…but does it make good telly?

I have, of course, been watching the BBC’s second series of The Big Allotment Challenge.

But as I finish episode 3 on catch-up I can’t help asking myself…am I really enjoying it??

Surely I must be?? Surely??

But it’s just not quite hitting the spot somehow.

For anyone overseas, or with a social life, they give a bunch of people a blank allotment in the grounds of a big house. The contestants have to grow certain veg and flowers for showing, plus whatever else they want as cooking and floristry ingredients.

Each week they’re asked to present particular veg and flower specimens on the ‘show bench’ (episode 3: peas and lillies) do a flower arrangement (episode 3: decorated chandelier), and cook something with their produce (episode 3: crisps and dips).

They show snippets of the past weeks as the contestants sow, plant, nurture, protect and panic in the run-up to ‘Showday’. And of course, someone gets the boot each week.

Does that sound like gripping telly to you??

It’s obvious to draw comparisons with the BBC’s blockbuster The Great British Bake Off, the success of which they must’ve wanted to try and replicate over winter. But the B.A.C lacks two vital elements:

– dramatic tension. A lily beetle invasion seven weeks before Showday isn’t exactly edge-of-your-seat stuff compared to the imminent doom of a toppling biscuit tower.

– endearing presenters. The Mel&Sue double act of GBBA strike up a fab rapport with the contestants and have cheesey one-liners aplenty. BAC’s FOUR presenters/judges are all a bit worthy and serious, and a couple are even slightly creepy.

So, roll-on the return of ‘The Don’ and Gardener’s World on Friday nights. In the meantime I’ll use the time to blog…with BAC on in the background. Well, I can’t totally ignore it, it’s research!

Who else watches? Agree or disagree with my review?


5 thoughts on “…but does it make good telly?

  1. This show really does seem to be dividing people. I’m afraid it’s not for me. I watched a couple from the first series and one from this one, just to see if the format/judges etc had changed, but decided I still don’t like it. I think the points you make hit the nail on the head, but also I don’t like the competition aspect. I don’t grow veg to be perfect and for show, so that part really puts me off. It’s not what allotmenteering is all about for me. I’m a big bake off fan though.


  2. I do watch it though feel sorry that they have to grow things they may not normally! Though I do find the ‘eat’ challenges interesting just not somethings I would necessarily attempt to make. And who cares if the pea pads only have 8 peas in them!


  3. I watched it this week and found myself worrying about the leftover produce from the gardens of the people who leave each week.Do they take it home with them? I hope someone eats all the not-perfect tomatoes and the wonky carrots. Also, the chutney judge terrifies me!


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