Urban gardener: My brilliant TV career

So I'm lying there, right, and my regular osteopath says to me "Got any telly lined up this year then?" – actually let me stop there. I ought to clarify the situation otherwise you're going to think a) I'm turning into a chronic hypochondriac, or b) that my osteopath, Richard May, is rubbish at his job. According to my partner, who obviously knows me better than anyone, there may be an element of truth in the former, but casting aspersions on the latter would be biting the hand that heals me.

Anyway I tell him I don't "do" telly. Apart from the odd appearance as a contributor here and there, or publicising a show garden, I don't have a natural affinity with telly, so I've learnt to accept my limitations and stick to the day job. It doesn't stop the odd production company calling up from time to time, confirmation that – apart from BBC2's current adventure Around the World in 80 Gardens – TV gardening is in the doldrums. Just the other day an enthusiastic researcher on the other end of the line tried to make it all sound so enticing:

"We're looking for new talent for a really exciting gardening project."

"What will it be about exactly?"

"Well, we haven't finalised all of the details just yet, but we were wondering how you feel about gardening programmes today and what the future holds for garden design. What are the current trends?"

"Well, cheap makeovers are a non-starter. There might be some mileage in real projects, but watching a garden being created takes time."

"How do you mean exactly?"

"Following a real, live project that hasn't been generated just for TV, where good design, architecture and plants have been chosen to suit a very specific set of conditions."

"Great idea ... Have you got any projects that might be suitable?"

"Well, most of my clients find TV intrusive and wouldn't be happy with a camera crew interrupting the work. And you'd need to film it over several seasons to really do it justice."

"What about your allotment? I hear you grow great veg?"

"Well, er, I have an allotment, and yes I did think it would make an interesting programme when we first took one on eight years ago, but Carol Klein did a brilliant series on growing veg last year. Besides, I'm not sure if I want to be known first and foremost for my skills (or lack of, as it turned out last year) in growing root vegetables – it's more a hobby, you understand."

"Maybe we could do an organic allotment?"

"I've been gardening organically for 20 years."

"Brilliant!"

"But most veg growers are organic these days," I say, with rising irritation, "it's nothing new so it wouldn't be any good as a USP."

"Do you know anyone else who'd make a good gardening presenter?"

"Well James Alexander Sinclair should definitely be on the box more and, of course, Roy Lancaster would be top of anyone's list for a pukka series on plants – most of us call him God, you know."

"Hang on ... Alexander ... Sinclair ... OK, and who was the other guy?"

At this point I realise this conversation is going nowhere. (Later I find out that several other designers were called by the same production company, including Dan Pearson, who was asked, "Have you been doing garden design for long?" – a clue that this lot really hadn't got a clue.) I decide it's time to call a halt to the proceedings.

"Anyway, aside from everything else, television doesn't really pay so well these days," I say.

"Well, think of it as being good for your profile."

"At my age I need hard cash, not profile."

"Exactly how old are you, if you don't mind me asking?"

"Not at all – I'll be 50 this year," I say slightly annoyed with myself that I didn't think of mentioning it earlier.

"Well, it's been lovely talking to you ... er, we'll be in touch ..." Click.

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Babysitter Katie and Paul have terse words in the park
tvReview: The strength of the writing keeps viewers glued to their seats even when they are confronted with the hard-hitting scenes
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
American singer, acclaimed actor of stage and screen, political activist and civil rights campaigner Paul Robeson (1898 - 1976), rehearses in relaxed mood at the piano.
filmSinger, actor, activist, athlete: Paul Robeson was a cultural giant. But prejudice and intolerance drove him to a miserable death. Now his story is to be told in film...
Sport
England’s opening goalscorer Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain battles with Scotland’s Charlie Mulgrew
FootballEngland must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Life and Style
Make-up artists prepare contestants for last year’s Miss World, held in Budapest
fashion
Sport
Wigan Athletic’s back-of-the shirt sponsor Premier Range has pulled out due to Malky Mackay’s arrival
Football
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Argyll Scott International: FP&A Manager Supply Chain

Benefits: Argyll Scott International: Argyll Scott is recruiting for a Permane...

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property NQ+

£30000 - £50000 per annum + EXCELLENT: Austen Lloyd: COMMERCIAL PROPERTY SOLI...

Argyll Scott International: Retail Commercial Finance Analyst

Benefits: Argyll Scott International: Due to further expansion, a leading inte...

Langley James : Senior Technician; Promotion & Training Opp; Borough; upto £32k

£27000 - £32000 per annum + training: Langley James : Senior Technician; Promo...

Day In a Page

US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

Immigration: Obama's final frontier

The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

You know that headache you’ve got?

Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

Frank Warren column

Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines