Watercolour Challenge



Hannah Gordon


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

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.


Ed Forsdick


Web links

Official site

Wikipedia entry


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