‘McCLOUD NEVER IN­TIM­I­DATED ME’

Herald Sun - Switched On - - FRONT PAGE - ANNA BRAIN TV WRITER

When Grand De­signs Aus­tralia launched five years ago some had doubts whether the show, and its host Pe­ter Mad­di­son, would live up to the UK se­ries with Kevin McCloud. Seven sea­sons on, Mad­di­son is serv­ing naysay­ers a hearty help­ing of hum­ble pie.

Pe­ter, I had you pegged for a bloke in his 40s, but the in­ter­net says you were born in 1954 ... is that true? I like the way you’re talk­ing. I love it. That is ex­actly the year. I’m a keen surfer and ice­berger — I like to swim about four morn­ings a week, in the ocean, with no wet­suit. And stay­ing busy helps.

You’d be flat out film­ing the show and run­ning a prac­tice ... The dif­fi­culty at the mo­ment is I’m ren­o­vat­ing as well. I went to my build­ing site this morn­ing and found my own mini- dis­as­ter. The tiles that I’ve sealed in the shower have all turned a dif­fer­ent colour. They look like they’ve been dropped in a bath of oil.

It is com­fort­ing to hear you have dis­as­ters too. It’s just the tri­als and tribu­la­tions of putting homes to­gether.

So, what’s new for GDA this sea­son? The hy­dro-elec­tric sta­tion in Launce­s­ton (episode two) is only the sec­ond, maybe the third ren­o­va­tion, that we’ve ever done. This sea­son we’ve done two old build­ings re­done as houses. The English ver­sion of GD has quite a lot of those.

Is that a shift in di­rec­tion for the show? No, it’s what­ever we can get our hands on. And you’ve got to be very pa­tient mak­ing the show. It’s lovely that the view­ers can see a whole two years packed into one hour. Are you see­ing any new ar­chi­tec­tural trends? I came up with the term freeform mod­ern last sea­son. We’re a lot more ac­cept­ing and loose with the way things are fin­ished. Raw tim­bers, bolts left ex­posed. Hum­ble ma­te­ri­als. That wouldn’t have been the case 50 years ago. It wasn’t the case 10 years ago.

How long can you see the show run­ning? I am hop­ing that we can get to dou­ble dig­its. I’m ac­tu­ally start­ing to re­ally en­joy do­ing this. When I first started I was pretty in­tim­i­dated.

Was that be­cause you were fol­low­ing in Kevin McCloud’s foot­steps? No, Kevin’s never re­ally in­tim­i­dated me, he’s a good mate. We gen­er­ally catch up each year, he’s very sup­port­ive, and I’m very sup­port­ive of him too.

GRAND DE­SIGNS, LIFE­STYLE, THURS­DAY, 8.30PM

Pe­ter Mad­di­son en­joys the show, and cold dips in

the sea.

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