The Answer Lies in the Soil



Ruth Langsford


Experts: Andy Sturgeon & Diarmuid Gavin


Action Time in association with Carlton for ITV, 29 July to 1 September 1999 (6 episodes in 1 series)


Truly awful gardening panel program which arguably marked the beginning of the end for the Action Time brand. Punter plus celeb pairings traipse through round after round of tedious question about plants, the worst of which was 'Name that Seed' (we're not making this up).

File:Answerliesinsoil namethatseed.jpgThe never-popular "Name that Seed" round

The only round that saved it from complete trudgery was a moderately entertaining video clip where you had to buzz when you saw a mistake in a piece of video tape (e.g. a plant had been buried upside-down or somesuch).

File:Answerliesinsoil mistakesround.jpgThe "spot the mistake" round

Other than that, this show is only notable for the early appearance of Diarmuid "Home Front" Gavin.

File:Answerliesinsoil ruthwithexperts.jpgLook, it's that Diarmuid Gavin off the telly!


Where does the bizarre title come from? Kenneth Williams played a gardener called Arthur Fallowfield in the BBC radio comedy series Beyond Our Ken. His reply to any question was (in West Country accent) "The answer lies in the soil". I guess you had to be there.

File:Answerliesinsoil thegoldentrowel.jpgThe budget didn't stretch to a fork.

The prize was a golden trowel. Whether this was the prize for the winners or losers is not clear.


File:Answerliesinsoil set.jpgWide view of the set.
File:Answerliesinsoil desk.jpgClose up of the desk.
File:Answerliesinsoil plantinapond.jpgThis is what viewers like right? Looking at plants in ponds.


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