GW for the uninitiated stands for Gardener’s World – the much loved and very long running programme on the BBC that’s recently had a makeover and new presenter.
TG stands for Top Gear – the hilarious boys’ own car programme with Jeremy Clarkson and co, one of the most un-PC things on telly, also beloved by many girls (but I am now very fed up of watching repeats on the Dave channel, unless it’s the Reliant Robin space shuttle sequence).
What could possibly link the two? Well GW’s makeover has been to make it distinctly more magaziney … but the thing that got me spluttering incredulously was the section called ‘The Potting Shed’. This is where presenters Toby and Alys (left) go and sit down in a fake shed and discuss gardening news. Then they have a big board behind them on which they post things garden related that are ‘What’s Hot’ and ‘What’s Not’. Is that a blatant rip-off of TG’s Cool Wall or not?!?!
For anyone who doesn’t know, the Cool Wall is where Clarkson and Hammond decide whether cars are sub-zero, cool, uncool, or seriously uncool. This involves audience participation and much ribbing of Hammond by Clarkson and can be funny (although not usually one of the best sections of the show, it breaks it up – makes it more magaziney).
The problem with the Potting Shed is that it has none of TG’s blokey humour. It has Toby being all jolly and Alys rather stiltedly going along with it – she seemed as if she would prefer to be anywhere else – poor thing.
Often when programmes have reincarnations as loved presenters move on, like Titchmarsh and then Monty Don did in GW it takes a while for the new ones to bed-in. Alys is fine – she was in the background before anyway, but Toby is a bit too jolly in an ‘it doesn’t really matter as long as you get out there and garden’ sort of way when he should be more of an authority perhaps as the show’s figurehead. I will keep watching (there’s usually nothing else on at 8pm on a Friday apart from TG repeats on Dave, after all), if only to see how the Potting Shed – seriously uncool wall develops!
One last thing, while on the subject of TG, we went to Beaulieu in the New Forest yesterday – ancestral home of Lord Montagu and the National Motor Museum – full of motoring treasures including many cars from TV and film. What we found out was that they’re developing a new attraction – the ‘World Of Top Gear’ and stashed away around the back of the museum under tarpaulins were all their silly creations from the show …. recognise these?