THE POISON GARDEN website      Arum maculatum berries on a Cannabis leaf 


This free script provided by JavaScript Kit

Pontifications on Poison

Being some ramblings on events associated with poisonous plants.

Wednesday 24th September 2014

The journalist who was named as the ‘presenter’ in a programme called ‘The Truth About Skunk’ that has twiced been pulled from BBC Three’s schedules has disowned it saying ‘Skunk is IMO safe and non addictive’.

Back in January, I wrote about a television programme called ‘The Truth About Skunk’ that had not been shown the previous evening in spite of being in my listings magazine. Earlier this week, I noticed it appearing in the listings for Monday 22nd September with a note ‘(postponed from 6th January)’.

As I noted in the earlier piece, just from the promotional information on the BBC website it was clear that a better title would be ‘Lies About Skunk’ because much of what was written was demonstrably untrue.

Now, following its withdrawal for a second time, I contacted Jake Hanrahan to see what he had to say and his reply, via Twitter, confirms that my preferred title was nearer the truth.

The reappearance of the programme in the listings was interesting, to me, because I hadn’t seen any onscreen trail for it and the listings magazine hadn’t made a feature of it. Nor were there any other media previews available. That suggested that this was one of those programmes.

The intense cost pressure on the BBC plus the close scrutiny from its enemies in the press mean that paying for a programme but not showing it is an own goal that can be turned into a frenzy of criticism. When a finished programme is not of the required standard, the tendency is to let it slip out with as little fanfare as possible. Though this wasn’t buried in the early hours of the morning as happens with some of these problem programmes, I was pretty sure the BBC was hoping that no-one would notice this.

Early on Monday evening, I checked the EPG only to find that a different programme was listed for that slot. I watched the continuity announcement at 9pm and it just said ‘in a change to the schedule’ with no explanation of why. The BBC website still carried the programme details but now said it would air at 3am on Thursday. This morning a check of the EPG shows that this airing has also been shelved. The BBC website is a bit slow to catch up because, at the time of writing, it shows a sixty minute programme starting at 0250 followed just ten minutes later by ‘The Truth About Skunk’.

I wondered what the programme makers had to say about it and found that the answer was – nothing. As this WaybackMachine image shows in November 2013 the production company was talking about its new commission under the title ‘Does Skunk Make You Crazy?’* But the current site does not show the programme under ‘Productions’.

It would seem that the production company is happy to pretend it never happened and Jake Hanrahan having said that he never was happy with the editorial direction the programme was to take must be pleased that someone at the BBC has put editorial policy above the possibility of being accused of wasting money.

I wonder if this is a turning point and that the BBC will stop making programmes about psychoactive substances that are based on the mantra ‘Drugs are bad, m'kay.’

*It seems the original working title was a better choice given that it is an accepted principle that any title asking a question is always answered ‘No’. ‘Is Britain being overrun by giant spiders?’, ‘Did the Duke of Edinburgh Order Diana’s Death?’, that sort of thing.

Submit a Comment

You can send comments via the contact page but please be sure to say what blog entry you are commenting on.

Follow @thepoisongarden on Twitter

Full Entries


Tuesday 25th October 2016 Saturday 20th August 2016 Sunday 6th March 2016 Wednesday 3rd February 2016


Saturday 28th November 2015 Friday 27th November 2015 Monday 17th August 2015 Wednesday 15th July 2015 Friday 26th June 2015 Thursday 25th June 2015 Thursday 30th April 2015 Wednesday 29th April 2015 Wednesday 11th March 2015 Tuesday 3rd March 2015 Saturday 28th February 2015 Sunday 22nd February 2015

November 2014


Monday 24th November 2014 Saturday 8th November 2014

October 2014

September 2014

Wednesday 24th September 2014 Monday 1st September 2014

August 2014

Tuesday 26th August 2014 Saturday 16th August 2014 Tuesday 5th August 2014 Friday 1st August 2014

July 2014

Sunday 27th July 2014 Wednesday 23rd July 2014 Sunday 13th July 2014 Sunday 6th July 2014 Tuesday 1st July 2014

June 2014

Wednesday 25th June 2014 Tuesday 24th June 2014 Sunday 22nd June 2014 Monday 9th June 2014 Wednesday 4th June 2014

May 2014

Monday 26th May 2014 Sunday 18th May 2014 Wednesday 14th May 2014

April 2014

Sunday 13th April 2014 Saturday 5th April 2014 Thursday 3rd April 2014 Tuesday 1st April 2014

March 2014

Monday 31st March 2014 Tuesday 25th March 2014 Friday 21st March 2014 Monday 17th March 2014 Sunday 16th March 2014 Tuesday 11th March 2014 Thursday 6th March 2014 Wednesday 5th March 2014 Saturday 1st March 2014

February 2014

Thursday 27th February 2014 Monday 24th February 2014 Wednesday 19th February 2014 Monday 17th February 2014 Thursday 13th February 2014 Monday 4th February 2014 Monday 3rd February 2014 Saturday 1st February 2014

January 2014

Thursday 28th January 2014 Thursday 23rd January 2014 Friday 17th January 2014 Wednesday 15th January 2014 Monday 13th January 2014 Thursday 9th January 2014 Tuesday 7th January 2014 Wednesday 1st January 2014

December 2013

Monday 23rd December 2013 Friday 20th December 2013 Tuesday 17th December 2013 Friday 14th December 2013 Thursday 12th December 2013 Sunday 8th December 2013 Wednesday 4th December 2013 Sunday 1st December 2013

November 2013

Friday 29th November 2013 Wednesday 27th November 2013 Tuesday 26th November 2013 Friday 22nd November 2013 Monday 18th November 2013 Friday 15th November 2013 Thursday 14th November 2013 Sunday 10th November 2013 Thursday 7th November 2013 Wednesday 6th November 2013 Friday 1st November 2013

October 2013

Thursday 31st October 2013 Sunday 27th October 2013 Wednesday 23rd October 2013 Monday 21st October 2013 Friday 18th October 2013 Friday 11th October 2013 Wednesday 9th October 2013 Tuesday 8th October 2013 Monday 7th October 2013 Tuesday 1st October 2013

September 2013

Monday 30th September 2013 Saturday 28th September 2013 Friday 27th September 2013 Monday 23rd September 2013 Sunday 15th September 2013 Monday 9th September 2013 Sunday 8th September 2013 Tuesday 3rd September 2013 Sunday 1st September 2013

August 2013

Tuesday 27th August 2013 Sunday 25th August 2013 Monday 19th August 2013 Friday 16th August 2013 Tuesday 13th August 2013 Friday 9th August 2013 Friday 2nd August 2013 Thursday 1st August 2013

July 2013

Saturday 27th July 2013 Sunday 21st July 2013 Wednesday 17th July 2013 Monday 15th July 2013 Saturday 13th July 2013 Friday 12th July 2013 Thursday 11th July 2013 Wednesday 10th July 2013 Tuesday 9th July 2013 Saturday 6th July 2013

June 2013

Friday 28th June 2013 Tuesday 25th June 2013 Friday 21st June 2013 Thursday 20th June 2013 Wednesday 19th June 2013 Saturday 15th June 2013 Sunday 9th June 2013 Saturday 8th June 2013 Saturday 1st June 2013

May 2013April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 blog June 2012 blog May 2012 blog April 2012 blog March 2012 blog February 2012 blog January 2012 blog December 2011 blog November 2011 blog October 2011 blog September 2011 blog August 2011 blog July 2011 blog June 2011 blog


The POISON GARDEN website is not connected with Alnwick Garden Enterprises Ltd and/or The Alnwick Garden Trust.