Text BBC Scotland on 80295 if you know where to find a vegetable shaped like a willy: axing of the Beechgrove Potting Shed

Give us back the Beechgrove Potting Shed

BBC Scotland’s Jim Gough said: ‘Radio Scotland has to have some programmes decommissioned in December and Beechgrove Potting Shed will be one of those as part of the savings we have to make. We’re adopting a different approach to our horticultural output instead.’

That’s right Mr Gough, we call it dumbing down. 

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Far from being just AN OTHER BBC Radio programme, the Potting Shed offered listeners professional advice, real expertise and that isn’t something you can often say about BBC Scotland’s output.

Text 80295 to tell us your own silly names for vegetables and we’ll share it with the rest of the country

The Beechgrove Potting Shed was relaxed, friendly and above all an instructive programme which provided the 959,000 people who listened to it with an immense amount of helpful information relating to growing food and decorative plants and much else besides. 

At a time people are struggling to afford fresh fruit and vegetables you might think BBC Scotland would value the Potting Shed. Naw.

Interest in gardening is huge. People are queuing up for allotments. There is no other programme on Radio Scotland which provides such professional and helpful advice to the people of Scotland as the Potting Shed did but that’s not what Ken MacQuarrie and his minions care about.

They probably think Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time is an alternative. Is it?

You can’t grow plums up there in Scotland

(GQT -Radio 4)

That came as a surprise for everyone the length and breadth of Scotland who crop them annually.  According to GQT we can’t grow much at all UP HERE. Cue the Potting Shed for proper advice.

 BBC Scotland pleads poverty necessitating cuts of personnel and clearly a shed. 

Text 80295 to tell us about vegetables with funny names. C’mon folks this is just a bit of fun

I suspect axing the Potting Shed was an easy decision for MacQuarrie’s minions since it came from UP THERE or in my case UP HERE.

There was the time when the show’s presenter changed – surprise, surprise to someone out of Pacific Quay. This mean she travelled weekly to Aberdeen. It’s hard to see that the Shed cost much to broadcast, other than travel allowances for the chairwoman. Ken (never mind the quality) MacQuarrie can perhaps tell us just how much the Potting Shed cost to put on each Sunday? and why it was necessary to look outside of Aberdeen for a presenter.

 

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I said at the time I wouldn’t be surprised to see them moving the whole thing to Pacific Quay and blow me down if a gardening spot isn’t now planned for – wait for it – wait for it – the what’s his face MacAulay show. The MacAulay show? Really?

That show really must be cheap because whatever else these axe-wielding minions target the awful MacAulay nonsense rolls inexorably on. 

How can you tell when your plums are ripe Fred?

Hey we don’t want to go there folks. Boom boom!


Mr Gough informs us that the MacAulay gardening slot will be for an unspecified number of minutes.

That is really, really dumbing down. Anyone take a wager on one of the travel ladies being invited in to cover this slot?

How can you identify gooseberry saw fly, Fred?

Line them up in an ID parade folks. Boom boom!

You should know, MacQuarrie that Jim McColl is a phenomenal gardening expert and the others too had years of knowledge behind them to pass onto younger audiences and you should be thoroughly ashamed of what you’ve done.

What should I put on my rhubarb Fred?

Well folks I put custard on mine. Boom boom!


One of the Potting Shed professionals, David Mitchell, who is curator of projects at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, criticised the timing to axing the programme.

‘There has never been a greater need for a gardening programme in Scotland than there is now. It’s not just about how to grow plants and it’s not just for gardeners. Young people want to know how to grow food, how to recycle, how to engage with the environment. Gardening is also good therapy for ex-servicemen.’


Alison Johnston MSP condemned the decision taken in Glasgow as ‘bizarre’, given the growth in popularity in allotments recently.

‘Can you imagine the reaction if Radio 4 said it was axing Gardeners’ Question Time? There’d be a riot. I would urge BBC bosses to start involving listeners in their decision-making.’


MSP Kenneth Gibson called the axing of the Potting Shed a,

‘backward step. From allotments to green gyms to home gardening, programmes like the Potting Shed encourage people to follow this healthy, productive and often socially valuable pursuit.’


MSP Margaret McDougall noted the importance to Scotland of the Potting Shed.

‘I sincerely hope the BBC will reconsider this decision, especially when there are more people than ever growing their own vegetables because of the economic situation. They rely on programmes like this to give them useful tips. Increasingly, people are turning to allotments to ‘grow their own’ and for bio-diversity reasons, so much so that in some areas there are waiting lists for allotments.’

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I imagine if I asked Mr Gough where vegetables come from he’d reply, Tesco.

Scotland’s foremost garden expert, Jim McColl was clearly shattered by this stupid move by BBC Scotland comparing the ‘obscene’ time given over to football on BBC Scotland.

I could add to that music, trivialisation of the news, trite daytime shows.

A spokesman for BBC Scotland said,

‘Decommissioning happens as part of the normal course of the broadcasting business.’ Blah, blah, blah – ‘efficiency saving’ blah, blah, blah ‘across the board.’

Nothing to do with coming from UP THERE then? as in the Tom Morton show, Digging Up Your Roots (genealogy not gardening which began in Aberdeen, proved hugely successful and was handed over to one of BBC Scotland’s ‘names’. 

Said it before MacQuarrie and minions. Free up loads of cash for BBC Scotland by selling off Pacific Quay and revitalise BBC studios around the country. There is no need whatsoever to centralise broadcasting (sic) in the way you’ve overseen it here in Scotland. Indeed what has happened is taking Scottish public broadcasting in the wrong direction. Cutting variety, cutting representation for different interests is something you Mr MacQuarrie are responsible for.

I have blight on my Shetland Blacks what should I do, Fred?

I’d call in the race relations folk, folks. Boom boom!


The Scottish Broadcasting Commission noted that BBC Radio Scotland faced,

‘strong criticism of the station’s ambition and space for originality in programming,’ for ‘more serious and substantial content, with more highly-crafted features and documentaries.’

BBC Scotland continues to present itself as a dumping ground for dim-witted insularity.

The answer in in Pacific Quay

BBC Scotland Pacific Quay

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