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How to watch Grand Designs - what’s it about and who presents it?

Kevin McCloud's BAFTA-winning series follows the building process of some of the UK's most unique and spectacular homes

Published: Tuesday, 8th October 2019 at 12:58 pm

Grand Designs is a BAFTA-winning documentary architecture series that follows people embarking on ambitious and unusual home-building projects around the UK. The series also sparked a number of spinoffs, including Grand Designs Abroad and Grand Designs Australia, as well as design and home exhibitions in London.


How can I watch Grand Designs?

Grand Designs is available on All4, Amazon Prime and iTunes. You can also purchase the series on DVD.

How many series of Grand Designs are there?

So far, 19 seasons of Grand Designs have aired, along with a number of spinoff shows.

Who presents Grand Designs?

Grand Designs Live

Kevin McCloud has hosted Grand Designs since it premiered on Channel 4 in 1999. Originally a theatre designer, McCloud moved into lighting design and opened up his own practice where his clients included Harrods and Edinburgh Castle before making his television debut on BBC Two’s Homefront.

In addition to working on Grand Designs, McCloud has also hosted a number of documentary specials including a four-part history documentary called Kevin McCloud’s Grand Tour and a miniseries called Escape to the Wild, which followed four British families living abroad.

What is Grand Designs about?

Each episode begins with McCloud meeting the homeowners and discussing their building or renovation plans. Some projects, like a an experimental floating house in Marlow, start from scratch. Others, like a 1920s Yorkshire cinema conversion, aim to transform an existing space.

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Often, the projects involve a never-before-encountered scenario or experiment with untested materials or new building technologies.

During his initial visit, McCloud talks to the clients about design, budget and timescale, visiting the site throughout the build as the project moves from concept to reality — often with unexpected twists and challenges along the way, from job losses to pregnancies and problems with contractors.

When the projects are complete, McCloud and the clients tour the spectacular finished products, routinely lauded as some of the finest homes in the UK.

You can read about Kevin McCloud's favourite Grand Designs homes here.

What is Grand Designs: The Street?

Also hosted by Kevin McCloud and billed as “Britain’s biggest self-build project”, Grand Designs: The Street is a six-part series following ten households as they aim to build their unique dream homes — all on the same street — for less than what it would cost to buy locally in Bicester.

Grand Designs: The Street is also available to watch on All4.


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