Our favorite link from the week, a terrible bit of news!
The genteel world of horticulture is “up in arms” about the BBC’s flagship gardening programme getting bumped in favour of snooker and football matches.
Devotees of Gardeners’ World have started an online petition begging the corporation to keep the half-hour BBC Two show in place on Friday evenings, and end the spate of cancellations to accommodate sporting events.
Even the programme’s presenter Monty Don has waded into the row, telling his 26,500 Twitter followers that he finds the show’s hiatus over the coming weeks “galling”.
It is one of the longest running gardening shows, having been on air since the 1960s, and shares tips, advice and ideas from experts.
“Thousands of us avid viewers of Gardeners’ World are up in arms with the BBC who, for the past few years, have entered into contracts to televise sports events which clash with it,” Valerie Corby, a retired lawyer from Taunton, Somerset told The Telegraph.
“Viewers are incensed because it is only on for half an hour a week and the Spring is our busiest time in the garden; we look to Monty Don and his team for advice.”
In the current series, an episode was cancelled to air the Women’s Euro 2017 qualifier, and there are a further two cancelled programmes in the coming weeks.
Heather Redhead, 57, a sonographer from Chester, said: “We gardeners are heartily sick of the one regular gardening programme aired by the BBC being repeatedly replaced by other programmes.
“I really feel the BBC is taking no account of the numbers of people who garden. I’m a long time member of the Royal Horticultural Society and as a passionate and experienced gardener, I also feel it is important to assist and encourage the newer gardeners.”
Mary Baillie, 50, a retired communications consultant from South Lanarkshire, added: “It is incredible that every Friday without fail when there is a sporting event being broadcast, the schedulers opt to cancel Gardeners’ World.
“Scheduling aside, spring is the busiest time of year for gardeners.”
Nicola Brown, 31, an insurance claims advisor from Norfolk, said: “I am really disappointed with the constant weeks that keep being missed on Gardeners’ World for sports events.
“I also cannot comprehend the reason behind not showing it for a week, leaving 14 days between episodes at this time of the year. This is a vital time in any gardener’s calendar, whether old or young, experienced or novice.”
Concerned viewers have started a Facebook group, which attracted hundreds of members within a day.
The BBC has received dozens of complaints about the show’s cancellations, but has said that “contractual commitments” to air sporting events mean they are left with little choice.
A BBC spokesperson said: “Gardeners’ World is an important part of the BBC Two schedule and we do try to minimise disruptions but our commitment to live sport coverage, which is also enjoyed by BBC Two viewers, means that our schedule is occasionally subject to change.”
From The Telegraph this week.