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Thursday 14 November 2019

'I couldn't stop blubbing' - Baz on emotional DIY SOS

Baz with BBC’s Nick Knowles
Baz with BBC’s Nick Knowles

Baz Ashmawy has revealed that he was "blubbing the whole time" while filming the first episode of RTE's new version of DIY SOS.

The makeover show starring Nick Knowles has been running for nearly 20 years on the BBC and sees a different family home being chosen for a total renovation every week.

RTE will now screen its own version of the popular programme here and filming recently wrapped on the first episode, which is set in Dundrum, Co Tipperary.

Producers chose the Barry family for the first episode.

Dad-of-three Michael had been working hard for the past five years building a dream home for wife Sinead and their three children Nicole (13), Rowan (six) and Keeva (one).

He had been complaining of problems in his eye over Christmas 2018 and was admitted for tests last January.

Michael then received the devastating news that he had a brain tumour.

He slipped into a coma on March 23 and died aged just 34 surrounded by his family.

Sinead, who was with Michael for 14 years, was financially unable to finish the construction after his passing.

It was Michael's sister Catriona who reached out to DIY SOS asking RTE for help to finish the house that her late brother had started for his young family.

Baz said he was bowled over by the support that the local community offered when it came to providing plasterers, painters and tradesmen for the huge renovation job. A 'gofundme' page has since been set up for the family in Michael's name.

"It was just amazing - I never saw anything like it," Baz said.

"It was a really feel-good project. I slept for about four days after we filmed it and I didn't pick up a single tool. It was just an onslaught of emotions.

Unbelievable

"It was insane what the local community did. At one stage we put out a call for painters and plasterers and the response was unbelievable.

"What they did for this young family left without their dad was absolutely brilliant. I was blubbing the whole time."

The new series will provisionally air on RTE in autumn 2020.

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