'The thought of being a celebrity makes me feel ill' - Sunderland's George Clarke on the 'weirdness' of his fame

George Clarke
George Clarke
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Architect George Clarke said the thought of being a celebrity makes him "ill" as he admitted he rarely watches his own programmes on television.

The presenter is a regular feature on Channel 4, fronting The Home Show, The Restoration Man and Amazing Spaces.

But the Sunderland-born 44-year-old, who was brought up in Washington, insists his passion remains in "making" and that fame makes him uncomfortable.

He said: "I never use the 'C' word - which for me is 'Celebrity'. I don't want to be a celebrity. I want to be a good architect. I want to make and craft really beautiful programmes that people love watching.

"I set up my own TV production company five years ago because I love the process of making a TV show and getting beautiful shots and writing nice scripts. I love that. And to be honest I don't really watch them that much when they go out because that gets weird.

"Why would I watch myself on telly? It's just really odd. It's the process of making: I make buildings, I make television, I make TV programmes. It's that kind of designer-maker thing that's consistent with me. So the thought of being a celebrity just makes me feel a bit ill."

Clarke has been in Verbier in the Swiss Alps filming a one-off, snowy special of Amazing Spaces, the show he has presented since 2012.

It features people transforming unremarkable spaces into places to live.

Clarke said the forthcoming show - Amazing Spaces Winter Wonderland - will put viewers in the "festive mood".

But the father-of-three admitted that working away from his children - aged 15, 13 and 11 - is the hardest part of the job.

He said: "They're decisions you've got to make in life and then you make it up to your family and your kids when you're back home.

"I actually have quite a few holidays - I work really, really, really hard when I'm filming, but at the beginning of the year I go 'Right, I'm taking that week off', 'I am taking those two weeks off', 'I am taking the kids away'.

"And that's real quality time. And, to be really honest with you, they're getting to that age now where they're so independent, they love doing their own thing."

Clarke added: "And they think their dad is really boring now anyway!"

Amazing Spaces Winter Wonderland will air on Channel 4 on Thursday December 13