Interior Design Masters winner Banjo Beale felt 'really seen': 'It was therapy'

Interior Design Masters winner Banjo Beale has opened up about feeling ‘seen’ during his time on the competition.

The 38-year-old won last year’s home makeover series, hosted by Alan Carr, and is now fronting his own show, Designing the Hebrides, where he brings his design dreams to life across the Scottish islands.

Across the six episodes, Banjo works to fulfil his client’s brief on a limited budget and a fast turnaround, but it doesn’t come without challenges.

From a zero-waste approach when adding a gin bar into a cheese farm, to convincing his clients to let him install a four metre wide stained glass window, Banjo’s new programme had it’s fair share of ‘logistical nightmares’.

But, he admitted, in an exclusive chat with, it all turned out to be worth it, working with people who had ‘great stories to tell’.

‘My challenge was just to tease that story out of them and build something that was kind of just more than their wildest dreams,’ he said.

Talking about how Designing the Hebrides came about after his stint on Interior Design Masters, Banjo began: ‘I was really fortunate after the show, I had lots of kind of people had contact me and stuff, but this was made by the people from Interior Design Masters, so I felt like I was already part of the family.

‘And I felt really seen on that show, [it was] such an emotional journey for me gaining confidence on the show, and finding my design stripes.’

He added producers found it ‘hilarious’ when he said he planned to stay in the Scottish Isles and continue with his interior design work for clients there, and wanted to make something more of the idea.

Elsewhere, Banjo spoke about the ‘personal journey’ viewers saw him undertake, and the immense support he received, calling the recognition ‘crazy’.

He said: ‘Because I genuinely love interior design and living on an island I was like, “Okay, how am I gonna launch an interior design business and be taken seriously” or, “I can’t go away and study”, or, you know, all of that kind of thing.

‘So it was kind of my design school, it was therapy. It was everything going on the show.

‘I think the viewers probably came along with me on a pretty personal journey, and I’ve never thought about what I was saying as well, probably, rightly or wrongly.

‘I just was quite honest and I think maybe people responded to like the honesty and a lot of the fun.

‘Because, I mean, it is just the fun, ridiculous kind of concept. Doing up a space, on a really tiny budget with Alan Carr popping his head up every few hours, asking you about what you’re doing.

‘But I just had a lot of fun doing during the show. And I think people kind of came along for that ride.’

Designing the Hebrides airs tonight, Wednesday April 12, at 8pm on BBC Two and iPlayer, while Interior Design Masters with Alan Carr continues Tuesdays at 8pm on BBC One and iPlayer.

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