| The Columbus Dispatch
The long-time host of “This Old House,” the ground-breaking home-improvement television show, will appear — virtually — at the Fall Dispatch Home & Garden Show on Saturday.
Kevin O’Connor, who has been host of the PBS show since 2003, last appeared at the Columbus show two years ago. On that occasion he was here in person, of course.
“I do a lot of home shows, but this is my first virtual one,” said O’Connor, 52.
“But I think people understand why that’s necessary this year, and know exactly what to expect.”
Because of the pandemic, this year’s home and garden show will be online and on demand. The show will be live online Thursday through Saturday and the online exhibit hall will remain open through the end of the month.
Register for the show at DispatchHomeandGardenShow.com. Guests who pre-register by Wednesday will receive one free ticket to attend the Spring Dispatch Home & Garden Show presented by Ohio Mulch.
At this year’s online event, guests can still explore home-improvement ideas, talk in real time with knowledgeable local craftspeople and contractors and check off some of the items on their home-improvement project list.
And, as in previous years, celebrity guests, including O’Connor, will be making appearances.
O’Connor is scheduled to speak to the online audience at 11 a.m. on Saturday and answer questions beginning at 11:30 a.m.
“This Old House” celebrated its 40th anniversary last year.
“It’s the longest running (home-improvement) show, and, without trying to thump our chest, it’s not just something that’s barely hanging on,” O’Connor said.
“It’s still the most highly watched.”
O’Connor was a corporate banker when he and his wife wrote a letter to This Old House magazine asking for help with wallpaper. The couple appeared in a segment of the first season of “Ask This Old House,” a companion television show. O’Connor made such an impression that he was asked to host “This Old House” when the job came open.
Even though he didn’t know much about home improvement when taking the job, O’Connor said he’s learned a lot.
“I grew up watching the show. And now I’ve been swimming in the deep end of the pool with the best in the business for 17 or 18 years,” he said.
“But just because I know how to do some of the work now, doesn’t mean I could do it as a living. I just replaced some rotted windowsills at my house myself. It took me so long that, if i was working for a guy, I would have cost him a fortune.
“So if you can get home-improvement advice from either Tom Silva (a long-time contractor on the show) or Kevin O’Connor, always take it from Tom Silva.”
Other live events will include sessions on spring bulb planting, victory vegetable gardens, the latest in home design, indoor air quality and much more.
And I’ll help announce the winners of the annual Backyard Garden Awards, which this year had nearly 500 entries, during an online award ceremony beginning at 4 p.m. Saturday
Times for the live events are still to be determined. Check DispatchHomeandGardenShow.com for the latest schedule.
Steve Stephens is the Dispatch home reporter. Email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @SteveStephens