If you have been watching the Gardener’s World BBC TV programme for a few years like myself then you cannot fail to have noticed that it has changed greatly this year. Not only did a new presenter come on board along with a few other familiar gardening presenters but also the content and therefore the audience being targeted seems to be different.
As with all changes it was bound to displease some and delight others. In line with the Dig-In campaign supported by the BBC I feel that the programme tried to address the needs of gardening beginners to make it more accessible to everybody.
A worthy endeavour indeed but it probably means that some long-time viewers started to feel a bit alienated by the new stances and style of the programme.
Having never seen such anger in the peaceful world of gardening I did wonder if the economic doom & gloom combined with the recent MPs’ scandal story had exacerbated gardeners’ recent outbursts of anger.
Personally I have always felt that I needed to see more episodes of the programme to make up my mind, just like a new garden needs time to mature and reveal its full potential.
However, it seems that two main bones of contention remain. Firstly there is still talk about whether the main presenter should be changed. Personally I think that the quartet of gardeners made up of Carol, Jo, Alyss and Toby more than compensate for the lack of single charismatic leader in the programme.
Secondly, a new feature in the programme called What’s hot & what’s not which was based on the Top Gear Cool Wall, with the team discussing the latest gardening trends. This was a flop from the start, and even the presenters enthusiasm for it was obviously lacking. The good news is that it seems that this has disappeared from the programme. Could it be that the BBC have taken on board all the comments that they received through the blogs, forums, and news media?
A recent survey organized by the Gardeners’ World magazine and published in the July edition reveals that the favourite Gardeners’ World gardens were in order: Barleywood (with Alan Titchmarsh), Barnsdale (Geoff Hamilton), and Berryfields (Monty Don).
I was wondering if they may consider replacing that What’s Hot slot by snapshots of the best episodes from Barnsdale, the Magnolias (Percy Throwers garden) or even the more recent Barleywood and Berryfields?
This idea is currently working on the Saturday kitchen TV programme where we go back in time to watch Floyd cooking in Italy or the 2 Fat ladies cooking a banquet for the army for example. I enjoy these flashbacks in time (and yes, I am in the pre-40’s age category!) and I think that it could work with Gardeners’ World too.
Do you think that the BBC is likely to pick up on this idea?