‘I’ll be back on your screens next year!’ Nick Knowles WON’T be sacked from DIY SOS as BBC make extraordinary U-turn after presenter ‘breached rules’ by starring in a breakfast cereal ad
- The TV presenter, 58, plays a jobbing builder in a new Shreddies commercial
- It was said that he was in breach of strict advertising rules set by BBC bosses
- But Nick told The Sun on Tuesday: ‘I will continue filming new episodes of DIY SOS over the coming months and will be back on your screens next year’
- He was reportedly told by bosses that he would have to ditch ad or his show
- Nick has hosted DIY SOS, a BBC show about home renovations, since 1999
Nick Knowles won’t be sacked from DIY SOS, the presenter has confirmed.
The 58-year-old was rumoured to be in trouble with the BBC after he appeared in a Shreddies commercial, threatening his 22-year tenure on the renovation show.
But, despite reportedly being in breach of strict advertising rules set by BBC bosses, the corporation appears to have made a U-turn on their stance.
Safe! Nick Knowles won’t be sacked from DIY SOS, the presenter has confirmed
Nick told The Sun on Tuesday evening: ‘I have always said that DIY SOS is more than just a presenting job for me, it’s part of me.
‘It has my heart and working for the BBC for over 22 years is something I have never taken for granted.
‘I will continue filming new episodes of DIY SOS over the coming months and will be back on your screens with the purple shirts next year.’
MailOnline has contacted the BBC for comment.
Hot water: The 58-year-old was rumoured to be in trouble with the BBC after he appeared in a Shreddies commercial, threatening his 22-year tenure on the renovation show
Tense: The presenter was told by corporation bosses in a Zoom meeting last month he would have to get the ad pulled or quit DIY SOS, according to reports
Nick plays a jobbing builder in the advert – a move said to go against the BBC’s ban on TV talent trading-off their on-screen personas.
But fans of the presenter, who once netted as much as £300,000 in one year from his BBC work, took to social media to defend the star.
Some even branded the BBC as ‘inconsistent’ for coming down on Knowles while allowing Match of the Day host Gary Lineker to continue advertising Walkers crisps.
One Twitter user said: ‘This is ridiculous. What’s the difference between Gary Lineker selling Walkers Crisps? Very inconsistent policy?’
Issues: MailOnline understands that the sticking point in the row is to do with the similarity between Knowles’ character in the advert and his role as the presenter of DIY SOS
‘I know which one is more watchable and does more good!’
One Twitter user added: ‘The BBC are happy to allow an overpaid Gary Lineker to post his boring sanctimonious opinions on social media, but let’s boot out Nick Knowles for doing a Shreddies advert.’
The section of BBC policy that Nick Knowles is suspected of falling foul of
References to BBC Content in Advertisements
15.3.40: Advertisements or promotions involving talent should not imitate, suggest a reference or connection to or ‘pass off’ BBC content, for example, by replicating any editorial elements of a programme, such as characters, logos, titles, channel names or music or graphics associated with the programme, or by using or directly imitating sets or key venues, catchphrases or format points from the content.
Advertisements should not replicate or ‘pass off’ the role the talent plays in the programme. There should not be use of more than one member of BBC talent from the same programme in any advertisement for a non-BBC-related product. It is unlikely to be acceptable for several members of talent from different BBC programmes to appear in the same advertisement.
The advertisement should not bring the BBC into disrepute.
During crunch Zoom meeting last month Nick was told by corporation bosses that he would have to get the ad taken off air or quit the show that helped launched his career.
However the presenter, who has dropped off the BBC’s top earners list in recent years and has recently signed up for a new DIY show on Channel 5, is still displaying the 30-second advert at the top of his personal website.
MailOnline understands that the issue is the similarity between Knowles’ character in the advert and his role as the presenter of DIY SOS – and whether it breaches a rule banning stars from replicating their BBC roles in commercials.
The broadcaster’s strict rules state that any promotions involving on-screen talent should not ‘imitate, suggest a reference or connection to or “pass off” BBC content’.
Meanwhile, a source told the Sun: ‘Nick is in absolute torment about the whole situation because he loves the Beeb.
‘But they have very strict guidelines when it comes to their talent and advertising and he has already broken them by filming the ads. But Shreddies don’t want to pull the campaign.
‘While Nick is technically a free agent, he appears to have used his connection to DIY SOS in the advert which is totally out of order in the eyes of the BBC.’
