Have we just discovered Monty Don in Pam's shower, with the miraculously revived, Bobby Ewing? Did watching last night's, so called revised version, of Gardeners' World, not feel as if Toby Buckland never happened? The 'all new' Gardeners World, is just as it was the last time Monty presented, which makes one ponder as to why the BBC, thought it a good idea to change it in the first place. Granted, the location has changed, but that is pretty much all.
It was delightfully riveting to see Monty, and his team, gardening proper, discussing worthy issues and finally looking beyond the intricacies of planting carrots to a stopwatch countdown. It must be said that, I have absolutely no qualms with Toby Buckland. In fact, when he used to appear on Gardener's World as one of the learned team, I used to enjoy his participation. The question is, while he was the main presenter, was he just following the script or was he pulling the strings? Either way, his reign produced, an insultingly dumbed down and totally uninspiring version of the programme, that never seemed to venture beyond the petty. If the BBC production team was to blame, one hopes that they learned their lesson, and thereby let real gardeners decide the content of the programme.
According the various tweets on the return of Monty to Gardeners World, it seems that many follow the pro-Monty line of thinking. However, having read some of the comments to the Gardeners' World Blog announcement in December last year, it seems that it is not quite clear cut. Surprisingly, there are many viewers out there who are not keen on Monty, and would have preferred for Toby to continue growing carrots. If anything, the comments are good reading, but there does seem to be a pattern. The general gist in the comments seems to indicate that the great Alan Titchmarsh is still on the minds of many, and that Toby Buckland was a closer replacement, than Monty. Worryingly, from last night's programme, there seems to be no place for decking in Monty's garden, so on that score alone, Monty is doomed.
The return of Monty Don as presenter of Gardeners World, will never be as big a news story, as the return of the, starkers Bobby Ewing, in Dallas, but it has stirred debate amongst viewers as to what a good gardening programme makes. Not a bad thought, is the idea of having additional gardening programmes, to cater for the varying levels of gardening expertise, as opposed to fruitlessly, cramming it all into one. That could result in, more gardening programmes on television, which I for one, would welcome with open arms.
Oh, and Monty, welcome back. You have been sorely missed and we are delighted to see your return to good health.