Thursday 29 September 2016

The Good Life plot was such a growing pain - garden guru Monty Don

Published 29/07/2016 | 05:51

Monty Don is no fan of 1970s sitcom The Good Life
Monty Don is no fan of 1970s sitcom The Good Life

TV's The Good Life promoted a lifestyle that can cause long-term ill health, gardening guru Monty Don has said.

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Attempting to grow all of your own food consigned people to "13th-century malnutrition", he said.

The Gardener's World presenter slammed the 1970s BBC sitcom about a couple who quit the rat race to become self-sufficient in suburbia, in an article for Gardeners' World magazine.

"No one seriously wanted to know how to separate curds from whey or render fat to make candles, but millions wanted the idea of self-sufficiency," he wrote.

"Self-sufficiency, I have to tell you, is a non-starter. At best it consigns you to a life of dreary repetition and terrible food, at worst your teeth fall out, your breath stinks, you erupt in boils and you sink into 13th-century malnutrition - The Good Life indeed."

Mr Don did acknowledge the benefits of growing some food, such as fruit, vegetables and herbs, which he said was one of the most life-enhancing things a person could do.

The Good Life ran four four series on the BBC between 1975 and 1978 with Felicity Kendall and the late Richard Briers playing the central couple Tom and Barbara.

The pair convert grow their own crops and their garden into a farm to house pigs, chickens and a goat.

Penelope Keith and Paul Eddington starred as their snobby neighbours.

It gained a cult following and came ninth in the BBC's 2004 Britain's Greatest Sitcom poll.

Mr Don seemed to pre-empt critics by saying that he knew to speak ill of the programme was tantamount to blasphemy for some, but added: "I always thought Tom and Barbara were creepily pathetic."

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