The Great Pottery Throw Down



Sara Cox (2015-17)

Melanie Sykes (2020)

Siobhán McSweeney (2021-)


Keith Brymer-Jones (all series)
Kate Malone (2015-17)
Sue Pryke (2020)
Richard Miller (2021-)


Love Productions for BBC Two, 3 November 2015 to 23 March 2017 (14 episodes in 2 series)

Love Productions for More4, 8 January to 11 March 2020 (10 episodes in 1 series)

Love Productions for Channel 4, 10 January 2021 to present


Following the success of The Great British Bake Off, and shows about baking, sewing, hairdressing, gardening, and many many more, the latest traditional craft to get a competitive series is pottery.

Clay sculptors are tested on various competencies.

The assembled cast of series 2

Each episode features one main make, and while the potters are waiting for their work to dry there are two other rounds, either or both of which may feature in any given episode: the throw down which involves making something on the potter's wheel (often several of the same thing within a time limit) and the spot test in which the contestants are given something already made to decorate or otherwise embellish.

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2015 Matthew Wilcock
2017 Ryan Barrett
2020 Rosa Wiland Holmes
2021 Jodie Neale

Key moments

Judge Keith Brymer-Jones getting tearful at a particularly good make. To the extent that it's become this show's equivalent of GBBO's "Hollywood handshake" and in the second series, several contestants mentioned a specific ambition to make him cry.

Theme music

The original opening theme was "I Can't Explain" by The Who, replaced for series 2 and beyond with "Making Time" by The Creation.

The show also has an original score by Bake Off composer Tom Howe, which is more prominent since the channel-hop. Previously it had been mostly sidelined in favour of various 60s and 70s rock songs (still used to a lesser extent in the More4 version) and tracks from the album Acid Brass by the Williams-Fairey Brass Band.


During series 2, Johnny Vegas appeared as a guest judge for a "throw down", challenging the contestants to make five teapots in five minutes. Also making a guest appearance in that series was former Dancing on Ice pro skater Sylvain Longchambon, who modelled for the spot test in the final.

After a few years lost in television history, Throw Down followed another of Love Productions' shows, The Great British Bake Off, to Channel 4. Episodes premiered on More4 on Wednesday nights, repeated on Channel 4 the following weekend.

The Great Pottery Throwdown

The fourth series, filmed during the Covid-19 pandemic, housed the contestants and crew together in a biosecure "bubble", but still succumbed to an unplanned suspension of filming during episode 4. As acknowledged on screen, a week separated the judging from the judges' chat and announcement of the results - and as a direct result of this, they decided not to make an elimination that week.

Web links

BBC programme page

Wikipedia entry

See also

The Great British Bake Off

The Great British Sewing Bee


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