Press Profile for Linda Barker
(Last updated 09/01/18)
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Born and brought up in Yorkshire, Linda Barker originally trained as a fine artist. Having left art college in the early 1980’s, she began to focus her talents on more commercial applications and quickly became established as one of London’s most innovative decorative painters and interior design consultants. Since that time she has undertaken many and diverse interior design commissions, both in the private and corporate sectors, ranging from the decoration of numerous celebrity homes to the styling of entire restaurants and retail outlets. Linda has also been active in the PR industry, where she’s been employed as the design stylist behind some elaborate and prestigious product launch events.
In 1988 Linda began working with the media (styling and writing interiors features for House Beautiful, Inspirations, and Country Homes & Interiors magazines) and by 1994 her talents had spread onto TV with an appearance on BBC’s Home Front. The following year she and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen made the pilot programme of Changing Rooms and the rest is history. Changing Rooms has been a phenomenal international success, moving from BBC2 to BBC1 and then on to virtually every English speaking TV territory around the world. While Linda was with the show it reached its peak of popularity, attracting a UK audience of over ten million viewers per episode.
In 1999 Linda began co-presenting House Invaders for daytime BBC1. She was also the co-presenter on Planet Christmas, a three part special for BBC2, broadcast prior to Christmas 2001. She has also presented or guested on a number of other TV programmes, including Good Morning with Anne and Nick, The Antiques Show, GMTV, Through the Keyhole, and Children in Need. She has also worked with Ross Television in the States, where she filmed a special series on furniture for The Heaven and Earth Show.
In 2003 Linda emerged victorious as ‘Queen of the Jungle’, being the final woman remaining in the second series of the hugely successful ITV1 show ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here’. Since then she has since filmed a series of hour long ITV1 specials, ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’, which were broadcast primetime in Winter 2004. Linda presented a one hour ITV1 special, ‘Magician Impossible’, screened over Christmas 2003 and also was the presenter of a 13 week series for ITV1 called ‘Building The Dream’, that was broadcast from March to May 2004. This series achieved a record audience for its scheduling slot. Linda has also appeared as the stand in host on Richard and Judy and Terry and Gabby. She is also a regular contributor to BBC Breakfast, GMTV and This Morning.
Linda is a regular part of the designer/presenter team on ITV’s 60 Minute Makeover series, and also appears pretty regularly on This Morning and Lorraine, covering topics from interior design to health and fitness. In 2013 Linda reached the final of ITV’s Saturday night prime time entertainment show Splash! – where she ended up sychronised diving off the 10m board with olympic medallist Tom Daley!
Linda is also an accomplished and enthusiastic cook in her own right and has contributed several ‘celebrity recipes’ to various print projects. In the run up to Christmas 2006, Linda was asked to devise and present a series on festive table setting ideas for ITV1’s Christmas Cooks programme and has since been a regular contributor to the show. In 2007 she was invited to participate in Celebrity Masterchef and in 2008 appeared on Daily Cooks Challenge and Celebrity Come Dine With Me, where she emerged joint winner.
For several years Linda wrote a weekly interiors column for the Saturday Telegraph Magazine, had a regular feature in Your Home Magazine and contributed to BBC Good Homes Magazine. She still has regular appearances in Woman and Home Magazine, and produces special features and the weekly interior design pages for the Sunday Express ‘S’ magazine.
Her numerous books include a series for Anaya (Simply Paint, Simply Fabric, Simply Curtains and Simply Paper), The Creative Nursery, Making Cushions, Napkin Folding and Origami for Salamander, Just Junk and Jazz Up Your Junk for David and Charles, and Stamping Kits for Little Brown. She was chosen by BBC Books to be the sole writer of all three of the Changing Rooms books, and Saturday Telegraph Magazine asked her to release the book Trade Secrets (David and Charles) – a compilation of her Saturday Telegraph features. Her latest book Wall To Wall is a collection of over 100 original wall treatments and is published by Jacqui Small, in the Autumn of 2006 this book was also translated for Linda fans in the Finnish, French, German, Estonian and Swedish markets. Over the years, and over the World, her books have been translated into many different languages and to date have sold over two million copies in numerous countries around the globe.
Over these busy years, Linda’s name and design style has become synonymous with an ‘effortless chic’, and hers is a voice that people now respect and trust. Readers of House Beautiful Magazine overwhelmingly voted Linda as Designer of the Year in 2003, she was honoured by a This Is Your Life programme, and voted TV Personality of the Year 2003 by Your Home Magazine. Early in 2003 she was voted Yorkshire Woman of the Year. In Autumn 2003 a Radio Times national TV audience survey voted Linda top interiors ‘Makeover Maestro’.
Since 2003 Linda has been a design consultant for Thompson Holidays. So far she has redesigned the First Class cabins for their ship ‘Spirit’, revamped their holiday homes in France and created a new look for the children’s areas of their cruise ships. Linda was also an active part of the Design and Publicity team for DFS, where for 7 years she had her own range of sofas and participated in numerous above the line TV, Poster, Print Ad and nationwide Direct Mail campaigns on their behalf.
At the start of 2014 Linda launched her own range of kitchens exclusive to Wren Living. With several different styles and door shapes, many unique accessories, and a colour chart of 40 different finshes, this extensive range is availble both online and in Wren stores across the UK.
The Linda has also designed and developed an extensive range of ‘Linda Barker’ branded products – including rugs, lighting, wallpaper, kitchen storage, scented candles, china, curtain accessories, textiles and gift wrap. In the Autumn of 2009 Linda launched an extensive new collection of interior accessories exclusive to Matalan.
In 2003 she launched her own mail order business Really Linda Barker. The R.L.B. website and catalogue feature home accessories and decorative products all chosen or designed by Linda herself. In 2004 and again in 2005 Really Linda Barker was selected by the Daily Mail’s You Magazine as one of their top ten catalogues for Christmas, and it also won Silver in House Beautiful Magazine’s 2005 award for Best Interiors Collection. In the Autumn of 2006 Really Linda Barker opened their first high street shop in the UK.
Linda is also in regular demand nowadays on the Celebrity Speaker circuit, and has hosted both corporate and public events in the Interiors, Beauty, Property and Business Development industries. Towards the end of 2006 she was asked to become the official ambassador of a £2billion initiative to regenerate the city of Bradford, and went on to present a BBC documentary on the same project in Spring 2007.
Linda is always very active on the Social Networks. She has a regular presence on Pinterest and Instagram, and Linda currently has about 12,000 thousand daily followers on Twitter.
When not involved in any of the above Linda is very keen on the keep-fit and Yoga side of her life. With property investments in several locations across the UK and Europe and a villa rental business in the South of France (villadelaverne.com) Linda now spends most of her time in either London or East Yorkshire.