‘McCLOUD NEVER INTIMIDATED ME’
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