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Barry Bucknell

Do it Yourself with Barry Bucknell

Barry Bucknell was British TV's DIY expert in the Fifties and early Sixties.

His programmes began with "Do it Yourself" which was later followed by "Bucknell's House".

These programmes were transmitted live from the studio and inevitably (usually) the results were disastrous - quite a good comedy programme and it always kept you on the edge of your seat awaiting the next nail being bent or table leg falling off.

Barry, in a recent article in the Daily Mail , says that he used to rehearse a lot at home with his wife timing him with a stopwatch. He'd build something like a new kitchen cupboard but, of course, it then had to be taken down again and moved to the studio for the programme. Even with all the rehearsing, there were still disasters, such as the time he oversoaked the paper for a ceiling and it dropped down on him. He had to say, "This is how not to do it!", but the viewers loved it!

Barry went on to design the Mirror, a family sailing dinghy, which has sold more that 89,000 models and also a special two-man canoe for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

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NB: Contrary to popular belief, Barry Bucknell was not the first DIY expert on TV. The first radio and television handyman was W. P. Matthew who began on radio in the 1930s. His first television programme was scheduled for 3 September 1939, and he was regularly and often on BBC TV from 1946 to 1955. He moved to ITV when it started in September 1955, and it was only after his death in March 1956 that Barry Bucknell came on our screens.

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