Captain Sir Tom Moore should be honoured with a permanent statue on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, says Nick Knowles.
The DIY SOS presenter, 58, said an image of the fundraising veteran swathed in the Union flag would be a “constant reminder of positivity” for the nation.
He befriended Sir Tom – who died on Tuesday morning aged 100 after testing positive for Covid-19 – when he was called in to help build a fence around the Army veteran’s home to retain some privacy amid the glare of the world’s media.
The fourth plinth, which was built in 1841 but remained empty due to a lack of funds, has been home to a rolling commission of public artworks for the last two decades.
Knowles said Sir Tom should be honoured in the same way Winston Churchill was following the Second World War.
He told the PA news agency: “We have been wondering what to do with the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square for a long time. Maybe we have finally decided what we should actually do with the fourth plinth. Maybe have a picture of Captain Tom up there. We could give him a wave every time we pass through the capital.
“Even when he was under siege – in the nicest possible way – but under siege no less from the world’s press, he never complained a jot. He was always ready to do an interview, to go that extra mile, because he realised that as the money was flooding in it would make a massive difference.”
Knowles said the statue would be “a symbol of positivity that we can refer back to regularly”.
He added: “That is my suggestion. Let’s get a statue of him up on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square and let that be a focus for positivity. There are various demonstrations and events that happen in Trafalgar Square and to have him overlooking all those things, it would be nice for people to look up and see somebody who is a constant reminder of positivity.”
Knowles, who took part in I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in 2018, finishing sixth, said Sir Tom’s legacy would be one of hope.
He told PA: “When we get out the other side of this we are going to be talking about this pandemic for years and years to come.
“There is a statue of Churchill who did what he did during the Second World War when the country was in crisis, and there are various other mementos and points of reference for us to look back at various times and say, ‘That is how we got through’.
“It would be nice to have something of that kind put up there.”