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Pebble Mill was asked to produce a series of 8 episodes of the garden design programme, ‘Home Front in the Garden’, presented by enigmatic designer Diarmuid Gavin. They went out weekly from October 2002. The still shows Diarmuid relaxing in the company of project manager Sean Cunningham.
The series was producer by Patrick Flavelle, with David Symonds directing the first transmitted show, a garden in Chingford.
It was a challenging series to work on, with Diarmuid sometimes not turning up on location when he was supposed to, and getting fed up with most members of the production team at one time or another. By the end of the series almost no one who was working on the show originally was still there!
The following information was added by assistant producer, Julie Richards:
“I was one of two AP’s on the series. We had an incredibly hard-working team but, one-by-one, they were deemed “unsuitable” by Mr Gavin which left us scrabbling around, working ridiculous hours, with some being on-site for weeks at a time. Memorable gardens were built, including one in Birmingham which involved installing a garage car-ramp which could raise the garden up over 10ft, a giant disco-ball shed, 100 white rabbits, a copper garden retreat and one “jungle” with a building clad entirely in cedar (I was banned from that garden so never saw how it turned out!!). The series ran over budget by an eye-watering amount as Diarmuid spent without our being able to control him. I was invited to a lunch with the then head of BBC2 who, once I’d recounted the goings-on, merely replied with a smile, “oooo he’s a one that Diarmuid, isn’t he”. However, I have a couple of lasting friendships from that series – it truly was one that, once you’d gone through it, you really felt like you’d been through a war, rather than merely making a television programme. David did a fabulous job in the face of some very trying circumstances and, due to all the overtime, I managed four days in Hoar Cross Hall. Not all bad then…”