Carol Smillie approached Changing Rooms host Anna Richardson after knock back from show

Changing Rooms: Anna labels Laurence's advice 'codswallop'

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Between 1996 and 2003, Carol Smillie, 59, was the main presenter on the home makeover show before Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, 56, took over. After a lengthy hiatus, the popular show returned to screens earlier this year, this time on Channel 4, with Laurence back on hosting alongside new co-host Anna Richardson.

The 51-year-old replaced Davina McCall who was due to present the rebooted show but pulled out after a schedule clash.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Anna said Carol approached her about her new role on Twitter.

She spilled: “Carol was so sweet, she got in touch and was like you know what good luck with the new series.

“I messaged back saying, ‘I couldn’t have learnt from a better person and I’m taking care of the mantle. I’m showing a great deal of respect’.

“Carol is an absolutely brilliant presenter,” she added.

“I think to be handed that baton from her was a real privilege for me because I really admire her.”

When she first started out in television, Anna said she approached producers for a job on the show as a researcher but got knocked back.

She divulged: “They’d never take me!

“I failed epically trying to work on it but two of my oldest friends started out as runners on Changing Rooms and they’re now married with children, so yeah there’s a real personal history for me.

“It’s so lovely that 20 years later I’m a presenter on it.”

Anna went on to say she got on with the team well and described her co-star Laurence as “absolutely hilarious”.

However, she says, filming during the coronavirus pandemic was “challenging”.

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“It was challenging just because of the Covid protocols we had to stick to,” she spilled.

“We had to form a bubble with around 40 people who were in the crew.

“We all got on like an absolute house on fire. Laurence, Russell [Whitehead] and Jordan [Cluroe] are absolutely hilarious.”

“Everyday was really good fun.”

Back in September, The Mirror reported that the new Changing Rooms had been axed after just one series.

A source said the show “hasn’t caught on” despite its resounding success on the BBC in the 90s.

They added: “Channel 4 will be wondering what has gone wrong. A lot was put into it but it doesn’t seem to have caught on.”

A spokesperson for the show told The Metro: “It is far too early to have conversations about commissions however the show continues to be a hit, regularly securing over a million viewers.”

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