Donegal’s Claire Irwin made her TV debut on ‘Room to Improve’ last night, working as a Quantity Surveyor in one of RTE’s biggest series.
Claire (34), from Burnfoot, impressed as the QS for a Wicklow home renovation on Sunday night’s episode and she will appear in another this season. Claire offered wise advice to Celebrity Architect Dermot, in person and via Facetime.
Speaking to Donegal Daily, Irwin explained when a replacement quantity surveyor (QS) was sought in March 2018, she jumped at the chance to join the show.
“RTE were advertising for another QS and I just took a notion that I would apply for it,” She said. “Then before I knew it, I was called for an interview and went a process for about a month and, in the end, I was selected to join the line-up which I was thrilled about.”
Claire, who works for McCallion Group in Buncrana, admitted that she was a big fan of the show before she applied, saying she didn’t watch much TV during the week but always watched ‘Room to Improve’.
Claire’s husband is Declan Irwin, Managing Director of Irwin Expert Electrical, so construction and interiors is a shared interest at home.
She said: “Myself and my husband Declan would always sit down on a Sunday night and watch the show because we wouldn’t get watching a lot of the tv during the week, to be honest.
“And around the time I applied, we would have been renovating a house ourselves in Buncrana, so it probably would have been a bit more relevant for my husband Declan to be watching it, but I am in the construction business too and I loved watching it.”
The first episode starring the Buncrana QS was set in Ashford Co Wicklow, where Claire helped a couple, Frances and Nigel, transform a 1990s bungalow into their dream home.
Meanwhile, in the second episode, which is set to air on October 6th, will see Claire help cost an ambitious renovation of a cottage in Tramore, Co Waterford. Claire’s fans can look forward to seeing more of her in the thirteenth season next year too.
Talking about her time in front of the cameras, Irwin, who has been a quantity surveyor for the last 12 years, said: “It was brilliant, it really was. It was a fantastic experience and it was brilliant to work alongside Dermot (Bannon) he is a brilliant architect.
“He was a different calibre of an architect to anything that I have ever worked with before.
“Dermot is very creative and innovative and he definitely surprises you with his ideas and designs, and when it is all finished, his houses are absolutely phenomenal.
“The filming element was newer to me,” Irwin added. “And the first day might have been a bit daunting, but the film crew were lovely and once I got half an hour over me I was fine.
“But overall, I was glad that I applied and I can’t wait to see the episodes this year and next.”