Ooh, I do love an art programme, don’t you? It doesn’t even have to be that arty. I will watch a bridge being built, skyscrapers being erected. Hell I’ll even watch someone glass blowing or bashing iron bars into fence posts because it’s the process that’s the exciting part right? It’s why we’re addicted to studio vlogs and behind the scenes documentaries. My favourite part of the amazing Sir David Attenborough nature documentaries (love him) is the final 10 minutes where they show you how they got the shots. So here is a line up of my favourite arty shows. In no particular order because, how could you?


Grand Designs – I sometimes wish I’d done architecture so I love seeing the amazing things they come up with. What I love most of course is the delusion of the owners about how much the build is going to cost and how long it will take. It’s very rare that it’s to budget and on time. I’m loving the new ones where they expect it to be built by a certain date and then there’s a pandemic thrown into the already messy mix. It’s all worth it for the end results though. Most of the time.

The Great British Bake Off – Whoever says baking isn’t arty has never seen the showstoppers at the end of each episode. Who knew baking could be so stressful? I’d love to know if they ever actually get to take their bakes home. You know with the big slice taken out for the judges. All the stress of proving, chilling and sitting staring in to the oven is worth it for the Hollywood handshake. If you manage to get one.

Landscape Artist Of The Year – I love a landscape. In fact, when I go on holiday (if I remember rightly – its been a while), that’s what 99.9% of my photos are of. I once toured the USA and Hawaii with my BFF and when we came back his mother asked if we were actually there. So what could be better than watching artists actually paint/ink/collage a landscape? I love seeing how each and every one of them interprets the same scene differently. And the fact that you can find yourself chosen to compete even as an onlooker.

Portrait Artist Of The Year – By the same crew as above. Three celebrities being painted by a talented group of artists and then getting to choose one to take home. What could be better (for them)? Sometimes the celebrities wear something intricately patterned or get put against a backdrop of something you’d hate to have to paint in the timeframe. I’d probably get that one. It’s lovely to see the portraits come to life and even better when it resembles who they’re painting. But I think that’s the point.

Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas – Actually I’ll watch anything Kirstie does when it comes to crafts. And properties. I’ve been lucky enough to be at a Q&A with Kirstie as a VIP at the Handmade Fair and have attended a couple of maker sessions with her too. She’s lovely. Honest, chatty and normal. I love how this programme shows you lots of different art and crafts and takes you on the journey of how they’re created. As a regular at a craft club, this has been very inspiring and I now own several random makes. Is it Christmas yet?

The Great Pottery Throw Down – I’ve always wanted to try pottery but there isn’t anywhere near where I live to do it. Unless you want to just paint a pot. I even own a kiln that I have no idea how to use – #goals. This is my yearly fix of pottery heaven. How they manage to run to the drying room with a board full of amazing creations is beyond me. Mine would be splattered on the floor. I think the main aim is to get Keith Brymer Jones to cry. It’s the pottery equivalent of the Paul Hollywood handshake.

The Great British Sewing Bee – I’d love to be able to make my own clothes in fabric that I’ve chosen. Then I see some of the patterns they have to deal with and decide it’s easier to just go shopping. Some of my sewing friends have insisted that they make it look more difficult than it is sometimes. But they’ve been sewing since they were in nappies. I’ll leave the warp and weft to the experts. I have bought some patterns from Studio Jepson that I’m determined to try though. See me next year on Sewing Bee (joking).

Master Of Photography – When a group of photographers from all over the world and from every walk of life get together. there’s going to be some amazing work produced. Wildlife, street, portrait, landscape, still life, fashion, sports, architectural. They’re thrown into every discipline and given the choice of cameras to use for the task ahead. The moment when the fashion photographer takes the perfect photograph of a bird of prey or vice versa and realises they could be more than they are. Priceless.

Your Home Made Perfect – Who wouldn’t want to see their home designed in two different ways before knocking walls down and hiring a crack team to demolish your life for the foreseeable future? Using VR to show you two different ways in which your home could work better for you and then getting to choose your favourite. Who wouldn’t want that? Alternatively, you could always just choose to keep the headset on and pretend you’ve done it. Mind your step though. Those things aren’t where you think they are.

Rankin – The Great British Photography Challenge – A masterclass in photography with famous photographer Rankin? Where do I sign up? I came across Rankin when I was still at school. Yes, that long ago. I absolutely loved his fashion photography. In this show he challenges six amateur photographers to step out of their comfort zones to create some amazing new artwork and the chance to be mentored by him. It’s great to see them photograph something they wouldn’t usually attempt. Sometimes successfully. Let’s not talk about the rest.


So that’s it. That should keep you busy for a while on the old catch up. I’m sure I’ve missed some gems off that list. The Repair Shop for one. If you don’t cry at that at some point, do you even have a heart? What do they all have in common? (Apart from the fact that if you stick The Great British in front of something, it’s probably going to be a hit). They all tug at the heart strings. The disasters when someone can’t get their gingerbread horse to stick together, the shot they missed by a millisecond when the model unexpectedly laughed at the photographer. The pot that cracked in the naked raku challenge (don’t worry, it’s not that type of show) and the point that they lost the likeness in the portrait challenge. All the things that make people human and make you realise that actually, you’ll never be perfect because it’s not even a thing. Go out there and create because the more you do it, the better you’ll get. But just know that you’ll never be perfect. You’ll be you and that’s your superpower.

  • Image is of several things I’ve made because sometimes my hands just won’t stop creating.