BBC Local Radio's longest running programme celebrates its 2,000th edition this month. A special version of BBC Leicester's "Down to Earth" gardening show will be recorded in the city's Guildhall with former presenters and invited guests taking part in what's being called a "horticultural extravaganza". The show will air early in June.
The present team, including regular presenter Dave Andrews, will offer green-fingered tips and advice on questions from the audience. Down To Earth blends entertainment with information on all things horticultural as listeners' questions are discussed by a panel of gardening experts.
The seeds for Down To Earth were sown during the station's opening week in November 1967. It began with a 15-minute slot which, in the intervening years, flourished to its present format of an hour—long programme every Sunday.
Dave Andrews tells Radio Today: "It's been a real privilege working with these characters over the last few years. They are the kind of team who really sum up the best traditions of the BBC — they inform, they educate, but more to the point they also entertain. We've had some great times visiting the region's pubs, prisons, community centres, village halls, castles and hotels. Wherever there is an audience and some questions — our team can make a programme."
To the amusement of the programme team, Dave himself is a non-gardener. "My window box has been the butt of their humour over the years," he says. "However, I got my own back when I got them to do a whole hour's outside broadcast from that very window box! Here's to the next 40 years."
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