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Monday, 5 June, 2000, 12:53 GMT 13:53 UK
Changing Rooms team deck out ship
HMS Kent
All at sea - HMS Kent will receive a makeover
Designers from the popular BBC show Changing Rooms have started work on an unusual challenge - to revamp a Royal Navy warship.

The team are giving a makeover to two mess rooms on HMS Kent, the Navy's newest frigate.

Presenter Carol Smillie and designers Anna Ryder Richardson and Linda Barker arrived at Portsmouth navy base on Monday and will finish the work on Tuesday.

Ryder Richardson and Barker each have two sailors to help them with their quest to do up the men's and women's mess areas.

Carol Smillie
Changing Rooms presenter Carol Smillie will be keeping the results of the makeover under her hat

Details of the makeover are being kept top secret, with the programme due to be screened in the autumn, a BBC spokeswoman said.

Suitable

Lt Paul Carroll of HMS Kent said the Navy had helped the designers to select the materials to ensure that they were flame retardant and suitable for use on the ship.

He admitted that major DIY projects were not usually encouraged at sea because of the impracticalities.

Lt Carroll added: "A Changing Rooms design as it would be in a Victorian terrace is not appropriate for one of Her Majesty's warships.

"We have moved into this new house which is excellent to live in, but we want to make it into a home."

The men's mess is used by 42 junior sailors and the women's by 18 and two sailors will each help with the work on their particular area.

The work on the 3,500 tonne Type 23 frigate will be carefully supervised by Navy bosses.

See also:

21 Apr 00 | UK Politics
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31 Mar 00 | Entertainment
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27 Apr 00 | Talking Point
DIY: A job for the professionals?
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