It seems there isn’t a part of our everyday life that can’t be turned into a primetime reality TV series.
We’ve had baking, sewing, dancing, singing – and now we are going to have gardening.
The BBC has announced it has commissioned Grow, Make, Eat: The Great Allotment Challenge which will feature green-fingered contestants growing a crop of fruit and vegetables, and facing three trials each week that test their horticultural knowledge, creativity and culinary skills.
The six hour-long episodes will air early next year – and the show will no doubt be given time to bed in and cultivate an audience. Fronted by Fern Britton, it will be judged by Royal Horticultural Society judge Jim Buttress, floral designer Jonathan Moseley and cookery writer Thane Prince.
Nine pairs of enthusiastic gardeners will pull on their trusty gloves and sowing the seeds of success (or not, as the case may be).
For those who love the BBC format which turned cupcakes and pastries into primetime TV fare with The Great British Bake Off, it will come as music to their ears. Especially as the Beeb has also announced a second series of The Great British Sewing Bee next year and GBBO moving to BBC One.
For those who don’t believe the mundane parts of our lives make for great television I can almost hear the collective groans.
It does make you wonder what will be next. Competitive house cleaning, ironing, flower arranging or shopping? Possibly the BBC will manage to make getting the kids to do their homework a hit television show.
Who can blame them for flogging the format which has proved such a hit with audiences? But there is a danger here.
Just how many shows where ordinary people pit their so-called skills against each other can a viewing nation stomach?
When the schedules are already full of celebrities cooking, dancing, and eating bugs is there space for another reality show?
I personally love Bake Off, and, no doubt, will tune in to see how big the contestants’ carrots have got or just what they can do with courgettes.
The Great British Bake Off has been responsible, we are told, for the resurgence in home baking. If The Great Allotment Challenge is equally as successful at getting people growing their own veg then it should be equally applauded. But I would hate to see this type of programme flourish to the detriment of new quality drama, documentaries and the like. The BBC and other broadcasters need to keep a variety in their scheduling.
Too much Come Dine with Me, MasterChef and Bake Off could be enough to turn the nation’s stomach.