Watercolour Challenge

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Watercolour Challenge
GenreLifestyle game show
Presented byHannah Gordon (1998–2001)
Fern Britton (2022)
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series4 (original)
1 (revival)
No. of episodes210 (original)
20 (revival)
Running time30 minutes (original)
60 minutes (revival)
Production companiesPlanet 24 (1998–2001)
Twofour (2022)
Original release
NetworkChannel 4 (1998–2001)
Channel 5 (2022)
Release15 June 1998 (1998-06-15) –
11 February 2022 (2022-02-11)

Watercolour Challenge is a daytime television lifestyle game show that originally aired on Channel 4 from 15 June 1998 to 23 November 2001 and presented by Hannah Gordon. On 28 April 2021, it was announced that the show would be returning but on Channel 5 and presented by Fern Britton.[1]


In the programme, three amateur artists were given four hours to paint, in watercolour, the same scene or landscape, often with widely different interpretations. A programme was screened each day when at the end of each episode, the guest professional artist for the week judged the paintings and selected the winner, who would then appear in a regional final on Friday, and if successful would compete in the end of series final.[2]

The expert artist also had a segment where they provided tips for the viewers to improve their painting technique.[3]

The locations of each landscape painted changed in each episode, with various regions of both Great Britain and Ireland being visited, as well as a special show from Provence. The 2001 final was held in Tuscany.

Expert art judges included the artists Jason Bowyer, Mike Chaplin, Dorothy Dunnett, Annette Kane, Hazel Soan, and Jenny Wheatley. In 1999, Timmy Mallett was a regional judge for one episode of the show. A celebrity edition was produced, including Bill Oddie and Phillip Franks. The show was briefly presented by Cherie Lunghi, when Hannah Gordon was unable to do so due to illness.

In 2001, the programme won a Royal Television Society (RTS) award in the category of Best Features - Daytime.[4]



Series Start date End date Episodes Presenter
1 15 June 1998 4 September 1998 49 Hannah Gordon
2 2 June 1999 29 October 1999 60
3 16 October 2000 22 December 2000 50
4 3 September 2001 23 November 2001 51


Series Start date End date Episodes Presenter
1 17 January 2022 11 February 2022 20 Fern Britton


Two books related to the television programme have been published:

  • Watercolour Challenge: A Complete Guide to Watercolour Painting, 2001, Diana Vowles, Channel 4 Books, ISBN 0752261762, 978-0752261768
  • Watercolour Challenge: Practical Painting Course, 2002, Channel 4 Books, ISBN 0752262084, 978-0752262086


  1. ^ "Twofour and Channel 5 to revive Watercolour Challenge – TWOFOUR". Archived from the original on 16 May 2021.
  2. ^ Watercolour Challenge (Game-Show), Planet 24 Productions, 15 June 1998, retrieved 12 January 2022
  3. ^ "Television Review: Watercolour Challenge". The Independent. 14 August 1998. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  4. ^ "Royal Television Society, UK (2001)". IMDb. Retrieved 12 January 2022.

External links[edit]