Great British Sewing Bee judge Patrick Grant started life as boarder at Barnard Castle School

FINALISTS in tonight's (Tuesday, April 23) climax of The Great British Sewing Bee on BBC2 will be out to impress a former Barnard Castle School student.

Savile Row's Patrick Grant may have been born in Edinburgh, but he started life as a boarder at the Teesdale school.

Staff recall him excelling on the rugby field and he went on to represent Scotland until injury thwarted his career.

After completing science and engineering degrees, he went in to marketing.

In 2005, he bought the Savile Row tailors Norton and Sons, which also included E Tautz & Sons, the ready to wear menswear brand.

The tailors was in serious decline, but since acquiring the business, Mr Grant has overseen an increase in the customer base from about 20 to several hundred, tripling the number of suits made.

In 2010, he won the Menswear Designer award at the British Fashion awards for his work on E Tautz and Sons and from September, he will be supplying Debenhams with a range of menswear under the label Hammond.

On the BBC2 show, a spin-off from the Great British Bake-Off, Patrick and fellow judge May Martin will be casting an expert eye over the three finalists' efforts to follow a pattern for a man's shirt and then show off their hand sewing skills.

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