Interview with Tibby Singh

Category: Interview

“There might be some accidents but there aren’t any teapots involved - though there are things hanging from the ceiling!”

About Tibby:
Tibby Singh is a highly skilled carpenter and joiner who has been working as a property developer for many years. He learnt his craft at the highly respected Leeds College of Building and, in 2012, was named as the BBC's Young Carpenter of the Year.  

Tibby has also won several other awards including the Institute of Carpenters’ Craft Competition and Federation of Master Builder's Apprentice of the Year. He has 15 years’ experience under his toolbelt and works alongside family members to buy and renovate rundown buildings to create beautiful bespoke commercial and domestic properties.

What are your memories of Changing Rooms the first time around?
I think it’s going to be 25 years old this September, so I was seven when it first started. I remember the sci-fi makeover which is really iconic. To be involved in this new version is a really prestigious moment for me and for my family, who have supported me from day one.

Can you explain what your what your role is on the show?
I'm the on-screen carpenter and joiner, so I work with Laurence and Russell and Jordan to bring their designs to life. It has been amazing.

In that role of working with both sets of designers, who did you find the most demanding?
Laurence definitely gets priority! He’s basically the face of Changing Rooms, isn't he? If Laurence wants something, he gets it. But I always make sure both projects get the work completed. Working on two projects at the same time is challenging in the timescale, but I’ve enjoyed every single minute. And usually, as a tradesperson, I would go to site in advance and do a full recce, but we haven’t been able to do this here, so we’ve been going in almost blind.

How have you found the whole process of making the show?
It has been full on and I’ve missed my mum’s curries while I’ve being away from home, but it’s been great to be part of the team. Everyone pulled together so well and it has been great to be a part of.

The original series was famous for its extravagant designs and its mishaps. What can we expect to see this series?
Well Laurence is involved so it’s definitely extravagant and there is lots of colour. There might be some accidents but there aren’t any teapots involved - though there are things hanging from the ceiling!

Would you let LLB or Russell and Jordan makeover a room in your house?
When we were doing the builds and seeing the designs coming to life, I thought some were crazy and would never work. But once they’re complete and all furnished, they look amazing. The transformations are out of this world. There are a few I would have, I’m usually a simple kind of person but I would go for some of the designs.

Will we be seeing lots of MDF this time around?
Some people say MDF is the best thing since sliced bread. The thing with MDF is that it’s cheap and it’s versatile and once you’ve made something and painted it, you’ll never know it’s MDF. We do use MDF but we’ve also brought in other materials such as valchromat, which has similar properties to MDF. It's nice to be able to use a variety of other materials.

What is your background? How did you get into carpentry?
I've always had a passion for woodworking. I used to mess around with offcuts of timber, making things like pencil cases. When I got an A-grade at school, it was inevitable that I wanted to pursue a career in carpentry, so I went on to do an apprenticeship and I guess the rest is history.

And what do your family think of you being a part of Changing Rooms?
Coming from a Sikh background, we usually see Sikhs becoming doctors or accountants or lawyers, things like that. But I've had the full support from my family from day one. My mum's really excited, I have to tell her to calm down. The whole family’s excited, hopefully we’ll be able to have viewing parties.