Interview: Vic Reeves And Natasia Demetriou On The Big Flower Fight, Netflix

Interview: Vic Reeves And Natasia Demetriou On The Big Flower Fight, Netflix

Vic Reeves co-hosts the new Netflix series The Big Flower Fight alongside Natatsia Demetriou from Stath Lets Flats. 

The eight-part series sees ten creative teams square off in a larger-than-life contest to create huge flower installations, with Reeves and Demetriou on hand to give the contestants some moral support.

The Big Flower Fight 

will be available on Netflix from 18  May. 

 

Why did you sign up to this?

This is a dream job for me because I only live half an hour away! It’s perfect. And it sounded like a great idea, so there was nothing to think about it.

Are you into gardening?

Well, I’m into everything. I do try and garden, with a degree of success. I’ve got a raised herb garden and that fails regularly so this year I stuck some tomatoes, courgettes and beetroot in, and it all happened. It bloomed. But other than that, I get a gardener in.

But I think that works quite well for this show. My position in this is to be a viewer. If I do get a plant’s name right, I get quite excited. Other than that I just try and say something witty now and again.

It’s really good fun because there’s a lot going on. I’m an art school boy so it’s quite exciting to me that there’s a lot of crafts going on; it’s not just plants.

Can you sell the show to me?

There are some very, very keen people who produce these magnificent structures almost out of nothing, and very quickly. It always astonishes me. On the first day, you go in and there’s nothing, and by the end of that day there’s something quite incredible happening.

They’re so passionate about it and it’s great to see anyone with that amount of passion producing anything. If they’ve got passion, you’re with them.

Is it competitive?

It’s quite tense because they haven’t got much time. And there are other people - mentioning no names - who go and steal off other people. There have been moments of theft. Which has been noted by the judges. There’s a high level of competitiveness now.

What are the contestants like?

There’s a good amount of gardeners who know all the flowers, but there’s quite a lot who are as naive as me! But they know how to make things look good from a sculptural point of view.

And there’s some great characters there. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a show with this amount of big characters in one place.

It’s not Gardeners’ World. It’s punk rock gardening. I was looking around yesterday and thinking, a lot of the people here could be in bands. It looks like a documentary about some rock and rollers instead of gardeners. It’s really good.

Seeing the end product is really quite exciting. The scale is incredible. They really put blood, sweat and soil into this. They must have headaches at the end of the day because they don’t stop.

What’s your role within the dome?

I go around chatting with them, have a look at what they’re doing, ask them questions. Then I’ll stand with the judges and comment on them, and kind of liaise with them. I’m really the conduit between the contestants and the audience. I’m kind of on their side. If the judges are giving them a hard time, I’ll try and alleviate that a little bit.

How do you get on with Natasia?

We hit it off straight away. We hadn’t met each other before so you do wonder, ‘Is it going to work?’, and if it doesn’t happen straight away then it’s not going to happen at all. You can’t fake camaraderie. We get on really well.

How would you describe the judges?

Kristen’s hilarious. He’s very good at what he does and he’s great at verbalising what he’s thinking and what they should be doing. So he’s a master at his craft, and you have to believe him. He’s a very warm and funny person. He’s not a Simon Cowell by any means. He actually has got a skill, for a start! So when he says something, he’s being critical but he’s being kind at the same time because he really wants them to succeed.

The guest judges are all highly skilled. They are really from the top echelons of that world. They’ve all been really interesting characters too, and highly skilled, and excellent at explaining themselves.

Are you quite an empathetic person?

You’ve got to be because you can see them getting worried and you root for the ones who weren’t doing as well the week before. You feel for them because you’re human.

Is the show inspiring your creative side?

Every day I’ve got nothing to do for four hours in between the opening bit and the wandering around with the judge bit. So I’ve moved half my studio over here and I’m painting all the time. That’s another reason why this is the perfect job for me! It really is a dream job, honestly.

What are your thoughts on the environmental message?

There are always elements to each challenge they have to stick to which is environmental. There was one which was the most, which was using plastic to highlight the amount of rubbish in the sea.

I always have been interested in conservation. In fact, when I was at school, in 1976, I did a project about the amount of rubbish in rivers, and I put my heart and soul into it. I failed! I don’t know why. I was gutted because I was passionate about it.

I’ve spent most of my life in rivers and seas. I was in Surfers Against Sewage in the 1980s. I loved bird watching as a kid and I could probably tell you what any bird was, to this day. I’m a big wildlife fan. It’s really important. Highlighting anything is worthwhile.

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