Changing Rooms is set to return after 16 years but where are Carol Smillie and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen now?

Get the best celeb exclusives and video house tours to your inbox every evening with our daily newsletter

Changing Rooms was the television event of the week at one point in our lives, long before the coronavirus pandemic interrupted our way of living.

What better than a bit of nostalgia to fill our evenings as the legendary home makeover show gets set to return after 16 years off air that was watched by 10m viewers at its peak.

Airing on BBC between 1991 and 2004, it has been reported that it's poised for a comeback, and bosses are hopeful that the original team, including host Carol Smillie, and designers Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and Linda Barker will be game for a new series.

The show revealed some notoriously bad makeovers which went down in history and some much better ones that homeowners seemed to like.

But what are the original team up to now? Let's take a look…

Get exclusive celebrity stories and fabulous photoshoots straight to your inbox with OK's daily newsletter . You can sign up at the top of the page.

What happened to Carol Smillie?

While the Sun says Channel 4 are "exploring the idea, but nothing is confirmed", the Metro report that Carol is yet to be approached about the idea.

The married mum-of-three's cheery disposition established her name on Changing Rooms, and the 58 year old presenter went on to become hugely popular during 13 series of the home improvement show.

She was so loved that Scottish host was even presented with her own red book by about her life, on the television show This Is Your Life by host Michael Aspel during filming for the show.


  • Inside the historic Welsh castle confirmed as UK location of I’m A Celebrity

  • All the stars that have been on holiday to Greece

As well as Changing Rooms, Carol also hosted The National Lottery Show and a mid-morning chat-show on BBC One called Smillie's People. When she left Changing Rooms she went on to host Dream Holiday Homes on Channel 5, a copycat of the former but this time hosted in European holiday destinations with the whole property getting a makeover.

Carol went on to take part in a Strictly Come Dancing in 2006 and hosted several other Scottish-based makeover shows, but nothing was like the popularity of Changing Rooms.

Quite surprisingly the television presenter moved away from the entertainment industry in 2012 to set up her own business called Pretty Clever Pants to help those who suffer from incontinence. She is also an accredited humanist celebrant which means she can conduct humanist, non-religious weddings, funerals and baby-namings.

What happened to Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen?

The flamboyant "homestyle consultant" made his name on Changing Rooms, sweeping in and injecting his extremely colourful personality on the homes of unsuspecting participants.

Along with his signature long flowing locks and cravat, the interior designer was known for doing up the rooms in tacky wallpapers, velvet and leather ­finishes in ridiculously over the top designs.

Most memorably he decorated a couple’s room in animal prints and a red carpet, with the horrified husband saying at the time it looked like “a w***e’s palace”.

And in another where he revamped a Yorkshire couple's dining room into 17th-century banqueting hall which the husband muttered at the time: "I hate it."

Eventually Laurence took over from main presenter Carol Smillie when she left in 2003 and he went on to forge a successful career in home interiors as well as entertainment TV.

This included going on to become a critic on ITV's Popstar to Operastar alongside Meat Loaf, and classically trained mentors Katherine Jenkins and Rolando Villazón.

The married dad of two, who shares adult daughters Cecile And Hermione with wife Jackie, now has his own YouTube series called the School of Flock and even had his own series in Australia.

What happened to Linda Barker?

Fellow designer Linda Barker seems keen on the idea of Changing Rooms returning as she tweeted about the reports Channel 4 were considering bringing it back.

"From what I hear, the rumours are true! Changing Rooms is coming back – to Channel 4 this time around. If Lawrence still has that suit, I will definitely be watching every episode… x" she wrote alongside a snap of Laurence in a floral suit.

The Yorkshire presenter who often styled the rooms inline with the home owners' tastes on the show eventually went on to appear in the second series of I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here and finished in third place.

As well as appearing on Celebrity Come Dine With Me, Linda also took part in celebrity reality competition Splash! and hosted ITV's daytime show 60 Minute Makeover.

She owns her own interior design company and works with Luxury Gardens UK as an ambassador.

  • Download OK! magazine's FREE app and get all the gossip straight to your phone

  • Sign up for the BEST celebrity house tours and BIGGEST exclusive interviews

What happened to Anna Ryder-Richardson?

Another double-barrel named designer, Anna Ryder-Richardson was drafted in as another designer on Changing Rooms alongside Linda and Laurence.

Originally a fitness instructor she moved onto interior design with her big breakthrough being Changing Rooms, as well as also taking part in shows House Invaders, Staying Put and Trading Spaces.

She was reunited with her co-star Linda Barker when she joined the team on 60 Minute Makeover.

The mum of two also followed Linda's footsteps taking part in several celebrity reality shows including the 2007 series of I'm A Celebrity, Who Wants to be a Millionaire? and BBC Sport Relief.

She then switched direction in her career and purchased Manor House Wildlife Park in Pembrokshire with her then husband Colin MacDougall.

This spawned several TV series about the venture including including Chaos at the Zoo, Anna's Welsh Zoo and Wild Welsh Zoo, and she still runs the zoo now although it had to briefly close during the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Read Full Article