The Great Big Tiny Design Challenge: release date of reality show with Sandi Toksvig, and who are contestants?

10 crafters will compete to make the best mini mansion

Ten amateur crafters (pictured) go head-to-head in the latest reality show from Channel 4, The Great Big Tiny Design Challenge.Ten amateur crafters (pictured) go head-to-head in the latest reality show from Channel 4, The Great Big Tiny Design Challenge.
Ten amateur crafters (pictured) go head-to-head in the latest reality show from Channel 4, The Great Big Tiny Design Challenge.

Following in the footsteps of The Great Pottery Throw Down and The Great British Sewing Bee, amateur crafters go head-to-head in the latest reality show from Channel 4, The Great Big Tiny Design Challenge.

The show will be presented by TV favourite Sandi Toksvig, who viewers will recognise from her recent role in presenting another Channel 4 show - the enormously successful The Great British Bake Off.

So, what exactly is the new show about, when is it on TV and who are the contestants?

What is the Great Big Tiny Design Challenge about?

The show will see crafters from across Britain compete to create the ultimate fantasy house - in miniature form.

The eight-part series sees designers compete against one another to create tiny furniture for doll-sized houses.

They will create their mini houses room by room, with each room required to be fully furnished in a different interior design theme.

Viewers can expect to see lots of periods from history, from Regency to Art Deco, and lots of tiny house-hold must-haves, be it teeny tables, toilets, curtains or food.

Contestants must create all of the contents shrunk down to a twelfth of their usual size to fit in the house.

Who are the judges?

There are two judges on the show, world-record holding micro-sculptor Dr Willard Wigan MBE and interior design guru Laura Jackson.

Dr Wigan said: “What was amazing about this programme was, it was very difficult to send people home who are so talented. So many emotions came out during filming. It was so much fun, I enjoyed every minute of it.”

The duo have to critique the results of the contestant’s work and must then whittle down the miniaturists down room by room, week by week.

Jackson said: “There is a whole world of miniatures and miniacs who are really setting this trend. I think it’s definitely coming into the mainstream. This is escapism from everything that is going on right now, and I think that’s what people are looking for at the moment.”

Viewers will also be able to follow host Sandi Toksvig as she shrinks down to take a tiny tour of each of the finished rooms.

Only when the mini mansion is complete can one person be crowned the winner of the Great Big Tiny Design Challenge.

Who are the contestants?

There are 10 contestants in the show:


Age: 50

Location: Southampton

Occupation: Magistrate

Beth grew up in North London and lived in France for 15 years where she taught English language to French students.

She now works as a magistrate as well as being a mum to three adult children and a step-mum to her partner’s three grown-up children.

She loves spending as much time as she can in her garden house turned miniature workshop.

Beth said: “I always have my mini head on! I’m always looking at things and thinking how can I make that miniature?”


Age: 31

Location: London and Southport

Occupation: Animation Director

Bexie’s dad is a music composer and her mum is a TV and computer games designer mother so, unsurprisingly, she is a very creative person.

She completed a degree in animation followed by a master’s in animation direction at the National Film and Television School.

Bexie has built a career in animation direction, and it was when she needed to build miniature film sets that she really found a flair for tiny creations.


Age: 30

Location: West Yorkshire

Occupation: Mechanical Engineer

Dom studied product design and now works in mechanical engineering.

His favourite thing about crafting is the community of people involved and he loves sharing tips and tricks online with others who have a passion for miniatures.

He also enjoys going to rock and metal gigs, is a big rugby fan and is also an amateur powerlifter.

He said: “It’s not uncommon for my girlfriend to walk into my crafting room and be blasted by medieval tavern music or Viking chants!”


Age: 52

Location: London

Occupation: Web designer and customer service associate

Elizabeth feels crafting has a positive impact on health and wellbeing. She volunteers for a North London charity that facilitates creative sessions for teenage girls excluded from mainstream school.

She has always been arty and loves all kinds of making and creating, as well as visiting doll’s house exhibitions.

She said: “Sometimes I’m scrolling Instagram and my brain sort of ‘miniaturises’ something.”


Age: 53

Location: Lancashire

Occupation: Fish and chip shop assistant

People-person Julie has previously lived in Los Angeles, where she worked as a beauty therapist. She has always worked with her hands and has also worked as a barber and a tattoo artist.

Julie now works front of house at her husband’s fish and chip shop.

She started making doll’s houses a few years ago and it’s become her most cherished pastime.

She said: “I really enjoy it and I do push myself to the limit!”


Age: 32

Location: Tyne & Wear

Occupation: Artist and masseur

Matthew has a keen eye for detail and takes a practical, resourceful approach to his creations.

He studied costume design and learnt skills such as corsetry, millinery and set design, which involved making miniatures.

Since graduating, Matthew has worked freelance in prop making, set dressing and costume design. He also runs creative workshops for people with mental health issues.

He said: “I respond to a design brief with energy, a unique perspective and out-of-the-box creativity.”


Age: 27

Location: West Yorkshire

Occupation: Miniature artist

Michael’s been miniature-mad for as long as he can remember and has a flare for the little details.

After realising he could make his own sculptures instead of buying them, he built his own miniature world and began his own business.

It’s not the only talent he has either. With a degree in dance, Michael is a performer and loves all things theatrical.

He said: “It’s lovely to see other people’s reactions to such tiny things. There is a real magic to anything in mini.”


Age: 38

Location: Norfolk

Growing up in South East Asia, Nadia fell in love with Polly Pocket, a line of miniature dolls and accessories, as a child.

She worked in the corporate world of PR and events but has now given up her career for a quieter life in the Norfolk countryside with her husband and dog.

Nadia likes creating miniatures of the decadent treats we all enjoy, from tiny cakes to miniature sweets.

She said: “I live and breathe miniatures!”


Age: 53

Location: South Wales

Occupation: Computer analyst

Sharon has been fascinated with all things tiny since she was small herself.

She is hard of hearing and struggled to communicate with others in school so, instead, she immersed herself in every type of craft that she could.

During lockdown, Sharon reignited her passion for miniatures and has since renovated a traditional doll’s house into an upstairs-downstairs music shop/café bar.

She has also produced a true to life replica of her neighbour’s potting shed.

She said: “I wish I could make myself smaller so I could fit inside my own little dream world.”


Age: 47

Location: County Carlow, Ireland

Occupation: Garden centre employee

Thomas has been teaching himself all about the world of miniatures since 2006.

It was his love of stately homes and Jane Austen novels that inspired him to try and recreate those period homes in miniature.

He loves to spend his time researching the history behind stately homes, using his findings to influence his intricate miniatures.

Thomas, who is a trained horticulturist, spends his days gardening at the historic Altamont House in County Carlow, Ireland, and spends his evenings perfecting his miniatures.

When is The Great Big Tiny Design Challenge on TV?

The Great Big Tiny Design Challenge starts on Sunday 27 March 2022 at 9pm on More4.

The show will also be available to watch on catch-up service 4OD.

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