McCloud pictured at the 2009 Goodwood Festival of Speed
8 May 1959|
|Education||Corpus Christi College, Cambridge|
|Occupation||Author, broadcaster, TV presenter, designer|
|Known for||Grand Designs (1999-Present)|
Kevin McCloud MBE (born 8 May 1959) is a British designer, writer and television presenter best known for his work on the Channel 4 series Grand Designs, which he has presented since its debut in April 1999.
Born in Bedfordshire, McCloud and his two brothers, Terence and Graham, were raised in a house his parents had built. His father, Donald, was a rocket scientist and McCloud credits his mechanical interests to him. McCloud attended Dunstable Grammar School, which became Ashton Middle School, and then studied the history of art and architecture at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he was a member of the Footlights comedy ensemble alongside Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie.
After graduating, McCloud trained as a theatre designer, working on a wide variety of different productions, such as the set design for experimental rock group Harvey and the Wallbangers, before setting up his own lighting design practice and manufacturing business 'McCloud Lighting' – at one point employing 26 people. His work includes the carved and painted rococo-style vegetable ceiling in the food halls at Harrods, many projects in conjunction with J.J. Desmond Interiors and lighting fittings at Ely Cathedral, Edinburgh Castle, the Savoy Hotel and the Dorchester Hotel. Today he concentrates on television work, journalism and product design, including work for British manufacturers.
McCloud's first book, Kevin McCloud's Decorating Book, was published in 1990. The Techniques of Decorating and Kevin McCloud's Lighting Book were published in 1995, and The Complete Decorator in 1996.
Honorary Academic Recognition
In 2005 he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Design from both Oxford Brookes and Plymouth University. He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2006 and of the Society of Light & Lighting (SLL) in 2009.
He is patron of Somerset Art Weeks, the Carymoor Environmental Centre and the Genesis Project and he is an ambassador for the World Wide Fund for Nature, actively campaigning to promote One Planet Living, the WWF's sustainability initiative. He is also the frontman for the home energy refurbishment campaign the Great British Refurb.
McCloud's first appearance on television was as a guest presenter on Homefront on BBC Two. In 1999, he then went on to write and present Grand Designs, a programme covering unusual and elaborate architectural homebuilding projects, produced by Talkback Thames, which is now in its seventeenth series. In the series McCloud always remains sceptical of the designs, continuously hoping for a house to be designed that follows the schedule properly and does not go over the estimated budget.
He also wrote and presented Grand Designs Indoors and Grand Designs Abroad. In the course of the latter series, McCloud demonstrated his fluency in French and Italian, occasionally acting as a translator for people who have houses built abroad in places where they don't know the language. He is also editor-at-large for Grand Designs magazine, and sat on the steering committee for the associated exhibition "Grand Designs Live" in 2005 and 2006.
In May 2008, McCloud took the Grand Designs series of programmes to a new level with Grand Designs Live, in which he demonstrated environmentally-sensitive construction methods on a site in the East End of London, as well as presenting a "Grand Design of the Year" competition. His co-presenters included Dave Gorman, Janet Street-Porter, Naomi Cleaver, Diarmuid Gavin and Bill Bailey.
Other TV work has included Don't Look Down, in which McCloud examined the construction of tall buildings while climbing them, on BBC Two in 2000, Demolition on Channel 4 in 2005, The Stirling Prize: Building of the Year (in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008), and Kevin McCloud and the Big Town Plan on Channel 4 in August 2008. His recent publications include Choosing Colours in 2003, and "Grand Designs Handbook: The Blueprint" in 2006. He is currently writing a consumer guide to sustainability and culture change to be published by Collins.
McCloud presented Kevin McCloud's Grand Tour on Channel 4 during the late summer and early autumn of 2009. The four-part series saw McCloud retracing the popular tour of European cities and sites of classical antiquity undertaken over the last four centuries by upper class, primarily British, young men of means, and describing their subsequent impact on British customs and architecture.
In September 2012 McCloud presented Kevin McCloud's Man Made Home on Channel 4, a four-part series where he constructed a cabin in the woods, with an emphasis on sustainable, locally sourced and environmentally responsible materials and techniques. In 2013, the cabin was moved to the seaside near Watchet on the Somerset coast to film a second four-part series of the show with a more "beach shack" theme. In August 2013, Kevin took part in the Blue Anchor to Minehead RNLI Raft Race, as part of the filming of the series. His raft got 20 yards off shore before being towed the rest of the way.
In June 2015, Kevin fronted Escape to the Wild. He went to four different British families around the world who have left Britain behind to a life in far flung remote destinations. One on a desert island in the south Pacific nation of Tonga, one near a volcano in Chile, one in the middle of a jungle in Belize and the final family was a couple in Jämtland in Sweden. He followed the daily lives of the families and uncovered how they perform daily tasks from securing food and water to using the toilet.
In early 2007 he created HAB Housing Limited, ("Happiness, Architecture, Beauty"). McCloud led a consortium to purchase two plots of land to build a HAB housing development on the outskirts of Swindon, Wiltshire.
In October 2009, it was announced that HAB Oakus, a joint venture between HAB and housing group GreenSquare, had won planning permission for its first housing scheme in Swindon. The 42-home scheme, called The Triangle, would occupy the site of a former caravan park. Housing will be "environmentally sustainable, affordable". The Homes And Communities Agency, a UK national housing and regeneration agency, had already announced in April 2010 that it would back the plans by contributing £2.5m. Construction of the development was completed late in 2011. The process was filmed and broadcast as part of a Grand Designs special two-part episode called Kevin's Grand Design. A website was set up about the project.
In September 2013, HAB broke the world record for equity crowdfunding by securing investments in excess of £1.9 million from members of the public via online platform Crowdcube, beating the previous record of £1.5 million with pledges of £1,904,540.
- Building sight The Observer – 2 November 2003
- Kevin McCloud Facts, BBC South Africa, April 2010, archived from the original on 2014-05-29
- Biography at Channel4
- "Grand Designs Great British Refurb Campaign". Retrieved 15 October 2011.
- Donna Ferguson (20 October 2013). "Kevin McCloud: 'I've been unlucky with property'". Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
- Top Gear Series 12, Episode 5 2008.11.30
- Series information, Channel 4 website
- Green living at Grand Designs The Sunday Times – 7 October 2007
- Swindon go ahead for Hab Building Design Online – 15 October 2009
- HCA funding Kevin McCloud's Swindon sustainable housing Homes and Community Agency – 1 April 2010
- "HAB - Our Mission". Retrieved 4 September 2012.
- Andrews, Kate (30 September 2013). "Design-led housing developer breaks world record for equity crowdfunding". Dezeen. Retrieved 30 September 2017.
- "No. 60728". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2013. p. 21.
- "Somerset Celebrities". Retrieved 15 October 2011.
- "He hates being on telly and his own house is a tip. So why do all the girls have designs on Kevin?". Daily Mail. London.
- Elgot, Jessica (24 April 2015). "Celebrities sign statement of support for Caroline Lucas – but not the Greens". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 22 July 2015.