Posted: 29/03/2014 at 11:18
I have never seen the point of watching people race round a circuit either in a car, on a bike or on foot. Waste of time. However, F1 creates a great deal of high end employment and is a source of invention in the UK so I suppose it's fortunate that people are ready to spend hours vegging on the sofa to see it whilst absorbing all that advertising.
I would suggest that the horticulture industry employs even greater numbers from the lowliest unskilled serving staff in the big organised chains of garden centres to the highly skilled nurserymen and women running their own plant sale centres and on to industries making and inventing everything from garden fencing to furniture, tools, fertilisers, composts, pots, seed trays, obelisks, ornaments, paving materials and decking, rocks, gravels and sand and all the other paraphernalia. Let us not forget either the seed companies who employ more people to plant, nurture, collect, sort and pack what we sow every spring, or the bulb companies.
F1 may be sexier for advertisers and therefore attract more money for TV but I rather think there's more actual gross domestic product and employment tied up in all the many and varied aspects of horticulture. All that and good for the soul and the environment too. What's not to like?
During the war there was a Dig For Victory campaign that saw allotment holdings multiply and the nation's health improve as people ate more veggies than ever before as a proportion of the national diet. Modern health is deteriorating at an alarming rate as people consume excess quantities of sugars, transfats, refined carbs and processed food full of chemicals. The TV companies would do well to tap into the need to educate people on how to grow and prepare their own healthy food and make more people understand the joys and benefits of growing your own. Good for the economy too as Britian is once again reliant on far too high a proportion of imports to provide its daily food.
The Great British Bake Off had huge audiences and has brought about a resurgence in home baking. Gardening for pleasure, health and fresh food and flowers is ripe for just such a resurgence and would get it with a good format and presenters. The Allotment challenge the Beeb has launched is too restrictiven too demanding and requires people to run an artificial plot away from home. Never going to work and probably even worse in concept than the Great British Sewing Bee.