12:30 PM September 13, 2022
A school caretaker from Norfolk is one of ten carpentry contestants Channel 4 viewers will be getting to know in the coming weeks.
Jacob Bell, 23, is among the cast of crafters vying for top honours in the second series of Handmade: Britain’s Best Woodworker which starts on September 21 at 8pm.
Presented by Mel Giedroyc it sees carpenters turn their talents to a variety of tasks and technical challenges, winning immunity for some with one person axed each week.
The by now tried-and-tested format aims to do for carpentry what other shows have done for baking, pottery, sewing, and jewellery – often making stars of those who lift the trophy,
Mr Bell, from Winterton, near Great Yarmouth, said he had loved the experience and was excited for the programme launch, and to be finally able to talk about it.
Filming took place in May in the Welsh woodlands, with all the action staged in a workshop similar to the Bake-Off marquee.
Ahead of the competition he said they had four weeks to design eight items, but that the technical challenges were blind.
“It did not feel like a competition,” he said.
“I even found myself helping someone else in the first episode.
“The only time I felt it was during the horrible silence before Mel said who was going home.”
He said the programme had a warm vibe with campfire chats fuelling friendships.
“It was exciting and something completely different. I have not really had many woodworker friends and for me that was the main experience, being around some like-minded people.
“We are all in close contact. I have been to another contestant’s wedding and a barbecue.”
Mr Bell said he applied after seeing the first series and wanted a challenge.
After leaving school he studied furniture making at college in Kent, but went on to do an ordinary job.
He rekindled his love for woodworking after meeting girlfriend Boni at a concert and moving to Winterton, where he makes his own bespoke furniture using traditional methods.
Having volunteered at the local primary school, leading an after school club in woodwork, he secured a part time caretaker role which he juggles with his furniture making.
His latest commission is a garden bar for host Mel Giedroyc which he aims to deliver to her home soon.