DIY SOS star Billy Byrne choked back tears as he discussed his daughter’s heartbreaking death during a poignant Children in Need episode last night.
The electrician, 73, who has worked on the TV show since 1999 alongside presenter Nick Knowles, talked about his daughter Emma who passed away 20 years ago at the age of 20.
The father became emotional as he explained how the tragic loss has affected him and Emma’s three siblings – revealing it is only recently that he has sought counselling for the grief.
In the special episode, the DIY team was tasked with helping the Treetops Hospice in Risley, Derbyshire, create a new space with therapy rooms. The hospice supports adults with life-limiting conditions.
Billy said: ‘The reason I get, as I do, emotional, we lost our daughter Emma but she had three sisters. If they had something like this they could have actually shared it with other people who were in the same position as they were.’
‘Inside them, they couldn’t let it out,’ he continued.
‘And at a bereavement place, you can talk let it out and meet people who have been in the same position as you.’
Addressing Billy’s own feelings, Nick asked: ‘It took you 20 years to really get some counselling?’
‘It was so relieving, talking. It was just a hard time but we’re doing things for other people and that’s good,’ Billy replied.
The hospice, which has been running for 40 years, assists adults with life-limiting conditions – but hopes to extend its services to help bereaved children in the new building.
Last night’s episode of DIY SOS featured a young boy whose brother was murdered and best friend died of cancer.
Explaining how Treetops helped him, he said: ‘I went on and off to Treetops for a few years and it did take a lot of persuading for me to stick with it.
‘I didn’t want help, I wanted to stay angry as I didn’t know how to be anything else.
‘Counselling allowed me to have something for a long time I thought I’d never have again – a smile. It saved my life.’
Electrician Billy previously opened up about his heartbreaking loss during an episode of the renovation programme in 2020, saying: ‘You’ve got to accept that she was part of our lives for 20 years.
‘Let’s talk about the 20 years that she was great and happy. We can stop shedding tears – but it’s hard.’