Kevin McCloud Of Grand Designs' Wife

By Dan Strayer

10th December 2019

Kevin McCloud Of Grand Designs’ Wife

Kevin McCloud Grand Designs leaves wife Zani in December 2019

Kevin McCloud, Grand Designs wife Suzanna McCloud has now separated from her husband just weeks before Christmas.

It has been confirmed that the University of Cambridge architecture student and longtime TV host has left his family, including his wife of 23 years.

The lowdown on Kevin McCloud Grand Design wife

The Daily Mail reported Saturday 7th December that Suzanna, also known as Zani, was distressed to find that Kevin, 60, has apparently upped sticks and left the family home in Frome, Somerset. Zani is an interior designer by trade and mother of their four children:

  • Hugo
  • Elsie
  • Milo
  • Grace.

The report reveals that Zani is not happy with the news, according to a close friend.

“Zani is absolutely devastated. She came home one day to find that Kevin had taken his things and left.”

An anonymous representative for Kevin McCloud confirmed he and Zani were no longer together. However, the statement was vague and spread the blame more evenly.

“I can confirm that, sadly, Kevin and Suzanna separated. We won’t be making any further comment.”

Kevin McCloud’s rise as an architectural expert

Kevin McCloud has hosted Grand Designs since its 1999 premiere
SOURCE: The Telegraph

Why do we care so deeply about Kevin McCloud Grand Designs’ wife?

In short, it’s Kevin McCloud’s second wife he has become separated from. Zani is a low key public figure that shuns the spotlight despite her separated husband’s national recognition.

Because Kevin McCloud MBE, in almost every way, IS Grand Designs. Likewise, for more than 20 years, Grand Designs IS also Kevin McCloud. And because we have the current story in our minds, we’re inclined to recall Kevin’s longtime presence on television as a presenter of Grand Designs and its offshoots.

If you’re not familiar with it, the show’s format usually sees Kevin meet with people who are starting a new building project. The episode, as it were, is built around the building (or transformation) of the property from the house to, hopefully, dream home.

The show has been aired since 1999. That means we’re approaching the fourth decade of the property design programme on Channel 4 first presented Kevin McCloud to the public space. Other on-screen credits Kevin holds include:

  • Kevin McCloud’s Escape to the Wild
  • Grand Designs: House of the Year
  • Kevin McCloud’s Grand Tour of Europe.

A book nerd by his own admission

Kevin McCloud is an educated student of architectural history with a considerate nature in analysing building design projects.

Or, as he likes to tell it, a bit of a nerd. That’s according to one quote from a Telegraph piece by Judith Woods in 2010.

“I come home, say ‘Hi’ and drag my children away from the various screens in the house if I can, then sit around like a nerd reading books about the history of engineering before I head off again. It’s a weirdly itinerant way of life.”

The Woods piece likens Kevin’s work to that of a travelling salesman. With commitments to Grand Designs (particularly the tenants and the project leaders he’ll speak with on camera), he often shuffles between home and site.

Furthermore, despite being comfortable on camera, Kevin is not keen on the limelight. That’s primarily because he ranks as one of the UK’s more studious celebrities. He graduated with a degree in History of Art and Architecture and has authored several acclaimed books on design and architecture. Honorary degrees followed from Oxford Brookes and Plymouth University in 2005. Four years later, he was also named to the Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Furthermore, he’s a renowned advocate for sustainable building, as the above video shows. He was named to the Queen’s New Year Honours list in 2014, then received an MBE for services to sustainable design and energy-saving property refurbishment.

With his ties to Grand Designs, several offshoot books have resulted.