The source added that Knowles has been handed an ultimatum and his future on DIY SOS may already be out of his hands.
In a joint statement from the BBC and the presenter told MailOnline: ‘Both the BBC and Nick are keen to resolve this matter and are working together to seek a solution’.
Knowles has hosted DIY SOS since 1999.
The show, which is produced by the BBC, sees a team of builders and volunteers transform a person’s home. The person is nominated by their friends and family.
Knowles was listed as earning between £300,000 and £349,999 at the BBC in 2016-17, dropping to £230,000-£239,999 the following year.
However he wasn’t listed in reports for the following two years, indicating Knowles earned less than the £150,000 threshold at which his pay is published.
Shreddies have not revealed how much Knowles was paid for the add, but one expert told MailOnline it could be in the region of £200,000.
Rules: The TV presenter plays a builder in a Shreddies commercial which is said to breach BBC advertising rules (pictured on DIY SOS)
Not happening: Nick previously insisted he has ‘absolutely no intention’ of leaving BBC hit DIY SOS after joining rival broadcaster Channel5 to present two new shows
Uncertain: The hugely popular show’s future appeared to be in doubt after Nick revealed he would be taking part in upcoming programmes Your Life On Your Lawn and Home Improvements (Nick pictured with the DIY SOS team in 2008)
BBC stars who have fallen foul of the broadcaster’s strict rules on adverts and impartiality – and those who manage to earn thousands without breaking them
Nick Knowles is not the first presenter to fall foul of the BBC’s strict advertising and impartiality rules.
In March Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty was ‘reminded of her responsibilities’ by the corporation after liking a series of anti-Conservative tweets after she and co-host Charlie Stayt ridiculed Tory minister Robert Jenrick for having a Union flag and a portrait of the Queen in his office.
It came after she was censured in 2019 over comments made about then-US president Donald Trump.
The Republican told four Democratic congresswomen to ‘go home’ despite them all being US citizens.
And, responding to a report of the comments on BBC Breakfast, Munchetty said: ‘I can imagine lots of people in this country will be feeling absolutely furious that a man in that position feels it’s OK to skirt the lines with using language like that.’
The BBC said the presenter was entitled to her own views but had gone ‘beyond what the guidelines allow for’.
In May last year Emily Maitliss was given a ticking off from BBC bosses after an on-screen monologue about former Downing Street aide Dominic Cummings.
The presenter accused Boris Johnson of ‘blind loyalty’ to his chief aide in the debate over Mr Cummings’ 260-mile trip from London to County Durham amid the Covid lockdown.
But the BBC admitted she breached impartiality rules, saying the presenter had not met ‘our standards of due impartiality’.
Meanwhile, the BBC faced criticism in May after it was revealed some of its top on-screen talent were making thousands from paid speaking events.
Andrew Marr was revealed to have been paid at least £5,000 for a Zoom call with a wealth fund, while Radio 4 journalist Justin Webb and news anchor Mishal Hussain were also listed as having taken part in paid speaking events.
And in 2019 it was revealed how Huw Edwards had raked in £400,000 in five years by moonlighting as a guest speaker.
There is nothing to suggest that any of the presenters breached BBC rules by taking part in these events.
Staff who take part in such events must seek written approval from a divisional head of department before signing up to any external engagements.
Boss must then determine that the work does not pose a conflict of interest.
In the advert, Nick plays a builder who pours a bowl of the cereal into his hat, while calling himself ‘Nick get it done Knowles’.
But the BBC has strict rules for on-screen stars when taking part in on-screen advertising.
One rule bans stars from imitating BBC products.
Under the heading ‘References to BBC Content in Advertisements’, it says: ‘Advertisements or promotions involving talent should not imitate, suggest a reference or connection to or ‘pass off’ BBC content, for example, by replicating any editorial elements of a programme, such as characters, logos, titles, channel names or music or graphics associated with the programme, or by using or directly imitating sets or key venues, catchphrases or format points from the content.’
It also adds: ‘The BBC does not seek to place unnecessary or unreasonable restrictions on talent, whether on-air talent or other production talent.
‘However, promotional activity, which includes commercial advertising and endorsements, must not risk damaging the integrity of the BBC content they are associated with, or risk damaging the BBC’s reputation generally.
‘Nor should those activities undermine the personal reputation of the individual.
