Back to Front welcomes BBC Gardeners’ Question Time

GQT at fewston bridge

How do you know your gardening project is doing well? We’d say it’s when the most famous gardening show in Britain comes to visit! Back to Front was delighted to host the much-loved BBC Radio 4 programme, Gardeners’ Question Time recently.

As ever with events like this, there was a huge amount of work behind the scenes to create what looked like an effortless evening. I won’t bore you with the details but let’s just say it didn’t happen overnight… All the effort put in really paid off though.

The production team arrived on the morning to visit the community garden we started building this summer with Cross Green Community Group (CGCG) and Hyde Park Source. Various committee members and some of the volunteers who work on the ground were interviewed for the feature slot that will be included when the programme is aired. Mary from CGCG (in the photo above) explained what the garden means to local people and how it’s used in the evenings when the rest of us are not around. Fascinating stuff but you’ll have to wait until the programme goes out to hear all about it!

GQT @ becketts

In the evening came the big event. Over 300 people filed into The Great Hall at Leeds Beckett University and the famous Gardeners’ Question Time team took the stage. Everyone audience member writes a question on their ticket and these get passed to the panel just before the show. They choose the ones that are most appropriate to theme of the programme, time of year etc. just before they go on stage, giving it a very live and dynamic feel.

The recording was an object lesson in slick and professional broadcasting; the panel were lively, entertaining and, it goes without saying, very well informed. They chatted, laughed and teased each other and the audience and we learned more about fruit trees and mulching than we’ll ever be able to implement! It’s easy to see why the programme has been popular for almost 60 years.

It was a fantastic evening and a great showcase for Back to Front and all the hard work that goes into it. It does leave us wondering though: what do we do to top that?! 🙂


Note: Two programmes were recorded on the night. The first goes out on 7th November 2014 and the second on 9th January 2015, both at 3pm.

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