BBC Interior Design Masters viewers slam ‘brutal’ judges for eliminating contestant over choice of curtains


Interior Design Masters returned to BBC One for its third series on Wednesday night (March 9).

Presented by comedian Alan Carr, the property TV show sees 10 aspiring interior designers compete in different challenges each week in a bid to win their first commercial contract – this year with Watergate Bay Hotel in Cornwall.

Their designs are then criticized and scrutinized by head judge Michelle Ogundehin, who was joined this week by fashion designer turned interior designer Matthew Williamson.

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The designers’ first challenge was to transform five upmarket rental apartments in Cornbrook, Manchester. Working in pairs, the contestants were asked to design a living room or master bedroom, and a shared home office.

They each had just two days, a budget of £1,500 and two tradesmen to help them get the job done. But as each pair set out to transform the space, it was mural artist Richard O’Gorman whose interior choice caught viewers’ attention.

Richard O’Gorman created his own curtains

One of Richard’s key features in the living room was a pair of green velvet curtains, which he cut himself. The contestant sourced his own fabric and cut them to the shape he wanted with a pair of scissors.

“It’s so much easier to use your own fabric because then you can get whatever finish or style that you want,” Richard told viewers.

“I’ve made curtains a few times, but the last set I made took like four days so I’m going to have to be racing away.”

Once they were made Richard said: “It was absolutely worth doing the curtains. They’re going to really help pull everything together.”

But it turns out head judge Michelle thought very differently, as on viewing the bedroom Richard had designed, she took a strong disliking to his velvet curtains – particularly due to the length.

“I’m instantly distracted by the shortness of the curtains, what is that about?,” she said to fellow judge Matthew.

“I’d like to believe that that is not a deliberate decision.”

Richard’s curtains cost him his place

Unfortunately, Richard’s choice of curtains lost him his place in the competition.

“A curtain is supposed to block light out, it needs to drop to the floor, that’s the function of them,” Michelle told Richard before announcing he was the first contestant to be eliminated from the new series.

BBC viewers took to Twitter to share their views on the ‘brutal’ decision, with many sympathizing with Richard and claiming that he should have been given another chance.

“This show is the most brutal of its type,” Nic wrote alongside a crying face emoji.

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“What’s with the judge. You can have what curtain length you want. I live in a tiny flat so my desk has to go against the wall thank you very much, how silly,” another viewer said.

“Aww poor Richard deserved another shot, surely,” said viewer Mark.

“MICHELLE??? Are you joking? Paul was right there and you chose Richard,” another wrote.

“Me canceling my TV license after sending Richard home on week 1 on #interiordesignmasters,” said @aleshatryed.

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