‘Promotional work must not suggest BBC endorsement, compromise the BBC’s values, bring the BBC into disrepute, or give the public reason to doubt the impartiality or integrity of BBC on-air talent.’
The BBC has not revealed the sticking point over Nick’s advert.
It comes after Nick previously insisted he has ‘absolutely no intention’ of leaving DIY SOS after joining rival broadcaster Channel 5 to present two new shows.
The show’s long-term future appeared to be in doubt after the star revealed he would be taking part in upcoming programmes Your Life On Your Lawn and Home Improvements.
But the presenter – who is not exclusively contracted to the BBC – has since confirmed he will definitely return, as and when a new series is commissioned.
He told MailOnline: ‘DIY SOS is the most important thing I do and it’s always meant more to me than just a show.
‘To see people coming together representing the best of communities is more important now than ever.
‘I have absolutely no intention of leaving DIY SOS – it’s not just a job for me, we are a family and it has my heart.’
The BBC has since confirmed there are no plans to scrap DIY SOS, while insisting Nick is not obliged to commit himself exclusively to BBC content.
A BBC spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘There is no question that DIY SOS will return to BBC One, and filming will resume as soon as we can ensure the safety of our contributors and volunteers on builds at this time.
‘Nick is not exclusive to the BBC and like many presenters, he is working across a range of services.’
The show first aired in 1999, changing its name to DIY SOS: The Big Build in 2010, and it has been a staple programme on BBC One since.
Last year, Nick and the team raised almost £1million for with their Big Build.
Shreddies, which is owned by Swiss multinational food giant Nestle, declined to comment when contacted by MailOnline.
The company said it had not been asked to pull the advert.
From off-screen labouring to on-screen DIY guru (and a rather colourful love life): How Nick Knowles became the face of the BBC’s top home improvement show
Born in Southall, West London, to parents Pat and Eddie, Nick left The Skinners’ School – a Kent grammar school – at the age of 16
For more than two decades he has been the presenter of the BBC’s top home improvements show.
But Nick Knowles does have real experience in the building trade.
Born in Southall, West London, to parents Pat and Eddie, Nick left The Skinners’ School – a Kent grammar school – at the age of 16.
Unsure of what to do with his future, Nick initially pursued careers in rugby, music and acting.
He also held down jobs labouring on building sites, and spent time working in a petrol station and selling shoes and carpets.
Nick later began as a runner in television production, before moving into presenting – starting out as a reporter for Television South (TVS) on nightly show Coast to Coast.
He got his big break in 1999 with the launch of DIY SOS – a home renovation show which he was chosen to front as the lead presenter.
The show’s success brought more opportunities for Nick, who later landed presenting roles in Real Rescues, game show Who Dares Wins and National Lottery show Secret Fortune.
Knowles earned between £300,000 and £349,999 as a BBC presenter for the financial year 2016–2017.
He was also chosen as a contestant for ITV hit show I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here in 2018, finishing sixth.
Knowles was chosen as a contestant for ITV hit show I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here in 2018, finishing sixth. Pictured left in the jungle with Noel Edmonds
Nick has been married twice, both times ending in divorce.
He first wed in the 1990s and had two children with his first wife Gillian.
Nick later had a two-year relationship with beauty therapist Paula Beckett-Vass, with whom he had his third child.
He was married to second wife Jessica Rose Moor from 2012. But the pair decided to go their separate ways after four years of marriage. They had one son together.
Nick, 58, was that year rumoured to be dating Emmerdale actress Gemma Oaten, before later being spotted on several dates with Towie star Pascal Craymer.
He was most recently said to be dating then 28-year-old PR manager Emily Hallinan.
Knowles was married to second wife Jessica Rose Moor (pictured left) from 2012. But the pair decided to go their separate ways after four years of marriage. He was most recently said to be dating then 26-year-old PR manager Emily Hallinan (pictured right), but the pair split in 2020
The pair were spotted together at a performance of West End production Everybody’s Talking About Jamie in 2019.
But the pair split in 2020, with Nick announcing he was ‘single’ in a Valentine’s Day Twitter post.
He tweeted: ‘Happy Valentine’s. And if you’re single like me don’t worry, we don’t have to join in everything every year.
‘I missed National Prune Day, too. Because it’s not the end of the world to be single for a while.’
Nick has four children – Charles, Tuesday, TJ and Eddie.
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