x
Mark Lane filming on GW 3
It's the nation's favourite gardening programme but what's it like to work on? Thrive Ambassador Mark Lane offers some behind-the-scenes insights into life as a Gardeners' World presenter.

'TV is a funny and fun business to be in.

'Being on such an iconic TV programme is a dream come true and I feel very privileged to be part of it.

'When the series producer called me and asked if I would be interested to present at RHS Chelsea Flower Show and then Gardeners’ World five years ago, I thought someone was carrying out a prank, but the realisation that this was actually happening suddenly hit me.

Quite a few viewers assume that all of the presenters are best friends, continually popping into each other for a cuppa

Mark

'Quite a few viewers assume that all of the presenters are best friends, continually popping into each other for a cuppa, but we really only get to meet up as a group at the flower shows or Gardeners’ World marketing/press events.

'Right from the start the whole team welcomed us newbies with open arms and we very quickly felt part of the family. Talking to camera seemed to come naturally to me and I love meeting and interviewing gardeners across the UK.

Mark Lane filming on GW 2

'Every time we visit a new garden the first thing that is clearly noticeable is how much the gardeners love what they are doing, and how gardening helps with both their physical and mental wellbeing.

'The camera certainly puts on a few pounds, so I am constantly battling with my weight, and hearing yourself on TV was very strange to start with. When I first became a presenter, I would watch every programme to see how to improve for the next time. Learning or thinking about what to say is the most difficult part.

Mark Lane filming on GW

'There are normally key points that need to be covered, but invariably I get a phrase in my head which is slightly incorrect, and because I keep saying it, I cannot get it out of my head. A perfect example of this was when I filmed from my garden three years ago. I was talking about the Rose ‘Princess Anne’, but for some reason I kept saying ‘Princess of Anne’. It took a few takes to get it right.

To be a presenter you need to think quickly, be patient, be a good listener and be eager to learn

Mark

'To be a presenter you need to think quickly, be patient, be a good listener and be eager to learn. Fortunately, I have always had these traits, but I still find it incredible how the "magic" of TV seems to happen.

'Disparate film segments are crafted and brought together by the editors, producers and directors. As a publisher in the publishing industry before becoming a garden designer, I find this whole process absolutely fascinating.

'We all like a giggle and to have fun, but this is a profession so we need to approach it as such. Hopefully, the fun side of the presenters come through each film segment. I absolutely love what I do, and becoming a presenter is something that I had never planned, but I think I have the TV bug now.

'I have recently started presenting on other programmes and of course every director is different and every programme is different. Each time, however, I am talking about plants and gardens, two topics that are dear to my heart, and could probably talk non-stop about each given the chance.'

* You can catch Mark and the Gardeners' World team on BBC2 each Friday evening.

When gardening meets Hollywood

This month sees the release of a new film version of the children’s classic, The Secret Garden, and that got us thinking about other films featuring gardens and gardening. Here’s our mini guide to some worth getting the popcorn out for:

Find out more

Thrive Prize Draw 2024

Make a difference with us! Join this year's prize draw for a chance to win some amazing garden prizes

Enter Now