Celebrities

Changing Rooms bosses ‘frantically’ looking for new stars ahead of return, says Laurence

Changing Rooms: Teapot collection gets destroyed in 2000

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Changing Rooms star Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, 55, confirmed the show’s former interior designers such as Linda Barker, ‘Handy’ Andy Kane and Anna Ryder Richardson, will not be returning to the new series and admitted they are yet to replace them. Laurence made the admission after it was revealed Davina McCall, 53, will be his new co-host.

Laurence is well remembered to viewers as the show’s long-term designer and presenter and is the only original cast member who will be returning to the new series.

The show will soon have a new slot on Channel 4 after 16 years off air from the BBC. 

Discussing the fresh take on the upcoming revival, he said: “I think the feeling very much is the newness comes from having a new take on designers.

“It’s a great way to also showcase shop-windowing design, they’re screen-testing frantically at the moment finding new designers.

“I think it’s very much going to be about me contra to the new guys.”

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On whether he had heard from any of his former cast members, he added: “I know when the news broke Linda was being interviewed a lot, she was very grown up in making the point that this is a perfect time to bring Changing Rooms back, she had a lot of other stuff going on anyway.

“When all the news broke, I was away, I was obviously difficult to get hold of.

“I think it needs to have a feeling of reincarnation to it, it is unusual to bring one of the original stars back anyway, in any of these rebooted shows when you think about it.”

He added: “Generally speaking, they’re completely recast, so I was very touched to feel that I was so crucial to the new format that they needed to bring me back from the dead.

“It was game-changing on many levels, really it was the first reality show.”

Former Changing Rooms star Linda recently revealed she was not asked to return to the series.

The home expert told Hello! Magazine there were no hard feelings and said she’ll be watching the show “with great interest”.

She said: “Good luck to Laurence, I think he’s one of the only originals that is doing the show. But no I’m not involved, I wasn’t asked to be involved.”

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Discussing his new co-star Davina, Laurence said he thinks she will bring a “freshness” to the show.

He added of her signing: “This is what I think has been quite clever, yes it does feel like a different thing for her to be doing, but I think she’s really relevant for it.

“She started off in quite a confrontational, slightly punky, field with things like Streetmate and Big Brother.

“We’re all now getting to a degree of older and wiser, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun and Davina is such an icon of that. She’s very excited by it.”

A date for the new series is yet to be revealed.

Laurence has also been working on brand new show My Lottery Dream Home International – which is coming to Discovery Channel UK soon.

If you have won the lottery or a large sum of money, the show is looking for contributors – contact Beyond Productions for more information at dreamhome@sevenstudiosuk.com.

Elsewhere, Davina is currently a panellist on The Masked Singer UK, which airs tonight at 7pm on ITV.

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