Home from Rome for Rotherham plasterer

A PLASTERER from Maltby is set to become an overnight TV star after spending six months building a Roman villa for a pioneering new series.

Tim Dalton-Dobson spent up to 16 hours a day mixing and trowelling plaster as part of the dedicated team on Channel 4 documentary Rome Wasn’t Built in the Day.

But despite the hard graft and long spells away from his family, the dad of two has no regrets, insisting: “I’ve had the best six months of my life.”

Tim’s adventure began a year ago when he answered an online advert for tradesmen to take part in a new TV series.

The job opened up a string of new horizons for him, as the team headed out to Turkey to learn how Roman builders worked, before applying their new-found knowledge to the arduous project of building a villa from scratch on a site in Shropshire with the same techniques and tools used 2,000 years ago.

“It was a really eye-opening experience for me,” he said.

“It came at the perfect time because there was not a lot of plastering work around and it was six months’ work and the chance to do something new.

“My perception of the Romans was what I’d got from the Age of Empires video game.

“When you leave school, you forget what you learned about them.

“But what they did was amazing. We are still using building techniques today that they used all those years ago.”

Tim said that viewers of the six-week series, which started last night, could expect to see him as a lively character with a big personality.

“I enjoy going to work and having a bit of banter and that’s what you’ll see,” he said.

“I like to have a good time at work.”

With no modern machinery available, the gruelling project was driven by hard work and often involved long hours.

“I even fell asleep on the scaffolding one night at about 11pm and woke at 1am wondering where I was,” Tim added.

“We were working from 7am to 6pm most days because we were up against it and behind schedule.”

Back home in Braeburn Close, Maltby, with wife Nicola and daughters Alica (8) and Maddison (4), Tim admitted that the state of the industry meant plastering work was thin on the ground.

He now hopes to build on his experience by becoming involved in more heritage projects.

“I would love to do something like that again,” he said. “Normal plastering is not the same. I would like to work in preservation or conservation work.

“It’s been really eye-opening and the work that Shropshire Council have done is fantastic.

“But above all, I just want to make a good life for my wife and kids.

“I would sign up for a project like this again in a second. It was a chance in a million and I loved every second.”

The second episode of Rome Wasn’t Built in the Day will be shown next Thursday at 9pm. You can still see the first episode at www.chan nel4.com.