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EXCLUSIVE! Dermot Bannon on Room To Improve success: ‘It’s doing incredibly well – I don’t know why!’

The celebrity architect is baffled by the show's popularity


Dermot Bannon has admitted that he’s baffled by the popularity of his RTÉ show Room To Improve.

After 11 seasons, the show has gone from strength to strength, and is now one of the nation’s most-loved shows on TV.

Speaking to Goss.ie about the show’s popularity, Dermot said, “I don’t know how to react to it! I tend to just stick my head in the sand and wait for it all to go away!”

The celebrity architect admitted, “I hate when the show is on, I hate when the buzz is all about it. I love making the show, and I love all of the build up to it, getting all the stuff ready – the adrenaline! But when it goes out on air, I just want to hide somewhere.”

Photo by Michael Chester

“It’s doing incredibly well, I don’t know why, it shouldn’t, it’s just a lifestyle TV programme that should be on on a Thursday evening but the country seems to have fallen in love with it,” he told us on the IFTA TV Gala Awards red carpet.

“I think most of it is to do with the clients that we have on the show, they’re just fantastic and they give so much,” he explained.

When asked if ‘Irish noseyness’ was behind people loving the show so much, he replied, “Of course! Jesus we’re all incredibly nosey, I’m nosey!”

“My favourite part of the show is actually when we bring people to somebody else’s house, and I get to go there maybe an hour before hand, I’m rooting in every press, every cupboard, I’m seeing every detail – so yeah, if I’m going to be like that, the whole country’s going to be like that! It’s a joint noseyness that we’re all on isn’t it?”

Dermot famously revamped country crooner Daniel O’Donnell’s home in Donegal, and the episode was the most-watched of the series.

When asked which celebrity he’d like to have on the show next, he said, “Mrs Brown! Wouldn’t it be good to do Mrs Brown’s house? Or Brendan O’Carrol’s like, either or! But Mrs Brown would be better!”

The architect also praised Pippa O’Connor for her interior design skills, as his company was involved in the revamp of her Kildare home.

He said, “We did the planning application drawings in the early stages, yes! I think Pippa handled a lot of the stuff at the end! It turned out really, really well – it looks great!”