Garden Rescue

2018 has been a year of Garden Rescue, we made 60 of these shows for BBC1, I seem to have edited 20 of them.

The Telegraph  had this to say on the 27th April 2019

Ground rules: Charlie Dimmock and the Rich brothers return

BBC One, 3.45pm & 7.30pm

Part of the joy of this gardening show, which returns for a fourth series, lies in the huge difference in attitudes between former Ground Force presenter Charlie Dimmock and Chelsea Flower Show gold medal winners, Harry and David Rich. Where the former admits that she is a gardener with some design experience, the latter are design experts. This essentially means that Dimmock’s gardens tend to be as much led by the ideas of the homeowners as by her own, while the Rich Brothers come in with a clear idea and expect everyone to get on board. Both attitudes have their pluses and minuses – as with Grand Designs, the show this most clearly resembles (despite the obvious undertones of Ground Force), some people are more willing to listen than others.

For this series there is a weekly afternoon episode and a Monday evening outing. The opening double bill sees the team in Southampton, where Welshman Morgan has £5,000 and hopes to create a garden that’s as much party space as gardening haven. The evening episode focuses on newly married St Albans couple Bernard and Cecilia who want to use their £4,000 budget to turn their first garden into their dream space

And 3 days later the Daily Mail was very complimentary:

Curtail Question Time, cancel Newsnight or chop 20 minutes off The Andrew Marr Show, and the majority of viewers in the real world, beyond the Westminster Bubble, would hardly notice the difference.

But start messing about with gardening programmes and people would rise up in revolt, brandishing their spades like pitchforks.

BBC bosses know this all too well. They found out the hard way, a few years ago, when they tried to ‘update’ Gardeners’ World to make it ‘trendy’. It was a disaster: everyone likes Monty Don just the way he is, thank you very much.

But not all gardening telly has to be traditional and respectful. Given the popularity of all kinds of home improvement shows and makeover formats, there’s plainly an appetite for programmes packed with ideas for making our backyards better. Alan Titchmarsh has been doing it on ITV for ages with Love Your Garden, and the Beeb’s belated answer is Garden Rescue (BBC1).

When the series launched on daytime TV last year, it was notable for the return of Charlie Dimmock. Once famous for bringing a bit of bounce to the nation’s flowerbeds, she almost disappeared from our screens for more than a decade, following the end of the instant landscaping show, Ground Force. She’s a natural broadcaster, and a talented garden designer, so her reappearance is welcome.

Her co-stars are Chelsea Flower Show veterans Harry and David Rich, brothers with an arty approach to gardening: they are constantly thinking about how the light falls, which might sound pretentious but turns out to be highly practical.

In contrast to Charlie’s ad-libbing and impromptu style, Harry has an earnest tendency to turn and do little pieces to camera, like a Blue Peter presenter. His brother doesn’t say much, though he has impressive Renaissance hair — give him a cape and he could be the keyboard player in a prog rock band.

Between them, they came up with a barrow load of interesting suggestions for transforming your patio and lawn. Instead of putting gravel down, try crushed cockle shells: a bag costs about the same, and apparently it feels like ‘walking on fresh snow, or bubble wrap’.

Charlie recommended planting soft, pale, cool colours such as lilac around areas where you will sit, to make the space feel relaxing. I’m less sure about spending £250 on a full-grown amelanchier ‘June berry’ tree to attract the birds, when you could pick up a sapling in a pot for a fiver at a garden centre.

Nurture it for a few years, and you get the same tree for next to nothing.

But that’s the chief problem with any makeover format — it demands instant results.


Craft it yourself

Achingly cool presenters offer creative austerity tips as C4’s Craft It Yourself serves up a typically hip Bake Off amuse-bouche

With its hip young hosts, Daily Mirror columnist Ian Hyland says Craft It Yourself is ‘peak C4’, but admits it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.

I’m not sure what C4’s thinking was when it decided to launch Craft It Yourself, a new show all about making things for your home.

