Comment: Is Nick Knowles really the king of property TV?

The nation loves Nick Knowles - but is he Hertfordshire's favourite?

The nation loves Nick Knowles - but is he Hertfordshire's favourite? - Credit: Archant

We’re a nation of home ownership obsessives with a long-established fondness for TV property shows, and DIY SOS has been confirmed as the nation’s favourite.

Really?? Who in their right mind would choose Nick Knowles over Phil and/or Kirstie? 21 per cent of Britons, according to a new survey, which names the bearded smoothie as the nation’s favourite host. What’s more, DIY SOS tops the best show chart with 19 per cent of votes.

While DIY SOS only just pipped Grand Designs (18 per cent), Homes Under the Hammer (17 per cent) and Location, Location, Location (16 per cent) to the top spot, Nick was streets ahead of the competition in the presenter stakes, with second place Kevin McCloud scoring a paltry 12 per cent.

As a Location, Location, Location devotee, I would argue that this system places property double act Kirstie Allsopp (11 per cent) and Phil Spencer (10 per cent) at a disadvantage – though even combined they’d still be trailing Knowles.

So what is it about Nick and DIY SOS the 700 Brits quizzed for the MyHomeMove survey love so much? Maybe it’s the emotional aspect – that show loves a tear-jerking story like no other property programme, with friends and family banding together with local tradespeople to help transform a deserving family’s home.

Upper crust Kirstie showing hard to please couples around various properties with dividing walls she may or may not want to obliterate is apparently not as good.

In a previous life I used to write about TV, and interviewed Kevin and Kirstie a couple of times. Kevin was very pleasant – we talked about DIY tips or similar in some depth.

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But Kirstie had the edge on Kev and all the rest - she was possibly the nicest person I’ve ever interviewed. She was happy to be called direct on her mobile and chatted freely about everything from how she’d never had a boyfriend on Valentine’s Day to why stamp duty made her so cross. Once, when I urgently needed to fill a slot, I optimistically text her asking if she was free for a quick chat and she responded speedily saying she was happy to help.

This was about 15 years ago when she was a lot less famous, with no sideline in homemade home accessories and high profile Twitter feuds, however. But, while I’ve never had the pleasure of a phonecall from Nick Knowles, I’m convinced he’d be nowhere near as nice as Kirstie.