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October 22, 2005

Yes, We’re Different.

Further evidence, as if any is needed, that we English are just a little touched, not quite as other cultures.

The BBC has been deluged with complaints from disappointed vegetable gardeners after it withdrew its new allotments programme from the schedules after only three weeks. The Big Dig, presented by Simon Mayo, was cancelled after researchers reported poor ratings.

Enraged viewers have bombarded the BBC switchboard and its Points of View website.

For overseas readers, an allotment is a small patch of land used for growing one’s own vegetables or perhaps flowers or some fruits. And, yes, the BBC was making a TV series about it (a "how to" programme) and yes, people are phoning up to shout in anger that it has been taken off the air.

This is, of course, nothing as to the rage with which the cancellation of "One Man and his Dog" was greeted. This was a long running (20 years or more) show of sheepdog trials, the sort of thing that features in the movie "Babe". Seriously, a couple of million Brits would tune in each and every week to watch a dog round up sheep.

No wonder the French gave up in the end.

October 22, 2005 in The English | Permalink

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Comments

Perhaps if Mayo hadn't looked so peed off the prog might have continued. His face was so miserable.... Bet Mayo gave up as he wanted to host Come Dancing or something and was told 'who are you anyway?'

Posted by: Dave t | Oct 22, 2005 11:56:04 AM

Re: No wonder the French gave up in the end.

First Nelson; now Simon Mayo!

Posted by: Mike Cunningham | Oct 22, 2005 4:04:52 PM

Re: No wonder the French gave up in the end.

First Nelson; now Simon Mayo!

Posted by: Mike Cunningham | Oct 22, 2005 4:06:42 PM

Actually, the Beeb realised that it had made a massive mistake in producing and airing a show that a) might actually be popular and b) highlighted a traditional English eccentricity in a vaguely positive light (rather than showing us to be inferior to those oh, so sophisticated europeans).

Result? Quick management juggling of numbers to show that the programme was actually very unpopular and then can it. Sod the viewers, the Agenda is everything.

RM

Posted by: Remittance Man | Oct 24, 2005 7:17:03 AM

the Beeb realised that it had made a massive mistake in producing and airing a show that a) might actually be popular and b) highlighted a traditional English eccentricity in a vaguely positive light

Yeah, just as they drove 'Veg Talk' off the schedule for Radio 4. Oops, no they didn't. Chances are, 'The Big Dig' will be re-scheduled for the Friday evening gardening segment on BBC2 before too long.

Perhaps you can talk about the origin and status of allotments, Tim? (Another great Liberal legacy: those 'small patches of land' are owned by local government.) Or were you wishing to gloss over that?

Tim adds: Gloss over? No, not at all. Not really germane to what was being said though. Not all allotments are council owned though. Plenty are collectively so, by the allotment holders themselves in aggregate.

Posted by: ahem | Oct 24, 2005 5:36:13 PM

are the bbc going to to tell us the veiwers ,when the big dig will be shown .

Posted by: peter coles | Nov 18, 2005 10:12:43 AM