Watercolour Challenge



Hannah Gordon (1998-2001)

Fern Britton (2022)


Planet 24 North for Channel 4, 15 June 1998 to 23 November 2001 (210 episodes in 4 series)

Twofour for Channel 5, 17 January to 11 February 2022 (20 episodes in 1 series)


A sleeper hit for Channel 4, this is basically to painting what Masterchef is for cooking.

Three amateur painters spend four hours painting. At the end the resident guest artist for the week picks a winner for some art supplies kit (the runners-up getting less impressive art supplies kit). In between the Hot Painting Action, the resident guest would give tips to people at home to improve their technique and there would be walks around the place they were painting.

And they announced the winner over a nice cuppa.

Thankfully, by and large the show manages to tread the fine line between being too twee without putting off the core audience of the hour (i.e. pensioners). It is surprisingly interesting to see how different the approaches of the three artists are, although the inclusion of the occasional poem into the proceedings does make us feel a little nauseous.

A show that doesn't attempt to be anything it is not and made many fans for it.

Easel does it.

Brought back for a 20-episode run by Channel 5 in 2022, by which time it looked rather staidly traditional compared to the likes of Drawers Off, though that may be no bad thing.


Ed Forsdick, who died in June 2011, and to whom the entire Channel 5 series was dedicated "in memory of". We have the briefest of brief obituaries here.


Sky Arts re-ran the Channel 4 series in the early 2010s and rather surprised us by doing so again in 2023.


Web links

My5 programme page

Wikipedia entry


The logo for the Channel 5 revival
Fern Britton, taking no chances with social distancing.


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