Fans of The Big Allotment Challenge are set to be disappointed – after it emerged there will be no third series in 2016.

The BBC2 gardening contest, which is hosted by Fern Britton (pictured), appears to have been ditched by the Beeb.

Celebrity judge Jim Buttress, who stars on the show, said production firm Silver River had confirmed the news this month.

Jim said: “They rang me and asked me to judge a third series, but then came back because the controller at the BBC had moved on, and said the BBC had decided to go in another direction.

“As far as I’m concerned that’s it. Silver River said the show was beginning to get a following, so it’s a shame.

He added: “The BBC controller whose baby it was and put together the first series managed to persuade the BBC to do series two, but she’s moved now to something different.

“In the end I didn’t ask for it. It’s something for my CV and I got work out of it.

“I enjoyed it and got nice compliments and loads of lovely letters. I feel a bit sorry in a way.”

Jim said viewers wanted more information on how to garden – but predicted that television would not cater for the demand.

He explained: “People want more practical advice on how to do it. They’re given allotments full of couch grass, nettles, thistles and rubbish the bloke before left behind.

“The first things the new bloke does is dig it, and half way they get worn out.

“So just do a bit. Go small to start. Set out a plot plan, with crop rotation,” Jim advised.

In a bit of a dig at telly gardening, Jim summed-up: “No disrespect to TV, but its missing out at the bottom end of the market, in grow-your-own.

“TV producers live in a different world – it’s not a world I understand.”