If a good man is hard to find, then a good-looking man who's as quick with a quip as he is handy with a hacksaw must be darn near impossible to locate. So it makes sense that the newest sex symbol to emerge from The Learning Channel stud farm is Andrew Dan-Jumbo, the hunky carpenter on While You Were Out (Fridays at 9 pm/ET). But would the Nigerian-born, English-bred hottie who could, well, nail anything he likes, collapse when hammered with TV Guide Online's unrelentingly probing questions? Read on and find out.
TV Guide Online: Um, Jumbo?
Andrew Dan-Jumbo: It's a Nigerian name. There's a long story behind it, but it would probably take three pages to explain.
TVGO: No time for that, then. Would you agree that it gives you a lot to live up to, running around with a name like Jumbo?
Dan-Jumbo: (Laughs) It does, yes. But as awkward as that name was to go through school with, because of the ridicule, it was a name that people would never forget. My father always told me that. My mother as well. And that wisdom has proven to be correct.
TVGO: I can't help but notice that on the show, you don't seem to be a big fan of personal protective equipment. Since you sometimes model, aren't you afraid of ruining your face and thereby your fortune?
Dan-Jumbo: Oh, I don't model anymore. I was huge financially in London, but when I moved to Buffalo, there wasn't much call for modeling. As far as how I work on the show, I've had lots of years of working in construction. I know when to put safety glasses on, and I trust my hands to do what I want them to do.
TVGO: Speaking of job hazards, are you ever tempted to burst out laughing at the designer's far-out ideas?
Dan-Jumbo: I've learned not to. They're very... What's the word? Committed. They're very committed to their designs, and they do not appreciate criticism or comments. They seem a little sensitive. But I tell them if I can do [what they want] or not right away. As far as the aesthetics, I try as diplomatically as I can to sort of sway them. But they spend two or three weeks preparing a room, and the last thing they want to hear is the carpenter telling them that they might have to think of another approach to it.
TVGO: Now that another carpenter's been hired, will you get to boss him around?
Dan-Jumbo: No, Jason Cameron and I are never going to work together. He's here because [my sidekick] Leslie Segrete requested not to do every show this season. She's married and has a hard time melding that with the requirements of the show, because we are on the go for 220 days out of the year. That's quite taxing, to be gone that long. It impacts your social life. So they decided to bring in a substitute for Lesley Ali Barone. And while they were at it, they went ahead and got me a replacement as well, and he's Jason.
TVGO: You mentioned the show taking a toll on your social life. May I just say, C'mon! Are you serious?!
Dan-Jumbo: I have 26 home shows right now lined up outside of the show. It's a huge requirement on my time. I'm already doing 220 days of the show, and you add to that all of the appearances, and it puts restrictions on your availability. I don't have a personal life. I think even my cat considers me a stranger in the house now. We are estranged.
TVGO: Gee, I feel kinda bad for you now. But hey, at least since making People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People list, you must be getting lots of offers through the mail... right?
Dan-Jumbo: Yeah, I've had one or two marriage proposals... requests to walk ladies down the aisle, things like that. I actually have over 3,000 e-mails right now on my website that I have yet to attend to. I'm a little nervous to find out what they're asking me to do! People have very... (Pauses thoughtfully) fun requests.