The Real Seeds of Evolution; Zoologist Recreates Some of the Experiments That Charles Darwin Conducted in His Garden to Form His Famed Theory NEW! JIMMY DOHERTY IN DARWIN'S GARDEN THURSDAY, BBC2, 8pm

Article excerpt

Jimmy of Jimmy's Farm fame has greatly reduced his herd due to the rising cost of pig feed, but at least it's helped free up enough time to present this three-part contribution to the BBC's Darwin season.

It's 150 years since Darwin changed the way the world thought with his Theory of Evolution, but Jimmy sets out to show how far his theory gradually took shape while pursuing simple experiments in his own garden, rather than suddenly popping into his brain during his historic voyage to the Galapagos Islands.

He says: "Everyone thinks Darwin came up with the Theory of Evolution just like that after his voyage on the Beagle, but really it was by spending time at home doing these experiments in his back garden," says Jimmy.

He visits Down House in Kent, Darwin's former home, to recreate those original experiments, using pages copied from the notes Darwin took at the time - and hid in a cupboard under the stairs.

"Doing these experiments really brings Darwin to life," says Jimmy.

"It was weird that when I was sat in his chair in his house, I thought he might walk in.

"The series shows science isn't difficult and that anyone can do experiments, which is what I think is really important." His first recreated experiment could not be simpler.

Darwin's friend Sir Joseph Hooker, a botanist and explorer who became Director of Kew Gardens, asked Darwin to explain how it was that plants found on the southern tip of South America also grew many miles away on a remote island in the Indian Ocean. …