Hewson on ... showtime

I always enjoy a good show and I'm easily entertained, although I draw the line at the mendacious lightweight pap that now passes for network television.

Good broadcasters performing like circus clowns in the endless quest for higher ratings. Or is that circus clowns trying to be broadcasters? I'm never quite sure.

And I don't just mean that fireside favourite Gardeners' World. Welcome, by the way, to the new boy wonder Toby Buckland, but could someone please show him how to use a pair of garden shears as he looked a tad shaky the last time I checked. I didn't quite get the running a knife blade down your thumbnail trick to check its sharpness either, but it looked pretty cool and that's what counts (apparently). You have to feel for the poor guy though as the hopes of a horticultural nation rest on his Friday night shoulders. Bless. I mean, do we seriously expect one nice bloke with a cheery smile but not so sharp knife to cure our ills and lighten our darkness?

Likewise, the excellent Carol Klein, although I find the "let's go gardening" scenes with the dozy neighbour rather too stagey for my taste. Why don't producers cut the crap and simply let their presenters work to camera, sharing their undoubted wisdom in a concise and practical way?

In pursuit of a good show I called in at Eastgro last month on the return trip northwards, having spent a rather soggy few days in deepest Sussex. No sign of credit crunching there, as large cars driven by chunky blokes with sharp suits and big egos zoomed around. Anyway, to Eastgro, about which I find myself fretting as it's such a grand show in a good spot at a perfect time of year, yet the visitor numbers seemed down on last year by some way.

It set me wondering if the time is right for a national trade show in a central location, a bit like those jazzy events in Holland, Essen and beyond? Access is easy, space is plentiful and the halls are zoned, enabling visitors to quickly find what they are seeking. After all, presentation is everything - isn't it?

- Andrew Hewson is a senior consultant at ADAS

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