At first, Trading Spaces carpenter Ty Pennington couldn't believe The Learning Channel's home-improvement soap had built up such a devoted all-star audience. But while on vacation last year, the heartthrob was forced to face the truth.
"I was watching Live with Regis," he tells TV Guide Online, "and [substitute co-host] Valerie Bertinelli was like, 'I love TiVo. You know why? I never miss Trading Spaces.' I just went, 'She did not say that!'"
Since then, the Atlantan has adjusted beautifully to the program's popularity among the rich and famous. So he wasn't fazed working on Dixie Chick Natalie Maines's and her mom's Austin houses in this week's first-ever celebrity installment (airing Saturday at 9 pm/ET). In fact, he's ready to, ahem, get into bed with even bigger names.
"I'll get tucked in with Brad and Jennifer, and be like, 'What's wrong? Whose pajamas am I wearing?'" he laughs. "I'd constantly be throwing sexual comments out to Jennifer and asking Brad for grooming tips."
Truth be told, the wiseacre has never been intimidated by Hollywood types. As proof, he cites his brief gig renovating a nightclub for Prince. "[The Artist's middlemen] said, 'He doesn't like to be looked in the eye when he's talked to,'" Pennington recalls. "I was like, 'Oh, really?'
"So [when the male diva arrived] I immediately looked him in the eye and was like, 'Dude, it's so cool to meet you,'" he continues. "They were like, 'You need to go.' But I had to do it."