is an Australian
gardening and lifestyle program, broadcast on both radio
. On television, it was a regular weekly series on the Nine Network
and from 2007
, the show has been revived with themed specials. Hosted by Don Burke
, it is one of the most watched and adored programs in Australian television history and was the the first program on Australian television to fit in with the "lifestyle program" genre.
The program initially began on the Sydney AM
radio station 2UE
on Saturday and Sunday mornings before being picked up by the Nine Network in late 1987. The network then broadcast the show on Friday evenings for the next 17 years. It is currently being broadcast on radio by 2UE and syndicated stations on Saturday and Sunday mornings. The popularity of the show also lead to a spin-off magazine of the same name by Australian Consolidated Press
. Don Burke would also later create backyard makeover show Backyard Blitz
with Jamie Durie
, which also proved to be very popular.
In the original television series, Don Burke has a number of assistant members throughout the 17 year run who come and go. The cooking expert was Geoff Jansz
, who also hosted the Channel Nine cooking show Fresh
. Tara Dennis
coordinated the fabrics and design section, while Rebecca Harris
coordinated the pet section as she also did in her own Nine series Animal Hospital
. Harris also helps out with design and fabrics at times. Scott Cam
is Don's right hand man for 10 of the 17 years as the building, gardening and design expert. Other lesser members of the series who stay for only short times include current The Great Outdoors
reporter Ernie Dingo
, Jackie French
, Elise Pascoe
and Rosemary Stanton
For the 2007 television specials, Don Burke is once again assisted mainly by Scott Cam. Former international swimmer Giaan Rooney also joins the cast for the specials, giving tips regarding the environment, while financial expert Paul Clitheroe heads up the financial section.
The theme to Burke's Backyard
is a modified version of John Williamson
's "Home Among the Gum Trees", with the last line of the chorus changed from "and an old rocking chair" to "all in Burke's Backyard
The television show was consistently a very strong ratings performer for the Nine Network
right through most of the 17 years it was screened. It occupied the Friday 7.30-8.30 timeslot right through this period. The ratings however dwindled during its final year and it was announced on 1 November 2004
would be rested by the network.
In the spring special return in 2007, the show posted a very encouraging 10th place in the weeks shows. It defeated both of its competing Seven Network shows including Australia's Best Backyards and Hot Property, and was the most watched Nine Network show of the week.