must be a very welcome one.

And just to make sure that the recipients of the DIY SOS goodwill know exactly who has arrived at their gaff, Knowles has had a face mask printed with his jaw on it.

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That’s right, the presenter and former I’m A Celebrity campmate clearly can’t bear to cover his handsome mug with a regular mask, and in the first episode of this series, he even had his trusty team wearing one.

Nick and co kicked off the latest run of the makeover series by helping charity Surfability UK, which supports people with learning difficulties and disabilities to surf, to do up their centre. Then, the series continued last week as they headed to Scunthorpe to remodel Caroline’s house after he family suffered two tragic losses. Both episodes are available to view on the BBC iPlayer.

In tonight’s tear-jerking episode, the team are joined by hundreds of kind volunteers as they completely transform the home of three orphaned Cornish boys.

After 15 years spent fostering more than 100 children – from premature babies with cerebral palsy through to teenage mothers – Stephen and Lynn Smedley were looking forward to a well-earned retirement in their two-bedroom bungalow.

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But then, in April 2017, their retirement idyll was shattered when their beloved 32-year-old daughter Carrie died suddenly, leaving her three boys orphaned.

The grandparents and the three boys are a tight unit, but are living on top of each other in the tiny bungalow. The three growing boys are squeezed into a single bedroom with a stacked triple bunkbed, which is far from ideal.

Thankfully, the DIY SOS team and volunteers, fuelled by hundreds of pasties, are about to turn this cramped property in Carbis Bay near St Ives into something quite special.

Knowles told Cornwall Live: “This family are amazing – the grandparents in their time have fostered over 100 children so if you think about it, they have given over 100 vulnerable children a start in life which is an amazing service for any community. Then unfortunately they lost their daughter who passed away and she had three sons herself. I think the fact that there’s more space will be very emotional for them because it takes a great weight off their shoulders. But this doesn’t solve all the problems for the family because they are dealing with loss and a lifetime for the kids of growing up without their mum.”

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One thing’s for sure though, seeing Nick and co will brighten up Stephen, Lynn and the boys’ day. And as this particular episode was filmed right back at the beginning of 2019, they will even get to see Nick’s real-life face – and not the bizarre masked version.

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