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Friends of the ABC Australia
Happy10th birthday, Gardening Australia
'It's bloomin' marvellous!'
On August 20 Gardening Australia, produced out of Tasmania, celebrated 10 years of entertaining and informing the gardeners of Australia.
The program has gone through various incarnations finally taking the form that has made it such a winner - Peter Cundall presenting, and contributors with different specialities based in the other states.
The first presenters were Jane Edmanson, Colin Campbell, Malcolm Campbell and Peter Cundall. Neville Passmore and Mary Moody joined the program a couple of years later.
On Margaret Throsby's Classic FM program some time ago, Peter Cundall recounted how someone in ABC management had suggested Peter's accent might not be the thing for an ABC presenter. But Peter's no-frills, get down and get dirty attitude to gardening marked him out as the natural anchor, and his voice and exuberance has endeared him to a large and loyal audience. He prefers to adlib and resists all attempts by producers to smarten himself up, but he goes to great lengths to get things right. A youthful 73, with twenty years in the business, his natural enthusiasm is unflagging.
Gardening Australia was the first in the trend of 'infotainment' programs, with the emphasis always on information. Later, after requests from viewers for information began to exceed 2000 a week, Gardening Australia Magazine was born and became the fastest growing gardening magazine in Australia.
It must be said also that GA is the only infotainment program on the television networks that does not push products or take money from sponsors. Another ABC program you know you can trust!
We have always said that the ABC is one of the most efficient and cost-effective broadcasters in the world, especially when compared with the commercial stations. Here's a good illustration.
Mary Moody's garden has been used in both a Gardening Australia segment and for Better Homes and Gardens (with Noni Hazlehurst, Mary's close neighbour). The GA crew of 4 shot a five-minute segment in one day, while the crew of 10 from BH&G shot a two minute segment in two days.
Here's to the next ten years of unmissable television!
Left-wing bias sprouts in Gardening Australia?
The sideswipe is at Les Murray, who has deplored 'the shifting ideological lines enforced by various papers and sections of the ABC'. In the same statement he says that the only television program he watches regularly is the ABC's gardening session, and that he rarely listens to radio. So unless he detects ideological bias in the gardening program, how does he know it's there? Les Murray is a great poet with dotty opinions, which those media he deplores, understandably love to broadcast.'
Ken Inglis, speaking to FABC in Canberra