Did you know this about Kevin McCloud?

He's a much-loved and respected host, known around the world for helming Grand Designs UK. But outside of the property series, how well do you know Kevin McCloud?

He's been showing us Britain's most impressive and unique homes for 20 years, since Grand Designs UK's first episode in 1999. And while he's revered for his charismatic nature, in-depth design knowledge and quintessential English charm, Kevin McCloud has a highly decorated background that not many know of. Here, we reveal some of the most interesting facts about the presenter. 

He's multilingual

As well as being a designer, environmentalist and host, Kevin McCloud can speak French, Italian and a bit of German - which he speaks with his wife and four children. While Kevin travels frequently for work, the McCloud family follow in tow and spend months through the year travelling Europe.

He's a former opera singer

Before starting uni or entering a career in design, Kevin moved to Italy where he studied opera in Florence. It was at his grammar school where he was singled out by a visiting music examiner called Ivor Davies, who encouraged him to study singing at Florence's Conservatory of Music. After a year, Kevin was asked to complete a further three-year course, but decided to complete his studies in England.

Image credit: Financial Times

He studied art and architecture at Cambridge, where he befriended Stephen Fry

Now in his twenties, Kevin left Italy to study art and architecture at the University of Cambridge, in England. It was there where he joined Footlights theatre group, helmed by Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie. After graduating, Kevin set up a successful lighting design practice and wrote books about home decorating. Shortly after, he appeared on TV property series' which then led to his first episode of Grand Designs in 1999.  

He's built his own eco-friendly tiny home

While we may know Kevin McCloud for his hosting abilities, he also knows his way around a bit of DIY. As seen on his series, Kevin McCloud's Man Made Home, the British icon designed his very own eco-friendly, sustainable cabin the woods - which was of course, as sleek and sophisticated as the man himself.

He's got his own architecture firm

In 2007, Kevin McCloud set up a property development comany called Hab - Happiness Architecture Beauty. The company builds environmentally sound and sustainable homes across Britain, challenging the conventional housing development structure. "The houses and places we build respect the local context and biodiversity; are strongly rooted in history, landscape and the community; and are sustainable, beautiful and a pleasure to live in," the website explains. 

Watch Grand Designs: The Street, Wednesdays, 9.30pm EST on Lifestyle

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