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Kevin McCloud and the Big Town Plan: a minute-by-minute report

Last night (11 August) Grand Designs supremo Kevin McCloud tried his hand at televised regeneration, visiting the West Yorkshire town of Castleford in Kevin McCloud and the Big Town Plan. Richard Waite tuned in to see how McCloud got on.

8.59pm Kevin McCloud kicks off. ‘Now on Channel 4 a unique experiment to save a failing town.’ It’s a big claim. I’ve drawn up a chart to count the times he uses the words ‘catalyst’ and ‘design’.
Estimated time until Kev says ‘But will it work?’: six minutes.

9.00pm Hang on I thought this programme was called the Castleford Project. Kevin McCloud and the Big Town Plan, where did that come from? Does the emphasis on ‘plan’ mean not everything came off? And Castleford isn’t big. No Grand Designs music though. Perhaps we’re in for something different to the usual ‘it can’t possibly be done – amazingly it’s been built’ journey.

9.05pm Kev is setting the scene. It’s 2003 and he describes ‘Cas’ (he’s proper local dontcha know) as a town dying on its feet. The only possible saviour is design. Channel 4 is giving £100,000 to a few small projects to kickstart the whole regeneration caboodle. McCloud is looking hot. Five years ago he was on fire…

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