Was it a cunning plan to whet our appetite for home crafts ahead of the impending arrival of The Great British Bake Off?

Or, in its role as a public service broadcaster, did C4 simply want to help out those middle class viewers that have not escaped the bite of austerity?

Probably a bit of both.

Although if C4 is planning to make Bake Off as funky and snappy – and LOUD – as this show it might not go down too well with the old BBC audience.

It’s perfect for C4 though.

Having spent years helping its aspirational viewers find their perfect homes with Phil and Kirstie, C4’s creative types have clearly decided it is now time to start helping them stamp their own identities on those homes.

Obviously, hand painting tiles, weaving rope benches and beading chandeliers is not going to be to everyone’s idea of fun – especially when the burns from all that tugging begin to sting.Such extravagance never stopped Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen on Changing Rooms though. It won’t stop the trio of achingly cool presenters C4 has found to host this show either.

Clemency probably couldn’t be any more “Channel 4” if she tried, but she’s particularly great on this.

She’s also something of an expert when it comes to baking – which might be good news for C4. You know, if the hosts of a certain other show don’t turn out quite the way the network is hoping.


 Tuesday’s best TV: Craft It Yourself

Pinterst comes to life with a lively new series on crafting stuff for your home;

In your cups ... Craft It Yourself.
In your cups … Craft It Yourself. 

Craft It Yourself
8pm, Channel 4

If you’re the type of person who thinks that life is too short to waste time beading your own chandelier then look away now, because this lively new series is all about crafting stuff for your home. It’s like Pinterest come to life as Robin Johnson, Clemency Green and Ant Anstead get to work on various projects. This week, a dining room is drenched in Cuban styles, Clem and Robin make a woven bench, and Ant demonstrates how to paint tiles. Hannah Verdier

Nadiya’s British Food Adventure

Every one knows Nadiya, you know the one off of the Bake off. Well before she starts hosting the bake off replacement on aunty beeb she has her own new series. Nadiya goes around the country meeting farmers and food producers, and cooking up recipes based on her experiences.
She fishes for crabs and meets a michelin chef who cooks with perfumes, visits an urban farm in London and makes haloumi in yorkshire.
Tx 17th July 2017 BBC2 8pm(ish)

Michel Roux Jnr’s Hidden Kitchens

Far away from London’s fine dining scene, a very different type of restaurant is burgeoning in the UK. Passionate British chefs have taken to setting up kitchens in remote or secretive locations, which allow – or force – them to be extremely inventive in their cooking, while creating a unique experience for diners wily enough to seek them out.

Inspired and fascinated by this trend, Michel Roux Jnr is going on a journey across the UK to seek out the very best hidden eateries; in order to eat some extraordinary food, meet a new breed of British chef, and pick up culinary tricks and tips for himself as he endeavours to set up a hidden kitchen of his very own.

From a floating restaurant only accessible by boat, to a fine-dining garden shed that seats only 8, Michel will travel the length and breadth of the UK to discover some of the country’s most extraordinary hidden eateries. As well as visiting an array of up and running restaurants, each episode will follow one new restaurant from build to opening night showcasing the hard work and ingenious ideas that go into making these unusual eateries work.

stephen-being-important michel-makes-cheesecakes-cutaways fritatta-in-pan fritatta-pack-1
ingredients1 kimchifritatta-pack-2

Craft: I Made This

Daily Mail Review

Heavy metal drummer Chris evoked the same reaction with the scented candles he makes from wax and essential oils. His favourite aroma was the must of a sweaty biker’s old leather jacket.

Presenter Clemency Green turned pale when she got a whiff of it, on Craft: I Made This (More 4). She opted for a lighter hint of cut grass. That seems sensible: when the neighbours drop round, it’s better for them to sniff the air and think of freshly mowed lawns than to wonder whether you’re having an affair with a Hell’s Angel.

