Fern is still probably best known for her time presenting ITV’s Good Morning This Morning, which saw her strike up a very popular on-screen partnership with Philip Schofield. She co-presented the show for some 8 years before leaving in 2009 when she was replaced by Holly Willoughby.
The new BBC show is being talked of as being similar in style to the very successful Great British Bake Off. The idea is that the show will try to find the country’s top vegetable growers and although it mentions allotments in the title the recruitment for the show made it clear that anyone who was a keen gardener could audition even if they were only growing their veg in a window box.
As well as cultivating all this lovely home-grown produce the show will then show exactly what can be done with all that healthy food and there is a definite “village show” feel about the home-made chutneys that will be featured much as the very popular Great British Bake Off has recreated the television equivalent of a village fair cum WI competition.
It is almost certain to succeed as a concept with home-grown produce being seen in far more gardens than for many years and nearly every council up and down the land reporting long waiting lists for allotment plots. Add in the very cheerful Fern and a gardening expert or two and you can see it taking a very strong place in the weekly tv ratings.
Fern looks a world away from the woman she was a couple of years ago when she was struggling with her weight and seemed to have little enthusiasm for any new projects. Like many of the celebrities taking part in the show have found Strictly has a way of completely changing your body and always for the better.
Even when she was heavier Fern still seemed to have plenty of confidence although her recent interviews have made it very clear that she struggled with depression for many years and is still on the look out for any signs that it is returning. Back in 2002 Fern posed nude on a chaise longue for a charity calendar entitles This Morning Exposed.
The new streamlined Fern has said that she will not be doing any Charlie Dimmock style dressing for the new gardening show as the producers have made it clear that it is aiming purely at the wellies and spade market.
Fern’s promo shot for the new series certainly shows that if any flesh needs to be flashed she is still in good enough shape to be the girl for the job. She has kept off nearly all the weight she lost during her time on Strictly and is showing a good amount of cleavage in the bright floral dress she is wearing.
The Big Allotment Challenge is starting on BBC2 on Tuesday 15 April.