In the interests of me not getting prosecuted under the Equality Act 2010, I am not going to make any sexist comments about Charlie Dimmock, who makes a very welcome return in the BBC’s new garden makeover series Garden Rescue. You will just have to wait until Monday evening to find out for yourself about whether her famous style of presenting has altered since she and Alan Titchmarsh were seemingly covering the nation in decking a few years ago when they hosted Ground Force. Of course, it was a bit confusing when the TV news was talking about Tony Blair sending a groundforce into Iraq, as I wasn’t clear about how much use a couple of landscape gardeners could be against Saddam’s elite Republican Guard. As it turned out, the Republican Guard would probably have been better at gardening than fighting, but I realise I am venturing into the herbaceous borders of controversy here. This isn’t the Chilcot report, you know.
Anyway, she’s back and this time round joined by the very un-Titchmarshish Rich brothers, the outstanding garden trendsters of our time, complete with Chelsea Garden Show gold medal and, in one case, a beard. The idea is, as the title suggests, they help desperate homeowners sort out their back yards and turn them form neglected junk yards to extra living space. Charlie on the one side and David and Harry Rich on the other offer competing pitches to the punters, who also set the budget. Then they all get to work, much as the old Ground Force gang used to.
So the format isn’t entirely original, but that’s no bad thing necessarily. I do have to say, though, that to get the most out of this show you do need to be the sort of person who enjoys watching someone put a flat-pack shed together. Actually, that is a bit unfair, as the transformations wrought are truly impressive and inspirational and just what you might need to get out there and do some weeding, at least. If you want to be a bit more ambitious and properly trendy, it looks like you’ll be going for pergolas and raised beds rather than decking. Just watch out for those giant Spanish slugs, won’t you?
What are you doing next Tuesday night? If the answer to that is sod all – if you’re a failed Tory leadership contender, say – and want some alternative harmless vicarious enjoyment at the expense of others, I can recommend you park yourself in front of Wedding Surprises: Caught on Camera for an hour or so. As the popularity of You’ve Been Farmed and those videos of sneezing cats on YouTube demonstrate, we seem to have a voracious appetite for this sort of stuff, and ITV won’t let you down.
There are three basic categories of wedding home movies shown here. First, the usual dad-dancing disasters and bridal wardrobe malfunctions, with which you’ll be familiar. Second come the random encounters with the rich and famous, as when the Queen gate-crashed a wedding in Manchester Town Hall and Ed Miliband wandered aimlessly into a hen party (both very touching). But third is a new genus of whoops video, which is actually the recording of a sometimes cruel prank. There is one where his mates they fool a best man into believing he has won a fortune on a scratchcard. It is the most excruciating thing I’ve seen since the last Saw movie. Home movies get married to video nasties, at long last.
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