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Being on the set of Garden ER

Have you been watching Garden ER on Channel 5 at 7.30pm every Wednesday?

Well, I have been lucky enough to go along to a few of the ‘Wow Factors’ and ‘Pimp my Shed’ filming days and what an eye opener into the television world it has been!

I have never been involved with television at all (except for an appearance in the crowd of Big Brothers Big Mouth) so seeing how the filming and makeovers took place was going to be a completely new experience. The first visit I made was to a Pimp My Shed in Nottingham. I went with a colleague and neither of us knew what to expect, but when we did arrive we were greeted by the happy faces of the Garden Angels and David Domoney who were glad to see us there.

The theme for the shed was a lads darts shed, with a mini bar and beer bottle lid stools to match. All of the furniture was in the garden at the time, the shed was bare and my mind was full of ideas and bewilderment to what they could do with all of these items. My puzzlement was soon resolved after a few hours of hard work, lots of filming and David playing around with the team the shed was completely transformed . I didn’t realise what you could do with quite a small shed…I am now full of bright ideas to create the perfect man cave!

The film crew literally film everything; it could almost be a documentary following a team of DIY experts and gardeners around. There is no secrets with 2 – 3 cameras rolling all the time (including mine for behind the scenes footage) so you get quite a few slips, trips and spills which adds to the banter and fun of the team.

I have quite often thought to myself what makes a good TV presenter, as it is something I did consider pursuing at one point in my life, but I never knew what people were looking for. I guess it depends on what sort of show you are presenting, if you are likeable, friendly, fun and obviously how knowledgeable you are in the profession of that show. These traits put together equals a pretty good presenter, and after meeting David and Bonnie I have realised that it is not easy to be all of these all of the time. When things are going wrong it must be hard to keep up your bubbly personality, but these guys never seem to worry no matter how stressful the job may be. They are two lovely people and I think with David’s charisma and experience along with Bonnie’s pretty smile and great knowledge in plants (it is incredible considering she is only 21) they make the perfect duo for Garden ER.

Another thing I never realised was the amount of filming that goes into a 22 minute show…the team work for 3 days solid for the ‘Wow factors’ but the show only has about 12 minutes from them 3 days. As I am not a photographer or cameraman I am clueless about lighting, sound and watching for reflections. I didn’t realise how much effort went into getting the perfect looking and sounding shot, or how many takes there were of David saying the same thing just so it sounds perfect. You see outtake programmes where they mess it up and have to keep doing it again and again, but some were a few takes of the same thing just being said ever so slightly different so it flows or sounds better. There is also a lot of shots of the made over garden, which I am not surprised about at all, especially as they look stunning by the end.

I went to Birmingham last week to see them making over and recording 2 more ‘Wow Factors’ . As I turned up on the final build day I was stunned by how gorgeous both the gardens looked!! Both of them were very different but I would be very happy to have either of them. I can’t say what the theme was or how they were made over so you will just have to watch the show and see, but I assure you that you will be impressed…I loved them!

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