Nick Knowles

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Nick started his TV career at the BBC in London in the Documentary Features department. He then spent two years in Australia working for WIN TV Channel 4 newsroom. A brief spell in news in Phoenix Arizona followed before returning to the UK and the ITV TVS newsroom in Maidstone. Reporter, Producer and Director, Nick was the first journalist on the scene of the Deal barracks bombing. Later he moved to the newsroom of Meridian Broadcasting as Production Editor and reporter. At this stage he was asked to present more and more programmes; the first was Confidential, a sex advice programme, then TV Weekly, Entertainment Today, Put It To The Test, where Nick worked for the first time with Carol Vorderman – the only show to our knowledge that has been shown on ITV and BBC! Ridgeriders – a motorbike history series that ran for eight years, getting viewing figures in excess of 50% and still being repeated today! Walk Over History, a car review programme, Roadshow and TV Revealed, based at Elstree studios. He also covered Sailing for ITV and Sky including taking part in a leg of the Round the World Speed Record with Adventurer.

A free-lance presenter – Nick has worked across the channels on a variety of programmes:
“I have never wanted to be associated with one kind of programme – it’s important to challenge yourself and make sure you are not pigeon holed. It means it takes longer to develop a career and profile with viewers and commissioners but it’s a much firmer, broader base. I can never understand presenters who will only work with autocue or will only work in studio – it’s like being a carpenter and only making wardrobes! I don’t like to stand still and try to make the next thing I do completely different from the last!”

Nick’s career progressed with 5’s Company on Channel 5, Straight Up – a political Sunday programme for ITV, The Great Escape for BBC, three years of RTS award winning City Hospital for the BBC, Find a Fortune (9 milliion viewers) and Holidaymaker (7 million viewers) for Sunday evening ITV. He piloted two weeks of Housecall for BBC and Trading Up before appearing on BBC’s hit show DIY SOS, which regularly draws viewing figures of 8 million and has consistently been the most popular factual programme on TV.

Two series of UK’s Worst for the BBC set record viewing figures for an investigation programme at 7 million. The quiz series Judgemental added to Nick’s broad range of shows: “I just thought as I’d never done a quiz show, it was about time I did!”

A trip to Nairobi for Comic Relief in 2003 produced an extraordinarily touching report, which showed this former rugby player’s softer side. Secrets of Magic for Saturday night BBC1 and the writing, research, development and presenting of the ground breaking and wacky history programme Guy Fawkes and the Gunpower Plot for BBC1 on Sunday nights with an amazing almost 7 million viewers, rounded off a pretty wide ranging and creative year for Nick in 2003.

A six part series called Histrionics (a follow up from Gunpowder Plot) broadcast in 2004. Another Secrets of Magic was broadcast on BBC1 and a new history format called Celebrity Time Machine was broadcast on BBC1. Nick went to Zambia in 2004, where he shot a heart-rending report for Sport Relief “it’s hard to explain just how awful the situation was there; I truly felt there was no hope and it made me quite ill for a while”. In 2005 Nick returned to Zambia and the change – thanks’ to the generosity of Sport and Comic Relief- was astounding.

In June 2006, Nick went out to India with Sport Relief where he joined 12 other celebrities to form a cricket team and played against the Indian side; the group also witnessed how money through Sport Relief was being spent to change lives.

Also in 2006, Nick brought a series of live shows from Behind Bars to daytime TV from Cardiff prison “what an eye opener that was – amazing access, amazing team – shame a bigger audience didn’t see it!”.

Nick featured on BBC1 in January 2007 with amazing footage from the moving conservation project “Mission Africa”. He also appeared on our screens in summer 2007 with two new primetime shows for BBC1. In July, he fronted a brand new series The Big Day where he and his team of experts helped relatives of a soon to be married couple organise their wedding day. Also in July, Nick’s documentary for the BBC Saving Planet Earth series aired. He worked with Sir David Attenborough to film a moving documentary in Borneo about the plight of endangered orang-utans.

In the winter of 2007, he fronted a brand new game show for BBC1 Who Dares Wins which was aired at peaktime Saturday nights for seven weeks, with another series being aired in April 2008.

In February 2008, Nick appeared as a guest presenter of The One Show (BBC1) on two occasions, standing in for Adrian Chiles.

Nick took to the high seas in June 2008 in Round Britain Power Boat Race – billed as the biggest and toughest powerboat race in the world – he joined his good friend Iain May and Top Gear presenter James May.

In June 2008, Nick co-hosted BBC’s Last Choir Standing with Myleene Klass, scouring the country for choirs that combined the power, passion and performance necessary to be crowned the nation’s favourite choir.

Nick was amongst a host of stars who presented awards at the fourth annual WellChild Awards on October 27th 2008. In November 2008, the new wildlife and gardening programme Wild About Your Garden was aired which showed us how to encourage wildlife back into our gardens.

During February/March 2009, Nick filmed a new BBC series entitled Wildest Dreams in Africa following the trials and tribulations of 9 hopefuls who all wanted to prove they had what it takes to join the Natural History Unit; it was aired in July 2009.

Summer 2009 saw the launch of The National Lottery: Guesstimation on BBC1. To the Ends of the Earth BBC1 saw Nick revisiting Africa and getting up close and personal with the wildlife. In 2011, Nick indulged in his historical side presenting Original Features and also The Forgotten Blitz a one-off programme on the Baedeker bombings.

In 2011, Nick became the presenter of BBC daytime game show Perfection, airing weekdays on BBC1.

2012 saw Nick celebrate 25 years in television as he continued his exclusive contract with the BBC. He remains the presenter of his renowned shows DIY SOS, Who Dares Wins and Secret Fortune.

Since 2013, he has presented the BBC National Lottery game show Break the Safe.

Nick appeared on a 5 part documentary entitled “The Retreat” (BBC2) in September 2016 covering his trip to a detox and healing retreat in Thailand.

In April 2017 Nick presented a 2 part programme “Mind Over Marathon” (BBC1) following numerous runners with varying mental health issues all attempting to run the London Marathon in aid of the Heads Together Campaign set up by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

2018 saw Nick take part in I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!