Blooming resourceful BBC -presenters will help the Chelsea Flower Show beat the lockdown by hosting this year’s virtual event from their own back gardens.

News anchor Sophie Raworth, 51, will welcome cameras into the home she shares with her husband and three children in South West London.

And Gardeners’ World favourite Joe Swift, 54, will front coverage from his family home in Hackney, East London.

The annual five-day event by the Royal Horticultural Society had been called off due to the coronavirus pandemic – but it will now take place virtually for the first time.

The RHS will host free content on its website, including garden tours, while the Beeb will provide coverage across BBC1 and BBC2.

Sophie Raworth in her garden
Sophie Raworth in her garden

BBC bosses were inspired by the way Countryfile and Gardeners’ World have kept going, using family members to film and keep the shows on air before moving to fixed rigs.

Factual commissioner Catherine Catton is excited by the way this year’s event will be handled.

She said: “We’re using the techniques we’ve learned on Gardeners’ World, so we’re doing families.

“They’re presenting from their gardens and we either split-screen or you alternate between them. It works really nicely.

Joe Swift in his garden in east London
Joe Swift in his garden in east London

“It’s fun and it’s nice being in their gardens and having a nose around.”

The BBC starts coverage on May 19. On BBC2, Joe will be joined by Monty Don and there will also be footage of other presenters in their gardens.

Sophie and dad-of-two Joe will be pulling together “best of” episodes from previous shows, interspersed with “presenter-generated content” from their gardens.

There will also be interviews with the growers who would normally be exhibiting.

Ms Catton added: “It feels like a bit of a treat. It’s just quite nice to escape into that sort of lovely world.

“They’ve really done a good job of theming it, refreshing it and making it feel coherent. It’s really lovely.”