Fish and chip shop owner Padiham shows off her talent for creating dollhouses from scratch in new TV show to find the UK’s best craftsman

Julie Gill, who runs Eddie’s Place in Moor Lane with her husband Tim, was one of 10 entrants in ‘The Great Big Tiny Design Challenge’ presented by Sandi Toksvig and launched on More4 last Sunday.

The challenge, spanning eight episodes, is for mini-makers to work as a team to tackle the home room by room, each to be fully furnished in a different and stunning interior design theme from history, the regency to art deco. Whether it’s tiny tables, toilets, curtains or food, everything made for the home needs to be reduced to one-twelfth its usual size.

World-record-holding micro-sculptor Dr. Willard Wigan MBE and interior design guru Laura Jackson are responsible for judging the results, slashing the miniaturists piece by piece, week by week. Only when the mini mansion is completed can a person be crowned champion of the Great Big Tiny Design Challenge.

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Julie Gill debuted on The Great Big Tiny Design Challenge TV show

Divided into two teams, the bubbly mum-of-three brought smiles to viewers, fellow contestants and the production team when craftsmen were asked to make a bust of themselves. Quick-witted Julie created her own by holding a bottle that she told the judges contained water!

But in the challenge of creating a Regency-style dining room, it seemed Julie had been given one of the most difficult tasks…making the dining room chairs as the team worked against the clock. . And while the judges were impressed with Julie’s beautiful parquet floor, they gave the chairs a thumbs up and Julie was the first person to be eliminated.

“I was disgusted,” said Julie, who is 54. “But someone had to be the first to go. I had a fantastic experience and made friends for life.”

The Los Angeles-trained beautician saw her childhood passion for dollhouses ignite seven years ago when she saw one in a shop window. Julie knew she had to have one, but not just any dollhouse…it had to be in her favorite French style.

The magnificent bathroom of Julie’s castle

She found a kit online and it wasn’t until she brought it home to Sabden that Julie completed the task ahead of her by painstakingly putting together at least 40 pieces of wood.

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It was certainly a labor of love that took at least a year, working on it every day with the help of Tim with his DIY skills and tool kit. Julie, who is mum to nursing student Chloe (29) upholsterer Olivia (25) and Lewis, 23, who is an electrician living in Australia, furnished and decorated the house, affectionately known as Chateau Prosecco , as she says. her to drink.

She lovingly crafted furniture, curtains and even fireplaces and the detail and beauty of the castle is a sight to behold.

Every detail of the castle kitchen is perfect

And it didn’t stop there for Julie, who ran her own salons in Burnley and Clitheroe, went on to create more homes, 15 in total. She created them as gifts for friends and also does commissions.

The magnificent exterior of Chateau Prosecco
Julie has created a beautiful Regency style living room in her castle

Laura J. Boyer