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Tim Allen and Richard Karn reunite!

Tim Allen and Richard Karn reunite!

As Assembly Required With Tim Allen comes to Sky HISTORY, here are the best of the rest in DIY shows

By Simon Ward, Content Editor + Laura Rutkowski, Staff Writer

Home Improvement. Depending on your age, you’re either conjuring up images of dreary Sunday mornings being dragged around the paint section of your local DIY store by your dad, or the US sitcom that ran from 1991 to 1999 starring Tim Allen and Richard Karn. Let’s be clear: we’re probably talking to the latter group here.


Tim and Richard are reuniting after 22 years for Assembly Required, a competitive series that sees builders across America take everyday household items and breathe new life into them from their own home workshops. There are challenges. There is judging. And, as you’d expect from these guys, plenty of laughs.

Richard Karn and Tim Allen in Assembly Required on Sky HISTORY

Tool Time 2.0 with Richard Karn (left) and Tim Allen (right)

But here’s the thing. Despite playing builders on Tool Time, the handyman show-within-the-show on Home Improvement, neither men are particularly, well, handy. Fortunately, woodworking DIYer April Wilkerson is on hand to provide actual expertise. Think of her as the Paul or Prue to their Noel and Matt.


It seems appropriate this show is hitting Sky HISTORY as the nation begins to plan a life outside of lockdown, and specifically inviting people back into our homes. After a year of staring at our own four walls, we now know every paint crack, every loose floorboard and every draught as intimately as we know ourselves.


So, with one eye on the next few months, and starting with Assembly Required, here are the best shows to get your home improvement juices flowing.

Assembly Required

Thursday 1 April, 10pm, Sky HISTORY HD (CH 270)

Tim, Richard and April run their eyes over some mind-blowing builds. How will America’s best makers tackle the Make Or Break Challenge – a 90-minute mystery crate build? And what about the Run With It Challenge, where the contestants must create something that has never been built before over five days? We can’t wait.

Kirstie And Phil’s Love It Or List It

Kirstie Allsopp and a couple drinking tea in Kirsty And Phil's Love It Or List It

Find it in Apps & Games > All 4

It’s Location, Location, Location meets Changing Rooms as Kirstie Allsopp shows families how they can renovate homes no longer fit for purpose, while Phil Spencer argues that they just buy a new property.


Find it in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer

Fancy someone coming into your home and telling you you have dodgy taste or your feng shui is way off? Yeah, us neither, but if you want to watch it happen to other people, you should check out this show. Nick Knowles and the gang travel around Britain to complete DIY projects that were started with the best of intentions, but never quite made it across the finish line.

Your Garden Made Perfect

Your Garden Made Perfect hosts with a couple

Find it in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer

Using technology normally seen in Tony Stark’s workshop, families are shown a ridiculously realistic view of their future garden from different designers, before picking their favourite for an extraordinary transformation. This show tackles big and small gardens, so there’s something for everyone’s little patch of paradise.

Grand Designs

Grand Designs host Kevin McCloud

Find it in Apps & Games > All 4

Alright, alright, this is hardly DIY. This is more like “let’s build our dream home COMPLETELY from scratch.” If you didn’t want to bulldoze your home before and start all over again, this show will make you want to do exactly that. Designer Kevin McCloud catches up with the individuals undertaking this massive project, seeing it through from beginning to end. Not shown on camera: the sheer amount of blood, sweat and tears.

Interior Design Masters With Alan Carr

Find it in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer

Is the chatty man known for his flair for interior design? We’ll roll with it… along with former editor of ELLE Decoration Michelle Ogundehin, he searches far and wide for top talent with a spectacular knack for transforming spaces.


Ugly House To Lovely House With George Clarke

Ugly House To Lovely House With George Clark

Find it in Apps & Games > All 4

Ugly is such a harsh word, we prefer unique, so George Clarke and other architects help to make over unique homes so that their originality can truly shine and they can reach their full potential. We all know real beauty is on the inside…

Find It, Fix It, Flog It

Find it in Apps & Games > All 4

Henry Cole and Simon O’Brien not only restore people’s old items, they also make money out of them (sometimes, and probably not a lot, just to manage your expectations). Before you get the glue gun out at home, maybe watch how it’s done first.

Escape To The Chateau: DIY

Find it in Apps & Games > All 4

Dick and Angel Strawbridge (who still win the award for best names ever) help British families that are renovating or thinking about buying châteaux in France. This Escape To The Chateau spin-off is hugely ambitious and will give you serious house envy.

The Repair Shop

Find it in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer

If you told us at the start of 2020 we’d be crying during this crafty fixer-upper show, we wouldn’t have believed you, but here we are in March 2021 sticking this on with a box of tissues at our side. In a word, the series is emotional, as Jay Blades and his team restore much-loved pieces.

Jay Blades’ Home Fix

Find it in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer

If you couldn’t get enough of Jay in The Repair Shop, here he is to calmly walk you through his tips and tricks, claiming that anyone can be a dab hand at DIY.

Jay And Dom’s Home Fix

Find it in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer

What’s that? More of Jay? YES PLEASE! Does he own a monopoly on this market or something? This time he’s joined by Dominic Chinea, who stars alongside him in The Repair Shop. Whether you want to zhuzh up your home or your garden, these absolute pros show you how to do it, without breaking the bank. They also introduce some fun competition as they each complete a DIY build, so are you team Jay or team Dom?

When is Sky HISTORY’s Assembly Required With Tim Allen on TV?

Assembly Required With Tim Allen airs on Sky HISTORY HD (CH 270) on Thursdays at 10pm, with the first episode screening on 1 April. It is also available in Catch Up > Channels > Sky HISTORY.


The ten-part series will subsequently air every week until Thursday 3 June.

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