They say it's Spring. But is it?

They say it's Spring. But is it?

Did you know-or possibly remember- that “Springwatch” began life as “Wild In your Garden?” This was –as I explained to the viewers on the first broadcast- not entirely accurate...

“Welcome, live" I said “to Wild in Your Garden. Well, it might be your garden if you happen to live in Clifton in Bristol, but if you live anywhere else, it is wild in somebody else’s garden. Added to which, it may be  the beginning of Spring here, but not all over the country. In fact, up in North Scotland it is still winter, whilst down in Cornwall spring is nearly over. Meanwhile, we are wild live in spring, in Bristol. Maybe next year we will have a different title!”

And indeed we did. The program got bigger, the locations got more widespread and the title changed to “Britain Goes Wild”. Which it certainly did, not least the viewers ,who watched in record numbers. Neverthless, the following year –although the ingredients were much the same -we were presented with yet another title.  

'From now on’ the BBC told us,’the show will be called Springwatch.’ I was incensed! “You can’t call it that” I protested, “It goes out in June. That’s not spring. Unless you live up in Shetland. We’re not based in Shetland are we?” “ No, I was told “ we’re based on a farm in south Devon.” Again I protested: “Mid June in Devon ! That is early summer! Not spring!” Looking back ,I am shocked at my  pedantry! Fortunately, I persuaded myself that an essential element of the show would be a retrospective of the year so far, a report looking back over the previous couple of months during which we had indeed been watching spring.

So Springwatch it was, and by the second week I realized it was a perfect brand name. Short and memorable, and easily amended to Autumnwatch, Winterwatch, and any other kind of watch the BBC might come up with. Dare I whisper ‘Gardenwatch?’

Written by Bill Oddie

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