Viacom’s Channel 5 Digs Into ‘Bake Off’-Style Competition Format ‘The Great Garden Challenge’

Bernard Jaubert/REX

EXCLUSIVE: Gardening is the new baking, apparently… Viacom’s Channel 5 is getting its hands dirty with Bake Off-style competition format The Great Garden Challenge.

The British broadcaster has ordered six episodes of the non-scripted series from Crackit Productions, the producer of series including Trucking Hell and nun-fronted reality series Bad Habits, Holy Orders.

The new series is a garden design competition where teams of professional garden designers from around the UK go head-to-head to build gardens in less than 48 hours to benefit charity organizations. The eight teams are fighting to become the Great Garden Challenge Champion and win the chance to exhibit their garden at the prestigious RHS Garden Wisley.

Receiving the brief two weeks in advance, the teams will take under-used, under-loved spaces and create gardens that will enhance the lives of some truly deserving recipients – from war veterans to care homes for the disabled, hospitals to dementia sufferers.

It is hosted by Irish garden designer Diarmuid Gavin, who previously presented series including BBC Two’s Great British Gardening Revival, Nicki Chapman, who presents BBC Two’s Escape To The Country and previously hosted Pop Idol alongside Simon Cowell, gardening expert Carol Klein and landscaper and designer Mark Gregory.

The Great Garden Challenge, which was commissioned by C5’s Greg Barnett, is set to launch in 2019 and will be exec produced by Crackit’s Elaine Hackett and Jason Wells.

It is the latest in the trend for cozy factual entertainment formats that tend to traditional British pastimes; Crackit, which is backed by Keshet-owned Greenbird, will be hoping that it can replicate the success of Love Productions’ Bake Off, which has grown into one of the most successful formats both in the UK and globally.

Crackit’s Hackett said, “Gardening is one of our favorite past times, spanning all age groups, from allotments to window boxes, gardening is without doubt the new baking.”

“The average Brit will spend £30,000 and eight months of their lives on their garden over the course of a lifetime This format plays to that British love of gardens, creating lasting green legacies, leaving beautifully designed gardens across the country.”

C5’s Barnett added, “This new series combines the nation’s great love of gardening with the opportunity to leave a lasting legacy in a brilliant new competitive format.”

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