  • The Best of Grand Designs
  • Grand Designs Handbook
  • Kevin McCloud’s 43 Principles of Home: Enjoying Life in the 21st Century
  • Kevin McCloud’s Principles of Home: Making a Place to Live
  • Choosing Colours: An Expert Choice of the Best Colours to Use in Your Home
  • Kevin McCloud’s Colour Now
  • Kevin McCloud’s Lighting Book

A niche as an architectural expert

McCloud 's Grand Designs show often regales us with the dangers of designing a dream home
SOURCE: The Telegraph

Kevin’s unique qualifications in architectural achievement make him a go-to spokesman regarding building:

  • Structure
  • Faultiness
  • Risks

Never was this more evident than when Kevin spoke with Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

“The other thing is the cladding, which we’re beginning to point towards as the culprit and describing as a plastic-based product, it seems very strange that it should have gone up so quickly.

“Every single building site in this country has to be approved and go through some extremely rigorous testing that’s to do with longevity, structural performance and also fire resistance.

“To see a material in 50 minutes across an entire building take flame like this and allow the flame to move so quickly, well this material is quite dangerous and clearly doesn’t perform.”

Labels of elitism

Even with celebrity status, McCloud does not avoid critical issues. Whether is Grenfell Tower, government, sustainability or home design trends, he is an outspoken personality. The outspoken nature on property standards has led to sceptics labelling him as a “property snob” that is elitist.

However, McCloud has no time for such critics. He lamented to the New Statesman about:

“the absence of craftsmanship and the very poor quality of the workmanship, whether it’s painting or carpentry or construction…

“It’s a question we pose to ourselves within HAB, on any scheme – would any of us live in the homes we built? Would we want to live there? And in every scheme we’ve built so far, the answer is yes.”

McCloud spent a great deal of time talking about home property design should communicate with the world around it, by way of:

  • Extended property
  • Light
  • Size of the property’s elements.

“Just by visiting a building, you get a sense of its quality. You get a sense of its meanness, too, if it’s poorly done, from the height of the ceiling to the smallness of the windows. Buildings that introduce lots of light, and make contact with the outside world, and allow you to see the sky from deep with the building – those things are fundamental. There are some very basic human pleasures and responses that architecture tries to deliver and to build on.”

Critiquing buildings live on camera

Because Kevin is outspoken on matters of design and property, it makes for good television. That’s especially true when Kevin is filming in a pre-recorded format, as Grand Designs is.

But he’s also made headline measuring the building he was in – live on camera. Interviewed on This Morning, Kevin offered a critique of the This Morning studio’s building in 2016. If you know anything about Kevin’s nature as a presenter, you’ll know that he was very honest in the segment.

“London is perhaps one of the greatest architectural landscapes of all. It’s home to fantastic buildings – just like this one. Which, in the tradition of chaos and order, is just the dog’s dinner, isn’t it? Some nice paint on it, though.”

Philip Schofield and Christine Lampard yucked it up back in the studio after the video had aired. Yet Kevin, with a grin on his face, was just getting warmed up on the matter of the building.

“I’m sorry, but, we are on the South Bank. This is kind of a historic walk on the South Bank, which begins further upstream, you can see the park and power station. And these great architectural names – you know, wonderful buildings at the National Theatre and the Royal Festival Hall, and…it goes on and on.”


“You can feel it coming, can’t you?”


“It looks like a building that’s had the façade taken off it.”

Foreshadowing of chaotic home life?

SOURCE: The English Home

Speaking of chaos and lifting facades, the same Telegraph interview with Woods is being re-examined this week. One comment Kevin made is being held up as a possible harbinger of what happened in the Kevin-Zani split.

This statement in question came from talking with Woods in 2010 for her review of his then soon-to-be-released book. In advance of the release of Kevin McCloud’s 43 Principles of Home: Enjoying Life in the 21st Century, Kevin made what can easily sound like a highly revealing statement about his personal life.

“I’m terribly fastidious. I like symmetry and neatness, but my house is as chaotic as any other family’s.”

It’s been a part of many pieces talking about the separation news. That said, looking closely at it might prove to be just another “I’ve got a busy home life” comment, indicative of nothing.

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