My Celebrity Life

Rhod Gilbert in floods of tears during ‘brutal’ DIY SOS special for Children In Need: ‘It moved the hell out of me’

Rhod was left staggered by the efforts of the volunteers (Picture: BBC Children in Need)

Rhod Gilbert has opened up about his experience filming scenes for his ‘brutal’ upcoming DIY SOS special for Children In Need, which left him in floods of tears.

The comedian stood in for regular host Nick Knowles as the show’s team worked with dozens of volunteers to put together a one of a kind build for the St Michael’s Youth Project, which works with children and young people in Hull and surrounding areas.

Rhod took part in the project over the course of a back-breaking 10 days for DIY SOS: The Big Build BBC Children in Need Special, with local tradespeople and volunteers battling difficult weather conditions to build a new playground and camping space for a great cause.

It means that more than 500 children and young people who have little to no access to gardens or green spaces can now explore the great outdoors – and the ‘brutal’ experience left Rhod overwhelmed during filming.

Speaking to, Rhod said he found the programme ‘incredibly moving’ to be a part of, adding: ‘I don’t even know if we can get across how moving it was in the film. I think it’s a difficult job in an hour to communicate 10 days of intense emotion.’

Describing the task of putting the site together as an ‘almost impossible challenge’, Rhod said: ‘It was only possible by getting people who were willing to start at dawn… carry on seven days a week relentlessly.’

The show saw the creation of a new campsite and playground (Picture: BBC Children in Need)
Rhod worked closely with the St Michael’s Youth Project (Picture: BBC Children in Need)

‘It was absolutely brutal. Just absolute exhaustion,’ the 53-year-old added.

‘I couldn’t believe how hard they worked,’ he said about the herculean efforts of the DIY SOS crew and the teams of workers. ‘I knew it was going to be a challenge. I didn’t realise that it was going to be something almost impossible.’

The film sees Rhod meet the people involved in the build, and he was incredibly touched to hear the stories and discover what motivated the individuals to help the cause.

The site was transformed over the space of 10 days (Picture: BBC Children in Need)

‘In the film, we talked to one guy whose stepfather had died and his mum had received tremendous support from the community,’ Rhod said. ‘He wanted to give something back and he was still quite raw and emotional.

‘Almost all of them had a story to tell, and a reason why they were there. It was all about giving back, where they felt they had benefitted in some way from a sense of community that I wasn’t expecting. That moved the hell out of me.’

The film airs during Children In Need season on BBC One (Picture: BBC Children in Need)

The point in the programme when the children see the renovated site for the first time is an emotional moment – one which moved Rhod and other members of the team to tears.

‘I only had two hours sleep, but we did that reveal and I was on my knees,’ Rhod said, discussing the powerful final act of the film.

The DIY SOS special is being shown as part of the BBC’s Children in Need 2021 season.

The appeal is celebrating its 41st birthday with a whole host of celebrities, comedy sketches, and the all-important new Children in Need single.

DIY SOS: The Big Build BBC Children in Need Special airs on BBC One at 9pm on Tuesday November 16.


Credit: Source

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