Hewson on ... The disappearance of TV gardeners

I continue to fret about the BBC. I know I shouldn't but I do.

I mean, spring has sprung, but only this Friday will there be a sign of our fireside favourites at Gardeners' World emerging from their winter hibernation. Perhaps they have been busy building brands and being celebrities?

I did spot national treasure Carol Klein tootling about in a shiny gold Sunbeam Rapier, although at the time I wasn't sure whether I'd tuned into Top Gear rather than a Gardeners' World special.

It was a pleasant enough amble, but not one to stir the juices of the nation and get them gardening. In the true spirit of celebrity culture, perhaps the evergreen Carol could be Top Gear's "star in a reasonably priced car" while Jeremy Clarkson becomes the new face of Gardeners' World? That should liven things up a tad.

Maybe Jonathan Ross or Lenny Henry might also do a turn chairing the completely awful Gardeners' Question Time on Radio 4? Let's be honest, you don't need to know anything about gardening. One luminary recently suggested Eucryphia as an evergreen replacement for Prunus 'Amanogawa' Award of Garden Merit on the east coast of Scotland, but I'm not sure they do Eucryphia in Inverness - no more than they do leer jets in Chorley.

It's all so very sad. I mean, I love Rachel de Thame, I really do, but quite how qualified she is to tell us about gardening I'm not too sure. Still, that's beside the point: she does celebrity and she does it very well.

As, of course, does our old friend Alan Titchmarsh, now comfortably settled doing daytime pap-chat with B-list celebs over on ITV. I suppose it beats mulching marrows and hoeing beans.

Perhaps I'm getting old (21, since you ask) but I just want someone to get down and dirty with the plants. Come back, Percy Thrower - surely the only person on the planet who could make potting geraniums look cool.

Of course, that was before the anti-smoking brigade came to pass, otherwise Percy's beloved briar would have been a goner long ago.

- Andrew Hewson is senior consultant for ADAS UK


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