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DIY SOS Children in Need Special: meet the team

Get to know the show’s returning and new recruits

children in need diy special
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
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The DIY SOS Children in Need Special airs on Tuesday night, and will see the team embark on an adventurous build in aid of the charity. 

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The DIY team will be joined by guest presenter Rhod Gilbert and a group of volunteers as they attempt to transform an overgrown 2.5-acre site in Brandesburton near Hull, into a purpose-built adventure campsite for St Michael’s Youth Project. But who are the team behind the project? 

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While comedian Rhod Gilbert will be stepping in for Nick Knowles, who has presented the show every year since 1999, the usual DIY SOS experts will be back with one new recruit. 

Rhod Gilbert 

Stand-up comedian Rhod will be replacing Nick Knowles for the Children in Need special this year. Viewers will recognise him for his appearances on shows such as Live at the Apollo, Would I Lie to You?, Have I Got News for You and Mock the Week.

Rhod, who was born in Camarthen, south-west Wales, also hosts his own show Rhod Gilbert's Work Experience in which he attempts various jobs for a limited time.

rhod diy sos© Photo: BBC

Rhod will be stepping in for Nick Knowles

Mark Millar

Mark is a carpenter who has been project managing the extraordinary builds on the show since 2006. 

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Raised in Belfast, Mark originally intended to train as a chef before deciding to take an apprenticeship as a carpenter. As well as appearing on the BBC show, Mark also runs his own successful building firm in Bristol and works for many celebrity clients across the world. 

mark millar diy sos© Photo: Getty Images

Mark has been on the show since 2006

Chris Frediani

Chris has worked on DIY SOS since it first aired back in 1999. Having started plastering at the age of 17, Chris has worked his way up to being a very versatile tradesman and has worked on both modern and traditional projects. 

While Chris often travels around the UK and abroad for his work, he loves his home life in Devon. 

chris frediani© Photo: Getty Images

Chris has been a plasterer on the show since it first aired in 1999

Jules Perryman

Jules started his building career at the age of 16, often working with his father on new houses. While he is a versatile and skilled builder, he is usually kept busy on the show with plastering jobs, working together with Chris. 

Like Chris, Jules is also from Devon and the pair have known each other since junior school. Although they own their separate businesses, Chris and Jules worked together before the show and landed their roles while working for the mother of a BBC researcher. 

julian perryman pudsey© Photo: BBC

Jules high-fives Pudsey Bear in the upcoming episode

Billy Byrne

Billy is an electrician who learnt his trade in the 60s before going into lighting in the film and TV business. He is an original member of the show and is known for being the clown of the team. 

billy byrne children in need© Photo: Getty Images

Billy holding Pudsey Bear alongside his team

John O’Driscoll

John is joining the team for this year’s special and will be bringing his playground engineering skills to the table. Founder and director of Adventure Playground Engineers, he aims to design sustainable adventure playgrounds to tempt children away from their computers and back to nature.

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John has some impressive projects under his belt, including building the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park’s Tumbling Bay Playground, which was a joint venture with another practice.

children in need© Photo: BBC

John is joining the team for this year's special

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