Candles were one of the easier projects on this new DIY series, Craft: I Made This (More 4)

Candles were one of the easier projects on this new DIY series. At the difficult end, woodworker William Hardie was showing us how to make a wooden bench without using nails, by weaving planks into a lattice. William’s the kind of earnest chap who goes into poetic rhapsodies when he picks up a chisel: ‘That connection between hand and eye is a wonderful antidote to our modern lifestyle.’

It’s refreshing, though, to have a real person instead of a TV personality, fronting a show like this. Until now, arts and crafts on telly meant watching Kirstie Allsopp gather her family around her at Christmas to admire her homemade tinsel.

Whether anyone will actually make the miniature Victorian greenhouse, constructed from leaded panes of glass with a soldering iron, isn’t really the point. What matters more is that candles reeking of biker body odour never catch on.

Craft: I Made This

9pm, More4

Craft – which is basically DIY for cat lovers – has been one of the more twee products of our austere times. Presenters from Kirstie Allsopp to Monty Don have tried to extol the virtues of baking, sewing and gluing maps to old furniture, and this is the latest attempt to make the pastime worthy of TV. Here William Hardie, car bloke Ant Anstead and Clemency Green are challenged to make a dog bed, a garden bench and a hand-sewn leather satchel. John Robinson

Craft: I Made This


by Jane Rackham

The joy of making has gripped thousands all over the UK in recent years, with craft shops and magazines catering to every imaginable creative activity. So if you yearn to learn how to make a macramé mirror or a hand-sewn leather satchel, this is the show for you. 

Three presenters, all of them fanatical about making things, tackle a different task – some extremely complex. And Clemency Green meets three craft professionals who demonstrate their favourite quick and easy “mini make”. If you’re all fingers and thumbs, even when it comes to wrapping a simple present, you can admire the way they make the trickiest craft seem simple.


Designer William Hardie, crafter Clemency Green and bespoke car maker Ant Anstead tackle different tasks, from making a dog bed to a hand-sewn leather satchel.

A Brief History of Graffiti

ABriefHistoryOfGraffiti start from james marshall on Vimeo.

graf review

ABriefHistoryOfGraffiti end from james marshall on Vimeo.

Review in the Independent
“I am just back from holiday in France, which got me reminiscing about childhood vacances. We’d go off in search of ancient cave paintings that my parents had read about and spend a fruitless day squinting at rocks, underwhelmed by faint etchings. If only A Brief History of Graffiti’s presenter Dr Richard Clay had been there to inject some (albeit occasionally self-indulgent) enthusiasm into proceedings.

“I do love art that’s best seen on your hand and knees,” he said, on all fours in a dank cave in Burgundy, France, examining a 30,000 year-old painting of a mammoth.

From these ancient daubings to today’s street artists whose work sells for six-figures, Dr Clay explored humans’ desire to leave their mark on walls. In a Fair Isle knit and suit trousers with a directional haircut, he looked half passionate professor, half over-grown indie kid and both these identities were evident.The etchings of triumphant Red Army soldiers on the walls of the Reichstag were “genuinely moving”, while French contemporary street artists Lek and Sowot had him talking about “graff”, things “getting heavy” and doing special handshakes, like a fanboy meeting his guitar heroes. Banksy, our big name, only got a fleeting mention (perhaps to do with copyright issues, but still, it was refreshing). When Dr Clay started getting overexcited, the artists kept things real. He asked Lek and Sowot about why they’d chosen to graffiti the inaccessible space underneath their temporary exhibition at Paris’ Palais de Tokyo. “We don’t intellectualise things the way you just did,” said Sowot, nonchalant as hell. “Our only intuition is that it would be damn cool to do something in the dark, inside Europe’s biggest contemporary art centre.” Were they influenced by their forebears, pressed the professor, the likes of French street art pioneer Jean-Michel Basquiat? “We haven’t banged Madonna,” came the answer. Dr Clay looked like all his Christmases had come at once.”