Celebrating 40 years of the Beechgrove Garden

For 40 years, the team at the Beechgrove Garden have been advising us on how to keep our gardens in shape.

It has been a perennial fixture on the mantlepiece of Scottish life since 1978.

To celebrate, BBC Scotland is to screen The Beechgrove Garden Story next Sunday, 19 August.

Old video tapes have been dusted off and treasures from the past 40 years unearthed to create a one-hour special programme that takes us down the garden path of Beechgrove’s growth.

This special programme returns to Beechgrove’s humble beginnings in the back yard of BBC Aberdeen, when the garden was a small, difficult to manage patch of land. This reflected a familiar scenario faced by many first-time gardeners in 70s when they moved out of multi-storey tenements and flats.

The programme discovers how the down to earth knowledge and banter of Beechgrove’s first presenters, Jim McColl and George Barron helped take the programme to unprecedented success.

Jim and George’s use of their own dialects particularly endeared them to a huge Scottish audience, attracting 1 million viewers in those early days.

It also looks at how Carole Baxter broke ground, becoming the first woman to co-present a TV gardening show in the UK, as well as revisiting the hilarious antics and expert makeovers of the Hit Squad.

There’ll be embarrassing auditions tapes and stories of presenters past and present, all mixed with a good dose of Beechgrove’s gentle, good natured humour.

To top it all off, this special programme is introduced and narrated by Elaine C Smith who also visits the garden at Beechgrove and meets today’s presenters.

It will be shown on Sunday, 19 August, on BBC One Scotland, from 5.35-6.35pm.