THE BBC has announced a new four-year contract and partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) that will see the broadcaster retain its position as the exclusive broadcaster of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
The new deal, which starts in 2018, will see the BBC commit to broadcasting from the event until the end of 2021 with coverage across TV, radio and online.
Tony Hall, BBC Director-General, says: “The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is always a major highlight of the spring schedule. I’m delighted that we will be working with the brilliant RHS team for another four years. It’s a show that is loved by the public and its natural home is on the BBC. Not only that, the BBC will also expand its coverage to include other RHS events around the country. Across our channels we will be able to bring the magic of these wonderful events to audiences across the country.”
The deal also includes a commitment to broadcasting exclusively from the RHS Malvern Spring Festival, RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show and the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park. Plus it will cover the new RHS Garden at Bridgewater and other opportunities to bring RHS content to wider audiences through Gardener’s World. In addition, there will be a new Daytime series following Britain In Bloom, broadcasting in 2018.
With access to the Royal Horticultural Society’s Britain In Bloom Awards and its judging process, Britain In Bloom for BBC Two will follow this Great British competition which is now over 50 years old. Each episode presenter Chris Bavin will visit a different community around the UK as they prepare for judging. The series will reveal how Bloom has touched many lives, brought communities together and shaped local pride. From the smallest villages to the biggest cities, this series will reflect the diversity of Bloom categories and the local heroes at the heart of them.
The creation of RHS Garden Bridgewater will be one of the largest gardening projects in Europe. The first phase includes the restoration of the 11-acre Walled Kitchen Garden, one of the largest in the UK. Plans also include a new schools’ Learning Centre to grow young people’s horticultural knowledge. The BBC will be following the creation of the new garden through all the phases.
Sue Biggs, RHS Director General, said: “We are thrilled to have extended our partnership with the BBC across all its platforms until 2021 and are so excited about the increased opportunities presented by the BBC’s expanded coverage of our work, which includes a new TV series on our flagship Britain in Bloom campaign. We look forward to working with the very talented teams across the BBC for another four years. The continuation of this fabulous partnership will help showcase our work to an even wider audience, supporting our vision to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.”
Coverage of this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show is currently across the BBC fronted by Sophie Raworth, Joe Swift and gardening stalwart Monty Don.