It's hard to overstate the importance of basic physical co-ordination
Housebuilding design and marketing consultant John Weir has found himself in front of the cameras twice: the first time for the BBC's Dream House programme, which chronicled the construction of an innovative home at a BRE site near Watford, and more recently as one of the team assessing contenders for Channel 4's Britain's Best Home series.

There is a big difference between filming on site and working in the studio, he says. "For Britain's Best Home, I turned up at the studio at 8.15 in the morning, went into make-up, went through my views of the homes with the producers, and learned the words for the introduction, then we filmed two half-hour shows in a day. All you have to do is walk and talk at the same time – which isn't that easy in front of a camera," he says.

"For Dream House, the very different cultures and work ethics of television and construction made it an amusing, but also very tiring experience. Builders start work at 8am and finish at 4pm; they are tea-and-bacon-sarnies people. Television people are coffee-and-croissants types – I don't suppose the facilities on site were what they were used to. They start work at 8, brainstorm for three hours, start filming at 11 and finish when they finish. We'd be waiting for a cloud to pass over before we could film; we'd shoot, then at the very last moment a plane would fly over so we'd have to knock down the wall that had just been built and start again. That was difficult when we had elements like a bathroom pod being installed in the house."

Nonetheless, Weir enjoys being in front of the camera, and is hoping to do more television work. "I don't earn as much as I do in my own job, but I do it for fun. The people are great to work with."