Handmade: Britain’s Best Woodworker - Meet the woodworkers

Category: News Release

The competition to find Britain’s Best Woodworker is back. Mel Giedroyc welcomes ten of Britain's top woodworking enthusiasts to the workshop where, in the first week of the competition, they have just two days to saw, turn and joint their way to producing a dining table inspired by a country of their choice. The pressure is on to create something strong and beautiful that will impress the judges and keep them safe from elimination.

The woodworkers also have the chance of a lifeline. The winner of the skills challenge is guaranteed survival if they can impress expert judges Sophie Sellu and Tom Dyckhoff with their cut-out tealight box. Who will carve out their place in the next round, and who will fail to make the cut?  

Meet the woodworkers:

39, academic developer, Greater Manchester

A former champion squash player, Amina’s desire to build things out of wood was born from her frustration of not being able to find furniture she’s drawn to, so she decided to start designing and creating her own furnishings. Amina admits that her eccentric style might not be to everybody’s taste, but that’s what makes her a truly unique woodworker.

31, 3D designer, Glasgow

Leeds-born Calum works in spatial, exhibition and interior design and 3D rendering. After sitting at a computer all day at work, by night Calum can be found making things from wood in a communal workshop that he shares with like-minded young creatives. He would love to be a professional woodworker one day.

21, student, Brighton

Chloe is a Master’s student carving a path as a woodworker, designing unique pieces and favouring hand tools for a more personal touch. She is a strong believer in sustainability which is why wood is her favourite material. In her spare time, Chloe is part of a Celtic pagan drumming group and a repair group, offering free repairs to anything people bring them.

47, civil servant, Bridgend

Dafydd is a self-taught woodworker. He uses BSL (British Sign Language) as his main form of communication and works as a civil servant. His current role is improving access for Deaf and disabled people within the organisation he works for. Dafydd uses BSL/English interpreters to communicate with people who can't sign and will be using a BSL/English interpreter in the Handmade workshop.

22, caretaker, Norfolk

Jacob is a part-time caretaker, while also being known locally as ‘the wood guy’ - building a reputation as a local handyman. He might still be young, but Jacob adapts and learns from project to project and now wants to show you don’t need to have 50 years of experience or a Master’s degree to be a talented woodworker.

35, landscape architect technician, Kent

Lauren never stops. She works full time to allow her wife to be a full-time mum and she loves to always have a project on to go, whether it be woodwork or a fitness goal. Woodwork has been a part of Lauren’s life since a young age. Now a landscape architect technician working for her twin, Lauren enjoys working with wood whenever she gets the chance.

36, kitchen fitter, North London 

Russell got into woodwork at the age of 16 when he did an NVQ in carpentry and joinery. He is a carpenter by trade, fitting kitchens and building cupboards. Russell has never made any bespoke furniture or artistic pieces but feels like he’s got lots of creativity within him which he never has the opportunity to really explore.

45, consultant, Kent

Sarah took up woodwork after being made redundant in 2021. She decided to make a garden bar so purchased a mini circular saw along with some reclaimed wood and hasn’t looked back since. Everything she has learnt is self-taught and, last winter, she even sold one of her custom-made grazing boards to Dame Judi Dench. 

46, teacher, London

Tanya grew up in Northern Ireland and works as a product design teacher at a school in London. In 2017, Tanya was diagnosed with cancer which forced changes to her lifestyle which mean she has more time at home with her family and in her workshop. Now fully recovered, Tanya seizes every opportunity, including buying a campervan to custom renovate.

51, graphic designer, Liverpool

Tony worked as a creative director for 24 years before taking voluntary redundancy earlier this year. He got into woodwork as a hobby years ago after seeing a friend’s dad with a toolbox and realising he could fix things around the house too. Tony’s friends and family always encourage him to pursue his woodwork professionally.  

31, payroll assistant, Lancashire
Ashley’s natural talent for woodwork led her to complete an apprenticeship in joinery at 17. She later studied furniture restoration at university and went on to work in restoration and joinery. When the recession hit, Ashley changed course and focussed on her family, having two children and renovating a house. It is more than 10 years since Ashley has done any woodwork and she’s hoping some of her skills come back to her in the Handmade workshop.

Handmade: Britain’s Best Woodworker, Wednesday 21st September, 8pm, Channel 4 & All 4